Alligators, Crocodiles and Manatees!

Today we changed our plans and decided to drive through the bottom half of the Everglades. It’s a long road that you drive down to a dead end and then drive back. On the way there we couldn’t find much to look at and it all looked the same. When we got to the bottom it’s a place called Flamingo. This is where the bottom of the Everglades meets the Atlantic Ocean.

We went into the visitors centre and the park ranger told us we should go straight to the marina because it was high tide and that’s when there’s the best chance of seeing manatees. We walked over there and there were 3 manatees playing in the water and swimming around. They like to stir up all the water to feed but it makes it quite stinky. We were so excited we saw them, it was brilliant watching them.

After this we walked up the river and saw some Crocodiles. The Everglades is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together. You can tell the difference because alligators have wider snouts to crunch turtle shells and you can’t usually see their teeth when their mouth is closed but with the crocodile it’s a longer, narrower snout and you can see some of their teeth (if you’re close enough).

We drove back through the park and stopped to do some boardwalks. One of the walks was called the Mahogany Hammock and it’s where the biggest mahogany tree in North America grows. We didn’t see much here apart from some little birds, air plants growing in the bigger trees and lots of insects that kept biting me.

Near at the end we saw a really big Alligator so we stopped to take a picture.

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We come home tomorrow so we went for a swim and packed our bags ready for flying home.

P.S. We decided against an airboat ride this time. They don’t allow them in the National Park due to the damage they can cause to the waterways and the protected species that live there. There are lots of places you can do it around the outskirts of the park but we might try it on another holiday somewhere where it does less damage.

Beach life🐬🧜🏻‍♀️🐊🐠🦜🐚

Since our last blog we have moved from our holiday home in Orlando to exploring the coast. First we travelled to Sarasota. We took the scenic route as you can see where I have drawn it on the map.

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We stopped at a shopping mall on the way so it was quite late when we got to the hotel. We went for a Chinese and we got to use chopsticks to eat our dinner. It was really fun but it took ages 😂

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When we got up we decided to go to the beach but there’s loads of beaches so we picked the first one we came to. There was a sign to tell you about what the different coloured flags mean and if it is safe to swim. The flag was green so it was ok to swim but if it’s blue it means there might be sharks in the water 🦈 It was really fun and wet. I liked body surfing on the waves but it wasn’t deep enough to swim very well. The sand was white with lots of shells and it went on for miles and miles and miles and I thought it went on forever.

Then we went to get a drink because it was getting really hot.

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Mum had found somewhere on her phone that was good for spotting Manatee’s so we walked there but we didn’t see any. We went along the coast a bit further to a nature reserve and found a park so Eliza and I had a play.

After this we we went on a walk through the nature reserve. We still didn’t see any manatees but we did see lots of geckos 🦎, some little burrows but we don’t know what lives in them and lots of other cool things like a giant seed or fruit and big tortoise burrows.

Just as as we were getting back to the car we saw 2 cheeky raccoons scavenging in the bins. One was eating a packet of crisps and the other got a Burger King.

Tonight we went for a swim in the pool at the hotel then went to a local restaurant on the beach for dinner. Mum says it’s a fisherman’s shack. There was a sign in the car park to look out for alligators but we didn’t see any. I’m really tired now so goodnight xxx

Orlando Science Center

Today we went to the Orlando Science Center.

It was engineering weekend so there was lots to learn about robots and circuits. There’s lots of different areas for you to learn about different things. We watched experiments and did some ourselves. Our favourite was extracting DNA from a strawberry and watching the Tesla coil show about how electricity works😊 Eliza liked digging for dinosaur bones.

There’s too much to tell you about so look at our pictures to see what we did then you can ask any questions in the comments.  Enjoy! 😃👩🏼‍🏫👩🏼‍🔬👩🏼‍🔧👩🏻‍🚀

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