Everglades Part 1

Wops, I completely forgot to post our pictures from the Everglades a couple weeks back. I only posted a quick picture of my and Andy holding a baby alligator. You see, after about 6 hours of being outside and another 4 hours of driving I was completely exhausted when we finally got to our hotel in Florida City. We just grabbed a late dinner at Applebee’s and went to sleep. That’s actually how a lot of our vacation days went – I’m surprised that I managed to update my blog as much as I did. I must really love you guys!

I think we left Miami a little before 11 and got to Everglades (the city) almost 2.5 hours later. We were delayed by a lot of roadwork and a stop for coffee. Coffee was a necessity every morning, since we were lucky if we got 7 hours of sleep a night. So I spent half of our trip trying to wake up and the other half staring excitedly out of the window. The view was just amazing! In certain places it even looked just like an African Savannah.

The first thing on our agenda was going on an airboat ride, and we ended up going with Jungle Erv’s. The tickets included an alligator boardwalk, while the actual ride was about 2 hours later. So we had plenty of time for the boardwalk and dinner at a cute local seafood restaurant.
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This little cutie was talking and waving to everyone walking by him.
Parrot in the Everglades
And then it was time for us to get to hold an alligator ourselves. I was a little nervous, but he was sitting completely still the whole time. And I was surprised at how soft his skin actually was.
Me holding an alligator
baby alligator
There was also a manatee lookout spot, but we weren’t lucky enough to see one.
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Most of the alligators we saw were actually wild ones. They had build spots along the river where they could climb up and lay in the sun. And this giant didn’t even move an eyelid while we were standing there watching him. I just wish I was half as calm as an alligator, because they can lay perfectly still for hours.
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Our Day in Key West

We’re now 2 hours into our 9 hour drive back to Athens. And, strangely enough, this drive isn’t half as much fun as our drive here was, although I am really looking forward to be home by now. But, while we’re listening to the same CDs over and over again, you can enjoy some of our pictures from Key West.

We left Marathon early and got there before 12 o’clock. And even though check-in wasn’t until 3 we were lucky to get a room right away. It was on the second floor, with a balcony, and I absolutely loved the bed. Isn’t it cute? We’ve actually been really lucky with our rooms, except for one crappy room at a cheap hotel.
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After unpacking we went sightseeing downtown and ended up at the southernmost point of the US. There was a guide there who said that at that point we were closer to Cuba (90 miles) than to a Walmart, haha. There was a long line for pictures so I didn’t bother taking one with the marker.
US Southernmost Point
Oh, and did you know that there are roosters running wild just about everywhere in Key West? It took a bit getting used to, and you had to be careful while driving. (You can read about it here, it’s a fun article.)
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Then we grabbed ourselves a refreshing coconut drink and kept on walking until our feet were hurting and it was time to head back to the hotel. We saw Earnest Hemmingway’s home, but we didn’t stay for a tour.
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At 6 o’clock we went on a two hour sunset cruise which was a lot of fun (but very windy). We paid for dinner and unlimited drinks were included. Needless to say we where in a pretty great mood when we got back to land. We met several people who knew more about the Keys than us, and a lot of others who were only there for the drinks. Believe me, it’s pretty fun to see drunk people trying to walk straight on a moving boat.
sunset cruise

Second Day in Charleston

I can’t believe we got back to our hotel before 6 o’clock. We had already been exploring the city for about 7 hours and decided that it was time for a short break and change of clothes before going out to dinner later. When we drove downtown this morning we stumbled upon a Saturday market that we stopped by. There was everything from fresh produce to amazing artworks. We almost bought a couple of photographs that were really impressive, but we ended up just taking their business cards instead. We hardly have any space to hang it anyway. Later we shopped, relaxed in the park, and walked through a ton of city streets. The buildings here are unbelievably gorgeous and I took waaaay too many pictures of them and the streets in general.

And we walked along the beautiful Charleston bay (the battery). It was a very nice and sunny day.

We also caught the sunset just as we drove across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. Our hotel is just on the other side because it was about half the price of living downtown.