We rung in the New Year in Flamingo campground in the Everglades. After visiting the Okefenokee swamp and Big Cypress National Preserve, the Everglades was more of the same. Not to say that we were sick of the wildlife or scenery but we knew we would not want to spend more than a few days there and to confirm this, it had rained recently and the mosquitoes were awful.
During our stay in Flamingo we did a free guided canoe trip in the park and it was lovely-no wildlife but beautiful mangroves. Joe took some great photos of Osprey as there was a nesting pair in the campground and we also saw a crocodile. The Everglades is the only place in the world where you can see both gators and crocs!
On January 4th we drove down to the Florida Keys, which was a lovely drive once we got past all the litter and cheap souvenir shops. We could not book accommodation at any of the campgrounds as they were booked solid-busy time of year so we stayed overnight at a Home Depot and then raced back to Cape Canaveral to see a rocket launch. A M A Z I N G! We had to wake up at 4am but it was so worth it. We could see lights across the water at Cape Canaveral and then right on time we started to see a bright light that expanded into a semi-circular glow and from that glow the rocket emerged. The sky lit up and from our vantage point we had a great reflection of the rocket in the water, then about 10 seconds later we heard the rocket and felt the vibration in the truck, whoa!
While waiting for the new starter motor to arrive for the truck we also had time to go snorkeling with the manatees in Crystal River. We had seen the manatees once before but this time we saw them being more interactive with each other. Many people say how unattractive the manatees are but we find them absolutely lovely, so docile and graceful.
Please click here if you would like to see our January album on Flickr.