Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Caribbean Cruise Blog Day 8

Cruiser’s Log, Day 8 (1/16/10)

Well, it’s all over now! Sniff! We woke up docked at Miami. We got ready, finished packing, and went down to our final meal in the “Garden Café.” We said goodbye to Garry and took his picture. Then we gathered up our things and went down to the “Starlight Theater.” We got stickers to identify us as being on a tour. Then we went out to deck seven and headed out. We walked forever until we got to the baggage (we had sent out two of our bags last night) area and collected our bags and headed to customs. That was a joke because they didn’t even look at my birth certificate. He took our customs forms and asked where we were born and what we were bringing back with us. We mentioned a few items and he said okay, and sent us on. When we left the “terminal,” someone directed us to a tour bus. They loaded our luggage on and we got on and headed to the Everglades.

Scott had been wishing we hadn’t signed up for the Everglades tour, but I am glad we did. For one, I enjoyed it. For two, it sort of extended our vacation past the ship and made the letdown a bit easier.

All along the bus tour, the tour guide talked about Florida and Miami and the Everglades. Not sure I retained much of that info as long as it took me to hear it! When we got to the Everglades Safari Park, we were ushered to a fan boat. Our guide was a comedian. He introduced himself as the janitor and said that his boss wanted him to drive today and that he hoped he could do it and would watch what the other guy did to make sure he was doing it right. We went past a small island at the beginning that had 3 alligators on it, really close to my side of the boat! We rode the boat for a while and saw lots of birds. When we were almost back to the beginning area, we saw four more alligators. After the boat ride, we went through a small museum, which basically had aquariums with snakes, lizards, and turtles in them. Then we went to an alligator show. There were six alligators behind a fence and the guide went in and fed them and showed us different features. It was pretty entertaining how they had different personalities and how they reacted to petting and being fed, etc. At the end, the guide brought out a two-year old alligator that was two feet long. Then we walked around a pond and saw many alligators and species of crocodiles. I didn’t know that Florida is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together in nature. They said there are a 1.5 million alligators in the Everglades now. We saw 39 total today. The one thing I can't figure out is why they serve alligator meat in their restaurant if they are all about conservation. Makes me wonder how that gator met his end!

We ran into a guy from Wichita in the parking lot. What a small world. We loaded up and headed to the Miami airport. Our flight isn’t until 6am tomorrow, so we found a hotel that had a shuttle service. We were picked up and taken to the Fairfield Inn and took advantage of the free wi-fi and got caught up on our Facebook. We really wanted a burger, but everything was a little farther than I wanted to walk, so we ordered pizza and all the trimmings and camped out. It will be early to bed tonight as our shuttle will head out at 4am! Just vegging out, watching TV and playing on the internet. We were talking about how well we did without internet access while we were gone, but I teased that as soon as we had free wi-fi at the hotel in Miami we pretty much ignored each other the rest of the day. Scott said, "well, no, I sent you an instant message!" Apparently, it was too much trouble to turn around and talk to me! Ha, ha!

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