Airboatin’ Through the Everglades

IMAG1281When I first moved to Florida from Chicago, I had a hard time finding activities to do outside of going to the beach. It’s not that there wasn’t anything to do, it was more that it wasn’t right at my fingertips. In Chicago, I was surrounded by architecture, museums, and tours galore. There never was a lack of places to go and things to see, especially when I had visitors.

Moving to Florida, I figured I would spend every weekend sitting by the ocean and reading novels. Well, it only takes one major sunburn to scare a girl away from the beach. After a few months of sitting by the window, peeking out between the blinds, waiting for something to happen, I vowed to explore what Florida has to offer.

This past weekend, I went on my very first Airboat ride through the Everglades. Thanks to Living Social, I found an awesome deal that basically made 4 tickets for the price of 1. My intentions were to use it while my family was visiting back in early March, but due to frigid Florida temps, we opted not to use it then. Since this was the last weekend to use it before it expired, it was now or never.

Danny and I grabbed our friends Jon and Michele and headed out to the Everglades. It was THE PERFECT weather; sunny with a nice breeze and not too humid. We signed in and while waiting for our tour, checked out the wildlife animal exhibit. They had huge turtles, iguanas, snakes, boars, alligators and some other crazy wildlife.

Thank goodness for the fence!

Thank goodness for the fence!

They had a baby alligator that you could hold. After watching tiny children hold the little guy, I worked up the courage to get in line.  The moment that he was passed to me, I felt the fear pass over me, resulting in the very awkward picture below. There also was a snake that you could take a picture with, a la Britney Spears, but for anyone who knows me and my extreme fear of snakes, this would have only resulted in something awful.

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The airboat ride portion was just as exciting. 30 seconds after leaving the dock, we spotted a gator before he ducked under water. Did you know that alligators can hold their breath for 2 hours? AND in cold water, they can hold their breath for up to 8 HOURS! Needless to say, after her went under water, we moved on.

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We glided through the sawgrass and made our way towards a 12 foot alligator. I could not believe how close we were able to get without the gator moving! Our captain said that he was probably just waiting for a “hand out” from our boat, but really? We were like two feet away! It felt like he could board our boat at any minute.

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All in all, the airboat ride was very entertaining.  I would highly recommend it to ANYONE looking to try something new. It would make a great family day/couples date/business outing or whatever you want to make it.

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