Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ft. Lauderdale

On our way to Peru last April, we had almost a 12 hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale.  We decided to get a car and explore the area. 

As our flight landed at 6:00 in the morning, the first order of business was breakfast.  We love trying local restaurants and dives, and we were frantically hungry when we saw this Waffle House.  We don’t have the Waffle House chain in Utah, so we decided to try it.  Apparently, there are quite a few of these on the east coast because as we walked inside, there was a sticker on the door that said “location 971”.   They cheerfully greeted us and showed us to a table.  The Waffle House was not super clean, and the food was far from healthy, but it filled our stomachs.

20140404_073734At breakfast we decided that we were going to take a drive out to the Everglades.  The Everglades are about a 45 minute drive from Ft. Lauderdale, and there are alligators there.  We don’t have alligators in Utah either, so we loaded into the car.

The Fort Lauderdale area is pretty easy to navigate and pretty and green {in the springtime, anyway}.  On the way to the Everglades, we drove past the new Ft. Lauderdale LDS Temple, which was cool. 

20140404_083008The Everglades are huge and have a large variety of plant and animal life.  Since we were limited in our time, we decided to visit Holiday Park.  Holiday Park is the location of the TV show Gator Boys.  I haven’t ever seen an episode, but apparently that’s the place.

fllholidayparkWhen we got there, we signed up for an airboat tour and chatted up some retirees who were fishing off the dock.

20140404_084703The airboat tour was really cool, and if you go to Holiday Park, it’s worth the money to do.  Not only did we see alligators, but we saw all kinds of cool birds and vegetation. 

20140404_095725 20140404_100136 20140404_100928 20140404_100929 20140404_100935 20140404_100941 20140404_101349 20140404_101414And we got to ride in the airboat.

After our tour, we got suckered into purchasing our touristy Airboat Tours picture {mostly because I thought my hair looked pretty good in it}

IMG_2057[1]and then we went to see a short show with the girl from Gator Boys.  She did some dangerous/dumb/cool tricks with some of the rescued gators, and then we paid more money to get our picture taken holding a gator.

So yes, in the end it was an expensive little place, but very cool.

20140404_12330620140404_12433020140404_124449After the Everglades, we went back to Ft. Lauderdale and drove around for a little bit.  We {of course} made a stop at the beach, where I learned that seashells in Ft. Lauderdale are thicker than seashells in Southern California.  Also cool.

After the beach, we found a Cuban restaurant, where the food was just so-so, and then went back to the airport to catch our flight. 

Despite the food, Ft. Lauderdale was nice.  Next trip will include more beach time, a trip to the temple, and more exploring.

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