Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Everglades Holiday Park

While mom was here at the beginning of September we did a lot of cleaning, unpacking, and shopping, but we were able to fit in a couple adventures as well.  One of the things on both our bucket lists was taking an air boat ride through the Everglades.  It felt only fitting for our first adventure to be specific to Florida...hanging out with gators!

The Everglades Holiday Park is located in Broward County and is called the "Gateway to the Everglades."  It's a 29-acre park and offers an air boat ride, gator wrestling show courtesy of the Gator Boys, boat docks and ramps, places for fishing, and even campgrounds, although who would want to camp in gator central is beyond me.

Call me childish, but I thought the wording in these signs were quite humorous.  I mean seriously, not a good enough reason to use the word molest!

When we arrived at the park, we immediately bought our tickets for the air boat ride and were very happy that even Daxton could go on it.  I had researched several different spots for air boat rides and all of them had said riders had to be at least 4 years in age.  I think the main difference is that these air boats had a roof covering instead of completely open.

 Daxton had to wear an annoying life vest which he wasn't a fan of, but he was just happy to sit on daddy's lap.  I love how serious he can be at times!
Daxton was pretty excited when we started to move, but none of us realized how loud an air boat's motor was going to be.  Dallas immediately put Daxton on the seat next to him so he could use both hands to cover Daxton's ears.  After a few minutes we noticed that Daxton's eyes were starting to close.  The vibration and noise of the air boat put him right to sleep.  Thank heavens Dallas was there to hold him for the entire hour tour through the Everglades!  His arms were burning by the end.

At one point our guide stopped among the plants and within minutes the most beautiful birds had jumped on board.  They sat right next to me as the guide fed them pieces of popcorn.  It was pretty awesome and they were absolutely gorgeous!  I wish I remembered the name of them.

The Everglades did not disappoint.
I was in awe of the amazingly beautiful scenery.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from our air boat tour...

Our first alligator sighting!

Family pictures after our first air boat ride (Daxton had just woken from his nap, so don't mind his stink eye.)

After the air boat ride, our group went to the gator wrestling show.  The gator wrestling is put on by the "Gator Boys" from the TV show on Animal Planet called none other than the "Gator Boys."  The day we went Ashley was the one in charge of wrestling.  I have to admit that I was quite impressed with her.  She's tiny, maybe a little over 5 feet, and to watch her handle a gator was pretty cool.

After the gator wrestling show, they brought out a baby gator for everyone to touch and take pictures with if they wanted.  It was so much fun to see how excited Daxton got while feeling the baby gator.  He kept reaching out to hold the gator's hand.

It was such a hot and humid day that we were dripping sweat by the end of our adventure.  It was all we could do to sit in the shade and wait for Dallas to bring back water for us!  It has been fun seeing Daxton's curls come through with all the humidity though.

We couldn't leave before tasting their famous Gator bites.  They were deep fried, so they tasted pretty much like a chicken nugget, just a little tougher to chew.

Driving home from the Everglades Holiday Park, we were able to get a good look at the new temple in Westin.  It's so exciting to know that a temple will be only about 20 minutes away from us when it opens in January.
All in all, it was a wonderful day, even if we did melt in the process!

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