Monday, June 06, 2011

Florida Keys Adventure - Days 1 and 2

After an uneventful flight, we made our way from the Miami airport to our first adventure of the trip: Monkey Jungle. We wanted an activity that both I and our 21 month old would enjoy - and monkeys seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

As jungles go, Monkey Jungle is a pretty cool one. The highlight is the presence of small metal dishes hanging by chains throughout the park. You drop a little food into the dishes, and woosh, the monkeys pull up the chains to get their bounty. It's really quite fascinating to see.

Considering we were at a zoo a few weeks ago, this was a nice variation on the theme.

The main gotcha is that the place seems overprice for what you get. $30/per person for the thrill of observing primates seems a bit much. Still, we did have fun and our little guy was entertained, so I'd say Mission Accomplished.

Day 2 started with a small trip into the Everglades National Park to hike the short Anhinga Trail. Wow, that trail did not disappoint. We saw exotic birds, one seriously decked out grasshopper and alligators. Yes, alligators!! They were just lounging in the swamp a few feet below us. No doubt, eye'ing our little one as the perfect mid afternoon snack.

We made it out of there with only bug bites, and I definitely got a most excellent appreciation for the Everglades.

To Shira's credit, she put up with even more hiking after that experience. We made our way to Key Largo and the Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park. There, we did another few miles of hiking among a variety of ecosystems. We seemed to have the park completely to ourselves, which was also a treat.

We then made our way to our hotel and then to the beach. The water was absolutely, 100% perfect. I can't recall the last time I went swimming in such perfect conditions. We splashed around, and tried out my new Aquapac case for my Android G2. Shira actually ended up using her MyTouch 4G in it, and it worked quite well. As promised, the phone stayed totally dry, even when fully submerged, and I was able to capture both photos and video. The audio on the video isn't great, and the picture quality isn't perfect - but as a beach camera, it did great.

We finished up the evening with dinner at the Bayside Grill. The restaurant overlooks the water, and while we didn't catch a sunset there, I'm sure it would be the perfect place to watch one. The food was good - nothing too fancy, which is excatly what we were looking for.

Tomorrow we head down to Key West. And our adventure continues!

Photos for Day 1. Photos for Day 2.

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