Wednesday, March 5, 2014

From the Everglades to Miami to baseball

It has been hard to get a blog out since we have not had much in the way of Internet options lately.  So here is a bit of a recap of this past weeks activities and what is coming.

A must see is the Everglades National Park, I just have to say this again since it is so different from any other national park.  It was established as a means of protecting the environment and the animals here, not just because it had a big mountain or a deep canyon.  Check out both the Royal Palm area and the Flamingo area, which are very different from each other.  In the Royal Palm area you can see lots, lots of gators.. and birds.  The Flamingo area is more about the back country water way and the open sea.

After leaving the Everglades, we headed toward Homestead Fl., where it turns out there are some RV parks in among all the agricultural activity of the area.  A bit of online work ahead of time is important if you are coming during the snowbird season.  This year it is especially crowded, since the weather up and down the east coast has been horrible with cold and snow, forcing folks from Canada on down to stay longer.  We continue to hear that south Florida has really had no winter and that it is warmer with more bugs than normal for this time of year.

We checked out Biscayne National Park, which is small and had lost its concession for glass bottom boat tours earlier this year.  Darn! Park rangers offer classes on canoeing and kayaking on a regular basis for those who have never done this before.  We think we may try this next time we come here, since we did not arrive on the right day for a class.  So what did we see here- silver mullets jumping out of the water, a sting ray and crabs.  Another good National Park talk here to give us info on why this park exists- to protect the environment.  Across this big bay is Miami.

Miami is somewhere in the distance behind Fred

Bay at Biscayne Nat'l Park

Biscayne National Park

Our next day of exploring was to Miami Beach.  You know this from some of the tv cop shows that are filmed here. Many cruises leave from here, so you get to see a line of cruise ships as you start to arrive into Miami Beach.  Surprise to us, we arrived right at the end of a local run, so it was very crowded with few options for parking that we could see.  Fred happened to notice that the "no parking" ended in just 10 minutes of our driving along Ocean Blvd, so we grabbed a spot and waited for the minutes to tick by. We then went to sign up at the visitor center for a 2hour art deco walking tour, $30 for the 2 of us.  There are other tours offered in Miami Beach, so check it out.  This is billed as the American "Riviera" and it amazed us how much we actually liked it.  It had water, beach, beautiful or pretending to be beautiful people and sidewalk restaurants (some playing bad pop music even).  Word of warning though, hard to drive thru here and very hard to park. We will need to put more research into how to get around in this area.  We even talked of maybe renting a small car next time, which would make the whole Miami experience much easier to do.

Miami Beach Florida

Baseball spring training has now started in Florida.  We went to see the Houston Astros vs Florida Marlins game in Jupiter Fl.  Not an exciting game, but hey, its outside and 80+ degrees in the sun, what's not to like.
Roger Dean Stadium

We have relocated to Central Florida, Kissemmee area.  Today we went to another game, the Nationals vs Mets  in Vierna Fl, at Space Coast Stadium. Just love the name!  We are 20 mins away from Cape Canaveral, thus the name.  The Mets won 3-2.
Space Coast Stadium

Tomorrow we plan on spending the day visiting Cape Canaveral. Can not miss seeing where so much of our space history started!

 We have more baseball lined up over the next 10 days as we try to see more of the East coast teams in their spring training home grounds.

Stay tuned,
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!