23 September 2011

Airboats at Night and Virginia Key

For my brother's birthday I bought us a nighttime airboat ride in the Everglades.  It was a fun experience and our guide was really great.  I am a bit critical when it comes to nature guides (since I am one myself) but this guy went way beyond my expectations and I even learned a thing or two.  Plus he was very accommodating with people on the boat.

We saw some nice gators on the ride, also cormorants and a Great Blue Heron.  The best part was when our guide turned the boat off and all the lights in the middle of the Glades.  As we sat there we could see distant fires burning (as forest fires spread across parts of the Everglades) and hear the cacophony of frogs.  It was very peaceful being out there, even with a boat full of people.

Actually the best part may have been going real fast on the airboat!  I did enjoy that as well and it was nice that my brother could join me for this little adventure.

My brother lives in South Carolina and doesn't have the chance to visit often so I always try to find new things for us to do.  On the following Sunday we woke up in Miami and headed out to Bill Baggs State Park.  After swimming and chilling on the beach we sought some refuge from the sun and heat by hitting up Jimbo's.  If you haven't been to Jimbo's then you haven't seen some real Florida.  It's a hodge podge of squatter camp, manatee viewing deck, cheap beer, bocce, artwork, photoshoots, run down vehicles and shacks, and all around great place to grab a few drinks.  Andy, Rosana, and Emily joined us for the day and we had some nice down time altogether.

From the dock you can see the Miami skyline, a huge contrast to the abandoned school bus and shacks scattered about the property.

It was the perfect way to end my mini weekend trip with my brother.  I hope he had as much fun as I did.  Certainly I'm looking forward to the next sibling reunion.

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