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From Ft. Lauderdale
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A day in Florida

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Our Honeymoon Duex - Caribbean Cruise - Last day Everglades

Our day started with a liesurely breakfast. The sheets had been changed and the bed made in our stateroom by the time were were back from breakfast as the crew prepared for an afternoon sail. We were escorted off the ship at 8:30 to the terminal where we picked up our luggage, processed through customs, and boarded a bus for the 20 minute ride to Florida Everglades Holiday Park.

We did not go to Everglades National Park. We did go to a tourist trap called Florida Everglades Holiday Park where we climbed aboard a two V-8 engine air boat for an attempt at alligator viewing. On the way to the park we learned that the Ft. Lauderdale area is overrun with iguanas and boa constrictors. We learned the difference between alligators and crocodiles, that Ft. Lauderdale is fortunate to have so many beautiful trees (though only one of the 100 or so palm varieties is native), and that both Brazilian pepper and malaluca are invasive and destroying the Everglades ecosystem.

Our boat "captain" told us it was too cold and windy for the alligators to be on the surface (we learned they can submerge for up to four hours). We did see some cormorants, water lilly like flowers (I don't remember what the captain called them) that bloom at night and close during the day, and a great blue heron.

The highlight of our tour (ooooooh, aaaaaah) was this osprey that snagged a fish and took it to this perch for brunch. As providence would dictate, it was at this moment that the battery on my camera decided it had expended all the energy it would give me. After our failed attempt at rousing sleeping alligators we got to see the quintissential Floridian alligator guy (four missing top teeth, two missing bottom teeth, two middle fingers missing from his left hand) man handle his alligators. We had a taste of deep fried alligator bits and boarded out bus for the airport.

By this time we had had our fill of bad tour guide jokes and repetitions. Raymond on St. Thomas said everything at least twice. The guide on our train ride did the same. The older gent (a New York transplant) who narrated our drive from Ft. Lauderdale to the Everglades park repeated everthing at least three times. The coup-de-ta was his mention of the green and yellow Jamaican Airlines puddle jumper getting ready for its flight out of Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. At Susan's insistant request, I squeezed one last shot of out of my dying battery to chronicle the capping humor of our honeymoon (duex) experience.


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