Everglades through to Mobile

Community Highlights North America Everglades through to Mobile

We had a good early start for our trip into the Everglades, Diane had asked me the night before whether we should book a boat trip ahead of our visit, I didn’t think it was necessary …… the Everglades is one of 63 National Parks in the states, and covers 1.5 million acres so to do it in a day requires a bit of planning, when we arrived at the visitors centre at one of the entrances to the park a helpful ranger advised booking ahead for a boat trip, I didn’t think it was necessary…. so we drove the 40 miles into the park and went to book a boat trip, and they were all full until 3.30 pm in the afternoon. This left us a few hours to kill and the chance for me to apologise and admit that we should have booked a boat trip in advance! We did some exploring of the park ourselves, thank goodness for the following sign, I had every intention of doing the opposite until I saw it!!
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We did actually spot a small crocodile when we were on our own, but it was a young croc and quite a distance away and didn’t show very well on my phone’s camera, fortunately we did see a couple of grown ups later who were basking in the sun near to where we took our boat trip.
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Despite having had to wait a few hours for the trip it was so worth while, our guide was most informative and between her and the captain they took every opportunity to show us what wild life was on sight, there are over 300 species of birds in the Everglades, as well as crocs, alligators, sharks, turtles and Manatees, we did see some crocs and a number of beautiful birds, including an Osprey enjoying his prey, but sadly none of the other inhabitants, but this did not in any way detract from what was a very enjoyable experience when we learnt a lot about the Everglades.
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As a result of having a late boat trip we didn’t leave the Park until gone five o’clock, we were then faced with a 3 to 4 drive to Naples where our next stop was, en route we were both so hungry that not far short of Naples we called in at a Burger King for something to eat. The very pleasant young man who served us I don’t think was very experienced, Spanish was his first language, that having been said his English was far better than my Spanish “Dos cervezas por favor”, Diane ordered her meal and then I ordered some chicken nuggets, as our young friend took my order he suddenly started giggling at me, I then realised that I had ordered a kids meal and he was asking me what toy I wanted with my meal, much to his amusement!! We negotiated and I was able to increase my order from 4 chicken nuggets to 8 but no toy!!
Our hotel in Naples was very nice, but it was gone 9 o’clock by the time we arrived, and as we had a long drive ahead of us the next day we pretty much went straight to bed.
We were on the road the next morning shortly after seven, after my mishap in Burger King we had breakfast in McDonalds after we had been driving for a couple of hours or so. Our destination was Tallahassee, which is actually the state capital of Florida, and after a couple more stops we arrived some time after three in the afternoon.
Just prior to going out for something to eat we encountered a serious problem, whereas nearly all of our electrical items are powered by a USB port, one isn’t and we only had one adapter, which someone left in Naples or Homestead. The only item which needs an adapter are Diane’s straighteners, so a frantic trip to Walmart was required, we also bought Diane a hat! Having avoided this severe catastrophe we went for something to eat a place called Sonny’s BBQ, our waiter, was young, inexperienced but spoke perfect English, had a very laid back manner about himself with a good sense of humour to boot. My dinner consisted of a quarter of chicken, spare ribs, pulled pork, sliced beef, garlic bread, chips and beans, Diane had the same but only two meats! What a feast, washed down with a nice beer each. When our waiter brought us the check it seemed a bit light, very light in fact, he had neglected to add the two beers and ….. given us a senior citizen’s discount “Do you mean he has given you a senior citizen’s discount just by looking at you?” said Diane, whilst frantically using her new hat to hide the grey roots in her hair!
The next day we had another long journey ahead of us from Tallahassee all the way to New Orleans so again we set off early, but on this occasion we had breakfast in Waffle House which do superb breakfasts, highly recommended if travelling through the States.
I was aware that there was an old WWII battleship Museum in the city of Mobile whilst planning the trip, which if time allowed I was keen to visit. Thanks to our early start and us gaining an hour due to passing into another time zone, we arrived at the museum with plenty of time to spare and spent several hours viewing all the sights, the undoubted star of which was the American Battleship the USS Alabama.
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The USS Alabama was commissioned in the 1940’s and saw action in the North Atlantic as well as all round the Pacific, with a crew of 2,500 she was in many ways a self sufficient floating city, with every imaginable event catered for on board, from operating theatres, dental clinics, black smiths, tool makers, gaols, theatre, chapel and even an Ice Cream bar! The whole Battlefield Park was exceptionally well laid out, there was also the USS Drum, a submarine to look around as well as a number of planes, tanks and other bits of military hardware. We eventually left late afternoon with New Orleans our next destination, some 3 or so hours away.

This featured blog entry was written by Rortours from the blog Rortours.
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By Rortours

Posted Mon, Feb 26, 2024 | Comments