The second day of our vacation we headed to Everglade National Park. I believe life is made up of experiences and instead of presents I try to give my son experiences. I want to teach through hands on experience as much as I can.
I have been to the everglades once before and absolutely loved it. I booked an airboat tour to go out into the mangrove tunnels. A storm hit just as we were supposed to go out so we had to put it off for several hours. We went and toured the area in the rain and stopped for some soft shell crab and gator for lunch.
While we were waiting on our airboat ride, we got to hold a baby alligator. My son took such a liking to the alligator lady that he started following her around asking tons of questions. She seemed amused and accomodating, so I let him. She invited him to help her catch crabs to feed the baby alligators. They walked through the trees and she showed him how the crabs climbed up into them when the tide is high. They took a bucket and a stick and knocked them into the bucket to avoid being pinched. Then they dumped the crabs into the holding tank. It was fun to watch the baby alligators attack the crabs.
When we finally got on the airboat the skies cleared up. A pelican flew down and landed on our boat. We saw alligators that approached the boat several times and once raccoons rushed out to see us. The captain gave him some snacks. The boat zipping through the mangrove tunnels was my favorite part. Then, right towards the end, the captain grabbed my son and asked if he would like to sit in the captains chair. I thought it was a photo opp. He actually ended up letting my son drive the boat for quite a ways. It was an amazing experience.
Tired from the heat and humidity, we drove to Cape Coral for the evening. My sons aunt took him to play for the night so I got to go try Cuban food for the first time. I’ve never had it because there is none in Kansas City. I loved it!