Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wen Family's Visit

One of the things I've loved about living in Fort Lauderdale is it's right next to the cruise line ports.  We've been able to meet up with several different families whom were leaving on cruises out of Fort Lauderdale.  We were super excited when Dallas's former boss and good friend, Don, called letting us know they'd be coming for a cruise out of our port.  We got home from our travels back west a couple days before they got back from their cruise so it worked out perfectly.  Dallas was able to visit with Don's family when we were in San Francisco in July, but Daxton was running a fever the night we were supposed to meet up so I ended up staying at the hotel (with a screaming toddler) instead.  I was so glad that they were coming the following month so we could catch up and see their gorgeous family.

They only had a few hours from when they debarked their cruise boat to when their plane left, so we wanted to make sure we packed in some fun for them.  We decided to take them to the Everglades Holiday Park since it's the closest airboat tour.  I've been a little nervous to take friends back there since you don't always get to see alligators on the tour.  Out of the 4 times we have gone 2 of those visits we didn't see any alligators.  Not the best odds.  True there is always an alligator wrestling show and chances to hold alligators afterwards, but seeing them in the wild makes all the difference.  We lucked out with the Wen family, because we were able to see several different gators on our airboat tour.

Posing while waiting for our tour...

Ethan and Daxton became quick friends and loved watching all the airboats depart.

We brought suckers for the kids since it's an hour nature tour.  The noise of the fan boat is quite loud, but we've noticed that if Daxton is sucking or eating something he is distracted from the noise.  We were able to see several different fish, birds,  and flowers.
Yes, our child is reaching over the side of the boat, don't worry I was holding him and I made sure no gators were around.

I love his silly cheeser grin in the picture below.  This kids loves looking for gators!  He's been asking about fan boats for weeks now.

The everglades are absolutely stunning.
I love the bright greens contrasted with the blue sky.  Being on an airboat is so much fun.  I love gliding across the top of the water.

Like I mentioned above, we really lucked out!  We were able to see several different gators and each of them swam right next to our boat.  The guides are really good about facing the boat both directions so that no matter what side you're on, you get great shots of the wildlife.

On of my favorite gator shots from the day...
It's still so intimidating watching their massive bodies slowly slip away under the water.  All of a sudden they have disappeared and yet you know they're still there...creepy!

Our tour guide stopped at a really cool little spot where lots of brightly colored birds came onto the boat.  He fed them little pieces of popcorn and talked about their life cycle and habits.  Daxton loved being so close to them and watching them jump from stick to stick.

My silly monkey and me

After our tour we went to the alligator wrestling show put on by the gator boys, but we had seen it so many times and there was a bigger crowd that I didn't even end up getting a picture.  Instead I was laughing hysterically at these two crazies in the back.  Ethan and Daxton thought it was super funny to show each other their belly buttons.  They would pole their own belly button and then the other would start laughing loudly and vice versa.  Then they started to run in circles around the poles till the show was finished.

Daxton loves those gators!

After the show each of Don's children got pictures with baby alligators, a must-do if you ever visit Florida!
After our adventures at the Everglades Holiday Park, we all went out to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays before dropping everyone back off at the airport.  It was a very quick morning, but SO fun to see their fun family.  
Thanks so much for squeezing in some time to drop by, Wen family!  It was so good to see you all and catch up.  Hopefully we will be able to do it again sooner rather than later!

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