Saturday, July 25, 2015

Aaron and Yolanda Visit--Everglades Alligator Farm

Our next day of adventures with Aaron and Yolanda was spent at the Everglades Alligator Farm.  This place had quickly become a staple in our go-to touring options for guests.  It's located all the way down in Homestead (about an hours drive south of where we live) but we think it's totally worth it!  No where else we've found has made the fan boat ride so thrilling.  It's the only place that has the top off, headphones supplied, and does multiple 360 turns throughout the ride.  It's also located thick in the Everglades so we always see wild gators.  Since it was the weekend, there were more people than we had planned on, but we still had a blast, especially this reptile-loving toddler.

Climbing on the wooden alligator bench

Checking out some of the other exhibits...
Florida panther, turtles, fish, an owl, a couple different types of crocodiles and LOTS of alligators.

He loved watching all the fish swimming around the turtles.

He also loved saying hi to the large crocodile.

Looking into the alligator breeding pond...
So many gators!

Before our fan boat ride, we were able to catch the snake show.  They introduced us to several different snakes local to the Florida everglades.  Even though the python is not indigenous to the Florida everglades, it is slowly taking over large areas  due to illegal pet importing and illegal release into the wild.  Yolanda and I were both excited to get to hold one for a quick picture.

Since Gracie is less than a year old, I offered to stay back and watch her while everyone else rode the fan boat.  I had been on it so many times and knew I'd be going on it again soon.  Aaron and Yolanda ended up riding in the front row (perfect for getting the most water) while Daxton and Dallas sat directly behind them.

I loved seeing how happy this little guy was as the fan boat returned.  He obviously had a great time with daddy!

Daxton was super excited to tell me all about the fan boat ride.

We had a little time to kill before the Alligator wrestling show, so we had some fun exploring some of the different exhibits, including the reptile house and numerous baby alligator pits.

Posing in front of "Grandpa"
Not that was a BIG gator!

They also had lots of different tropical birds to look at.  I couldn't help but snap some cute pics of gorgeous Gracie giving her momma some loves.

Daxton had a blast throwing little rocks into the breeding pond.  As we were circling the area there were several gators resting right next to the chain link fence.  Daxton kept trying to reach his fingers through to touch them.  Needless to say we had to have a long talk about the necessity to never touch gators, unless they're babies and mom or dad are holding them.  He's a bit too comfortable with these things!

Loving on sweet little Gracie!

We loved watching the alligator wrestling show, but I had my arms full with Daxton so I didn't end up taking any pictures.  Aaron and Yolanda were able to get a quick pick holding a baby gator after the show to finish off our adventures at Everglades Alligator Farm.

To follow tradition, after the alligator farm we stopped at the Robert Is Here farmers market.  We bought lots of different yummy fresh tropical fruit, homemade guacamole, salsa, and chips, and other yummy goodies for the road.  We also each got a fresh fruit smoothie to tide us over until dinner.
It was another awesome day with Aaron, Yolanda, and Gracie!

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