02 January, 2012

Florida Connection - Davie

Before Crazy-Man Greg does his supreme feats of running, we'll be puttering around the state.  Heading south from Orlando, the first destination is the Davie/Fort Lauderdale area.  The last time I was here, we were visiting Chad and Angie.  The trip was loads of fun and over much too quickly.  They've moved to Texas, so I won't get to see them this time, but everything we're doing brings back fond memories of the last trip.  (In fact, at Disney, I kept telling Greg that we'd be on this ride or another one with them.  It seems that many of the rides are similar to ones at Universal - hence my confusion, since Greg assures me that we've never been to Disney Hollywood before this trip.)
Instead of doing Billie's Airboat tour of the Everglades, this time we went on a Lion Safari.  I know!  I couldn't believe we were going on safari in the middle of Florida either!  It was pretty tame (sitting inside the car, driving through an animal park - and all the dangerous ones (the lions) had extra fences between us and them), but we got to see lots of animals and Greg took bucket-loads of pictures.  Before we even started the tour, we got to watch a mama turtle laying eggs and burying them.  Greg notified someone at the park, since the new nest is beneath a picnic table.
I love road-trips in the Lower 48.  Lots more than two directions to go, and six general destinations.  When we were talking about where to go, Greg mentioned one area and said it might be too far away.  But on examination, the distance there is less than what we drive to get to Squirrel Creek (we go there camping almost every year) or Fairbanks (some 350+ miles north).  So it'll take a couple hours - that's nothing  more (and certainly less, sometimes) than what we've done back home.  We also don't have rest stops.  I mean, there are gas stations where you can get out, stretch, use the restroom, and get snacks, but nothing as elaborate as the rest stations here in Florida. (Our other rest stops are just paved parking lots with outhouses at one end - at least I don't have to pee on the side of the road, I suppose.)  There are all kinds of amenities, including a windshield washer - which is really just a spray of water so you can use your wipers to clean off extra bugs.  (I guess so you don't have to use windshield wiper fluid?)  I think it's pretty spiffy - if only other drivers would be a little more courteous, so when someone is trying to leave they'd let us out of our parking spot.  Oh well.  What's an extra 15 minutes when you're on vacation anyway, right?
I'm really enjoying the weather right now.  The last two days have been in the 70s, and weather back home has slipped to the zero (and below) region.  I'm hoping it warms up before we get home again, otherwise I'm going to be miserable.  But that's a worry for later.  I've got days and days until I'll let myself worry about that...  I love that there are still blooming flowers and green vegetation here.  I won't see that back home until May or June.
Last stop before dinner was to Wolf Lake in Davie.  Greg wanted to get in a run, and that was a gorgeous place to get it done.  Tomorrow we're off to see they Coral Castle and the Keys.  Another long day in the car, but lots of fun things to see.

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