Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Alligator Alley and The 'Glades

On with the trip! On Monday morning we got up early to make the 6 hour drive down to the Everglades National Park. I felt like if I got to see just ONE alligator, the trip to the 'Glades would be worth it. I got more than I bargained for!

To get to the Everglades, we had to cross the state through Alligator Alley. That's its actual name! Its about 120 of highway that is bordered on either side by high, electrified fences. To keep the alligators of the highway. I'm not kidding! Unfortunately, we saw at least one that got through and ended up dinner for the vultures on the road. Anyway, we could totally see the alligators in the water on the sides of the road!

When we got to the Park, we did this short hike where they've built all kinds of elevated boardwalks through a swamp. All that's separating you from the gators is a wooden railing. I went crazy with the camera in this place! I couldn't take enough pictures. So prepare yourself. Here we go!

Cool stuff, huh? If it hadn't been 95 degrees and 10billion percent humidity, I could have stayed out there all day. I was surprised that the majority of the everglades isn't necessarily water. I know that there's this massive river running under the grass plains, but it really did look shockingly like plains in Africa or something.

That night we stayed in a HOLE, otherwise known as Florida City. Seriously. A hole. This whole area was totally devestated by hurricanes last year, but I have a feeling that Florida City sorta always looks crappy like it did when we were there. We went to a 'restaurant' that night where a man proceeded to get so drunk that he STRIPPED NAKED and straddled a railing and pretended he was rowing a canoe. Nice.

In tomorrow's post we're off to Key West! Don't want to overwhelm you with boring vacation stuff all at once.


Unrelated to Florida: Ryan and I are SO SPOILED. Our way of life has changed so much in the last few months. Besides the nice trip, we've bought some fun expensiveish toys, and today we hired a yard guy. We have a yard guy! A YARD GUY! Being from the desert, our yard (especially the front) is mostly rock. Well, we have horrible weeds this year and my fingers are all cut up and my nails are ruined from pulling weeds. I pulled weeds for 2 full hours yesterday and didn't even get through half of our front yard. And our backyard is a jungle. So today we decided HEY! We're making a little more money now, we're saving about half of what we pull in, so we should treat ourselves to something. Man, we are so, so spoiled.

Also, jet lag is a b*tch. I'm blogging from class right now just to stay awake. The coffee machine at the coffee cart is broken. No coffee. No caffeine. Kill me now.


Blogger jennypenny said...

No coffee??? omg that is tragic. i am feeling the withdrawl for you. i couldn't live. I am loving your vacation pics and stories. Seriously, staddling a railing naked pretending to row a canoe.. who does that???????

10:55 PM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

That last photo of the bird in the tree is stunning Amanda -- very nice!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

Wos is all I can say about the photos!!! I am seriously have to upgrade my camera. And it is funny but I was talking about Florida last nite to someone. Email me if youwant the details.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Joan said...

Wow, you took some phenomenal photos! I thought the part one pics were good, but these wildlife shots look professional! Keep up the great work.

Having grown up in Florida, I would have to agree that Florida City was never really high-class. But I'm glad you seem to have enjoyed everything else about the trip. :)

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Amanda Cowan said...

Awesome pics! Seriously! Looks like you not only got to use your new skilz but you got to see some incredible stuff! Keep 'em coming..I'm so excited to see some more..

7:04 PM  
Blogger Fitèna said...

No coffee?!! I sympathize!!!

great pics girl! Really!!!


12:36 AM  
Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

LOLVE< LOVE< LOVE!!!! Your pics! I am starting to dream about getting a really good camera, and maybe even taking a class, or two...or three.
I'm enjoying your vacation!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Sangroncito said...

I love the Everglades! Thanks for the trip report and photos...looking forward to more.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Rebilou said...

Fantastic pics! Glad you had such a fun trip. Mexico here we come!!!

5:06 PM  

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    Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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