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Old 13 Dec 18, 10:04 PM  
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Join Date: Apr 15
Our 'one last time' trip- October 2018 - Day Eight - Wild Florida

Firstly sorry for the delay in posting this! Work & Uni have been crazy lately add that in with school christmas fairs, plays and craft mornings and most of December so far has been a blur! Dan is working nights this week so finally have an hour or so to add some days up

My alarm woke me at 8 today! I got up and got ready for the day. We had an airboat ride booked at Wild Florida for 11.30 and needed to check in for 11. We had been here before in 2014, and had originally wanted to drive down to the everglades for an overnight stay to do an airboat ride on this trip but when I was planning I realised we just weren’t going to squeeze it in and the kids don’t remember our last trip here anyway.

The kids got up about 8.30 and Dan got up about 9. Ellie had Oreo O’s for breakfast and me and Leah had a cereal bar. We left at 10.10 and put the address in the Sat Nav. It was an easy enough route to get there, some of the houses on the way were beautiful could definitely see myself living in one of the little towns on the way!

We arrived bang on time at a few minutes to 11. We checked and were told we had to be at the boat dock for 11.15 so we used the extra time for a toilet stop so we had no emergency’s on the airboat! Then we headed to the boat dock and I topped the girls up with suncream and took some photos.

Groups were called one by one and there was about 12 to a boat. We were with another family of 4 who sat behind and a couple who sat in the front. We were the middle row. Our driver was called Mark and he was very knowledgeable about the area.

We drove for about 10 minutes before we stopped and saw a 7 foot female alligator. Mark stopped the boat and let us all take pictures and have a good look before we set off again.

Next we saw a group of babies, they looked so cute! He said the mother would be around somewhere but we couldn’t see her.

Apparently once they are 3 they live in solitude but up until then stay with their mother. We headed back out into the open lake then and saw some big alligators swimming just ahead of the boat. I loved our airboat ride and would definitely do an hour next time. The kids loved it as well despite the speed and noise.

When we got back to the dock we got off and tipped our driver. Dan then headed to get the picnic from the car as there were some picnic benches right outside. Me and the girls sat and waited for him and there were a few peacocks wandering around – they were obviously used to people as they weren’t intimidated by us at all. I think they would have eaten Leah’s sandwiches out of her hand if they ‘d had half a chance!

After we had finished we put the picnic bag back in the car to save carrying it around and headed into the Wildlife Park. We had a few pictures taken on the way in.

Once we were in we saw the macaws first – my favourite. They are the most beautiful bird and I would love one one day! They also had a florida panther which was interesting to see.

Next we wanted to see some more alligators so headed into the lake. There were loads and people were feeding them so they were gathering together under the bridge. It was pretty scary to see so many dinosaur like creatures all together! We spotted a little terrapin in the lake too – he was definitely braver than me.

Opposite the alligator lake was hawk swamp so we walked through, Leah wanted to see an otter but I’m sure they scared them all away if there was any. We could hear so many birds though and it was lovely to feel so far away from anything.

Once we’d finished we let the kids play on the playground for a bit, until Leah needed the toilet so we set off again. We found them just round the corner and after she’d been we carried on walking and found the zebras and foxes. Next we walked through all the different countries where they had the local snakes, birds and other small animals. I remember walking through here with Leah back in 2014, she has grown just a bit!

2014 and 2018 - it's mad how much they grow and change in just 4 years!

Once we were done here we grabbed an ice cream from the front. Me and Dan shared a mint cone, Ellie got a watermelon one and Leah got blue Hawaiian coconut. They were all swirled with vanilla and were huge! None of us managed to finish one!

While we were eating we headed to the show area so we could watch the exotic animal show. The guide here was excellent. The first animal was a snake, Ellie really took everything in and after we left she said we shouldn’t hurt snakes because that man really likes them. He described them as a form of pet control as they mainly eat rodents. The second animal was a dwarf caiman. He was so cute! Finally, they brought out fluffy the alligator he talked about humans feeding alligators and how if they do they become desensitised to humans – meaning they are more likely to attack despite humans not being prey of the alligator. If they are marked as a ‘nuisance’ alligator then the state euthanise them or they are taken in by a conservation project such as Wild Florida. They explained that all the alligators they have here are ‘nuisance’ alligators. This made me feel slightly better about being there as where possible I don’t like seeing animals in cages.

Anyway, after this we were invited to hold fluffy. Again, I’m not sure how I feel about this, taping an alligators mouth up so people can hold him. Even if the alternative for him was death. But, the kids wanted to do it so we let them. The photo was too cute not to get so we headed to purchase it. It was 25 dollars for one or 45.38 for them all on a USB. We ended up getting them all although we didn’t need them. But they wouldn’t let you take any pictures with your own camera so they were the only ones we had of the girls holding him.

We couldn’t download them for another 24-48 hours. I was impatiently refreshing when we got home but no luck yet!

Once we’d brought our photos I started to feel ill, I don’t know why I felt sick and dizzy so decided to head back as we wanted to pop into I-Drive outlets again. In the car on the way me and Ellie slept, but luckily I felt a bit better when we woke up.

We headed into Disney first and Ellie brought a pack of tsum tsum pins for $14.99 and a frozen mystery pack for $6.99.

Leah got a mystery pack and a pack of five pins for £9.99.

We also grabbed a spare autograph book as they were $3.99.

Dan popped into Levi’s then while we waited outside and got his dad 3 pairs for $117. Then we were back in the car and on route to Target. We grabbed a few essentials milk, bread, wipes, garlic bread and Ellie wanted some lego so she got a Rapunzel set for $19.99.

Then we headed back to the villa and cooked some pizza and garlic bread. We bathed the kids and they were in bed by 7.30 as we had an earlier start tomorrow. We were heading back to Disney! I did a hit workout before bed and we watched family feud before heading to bed around 10.

Steps – 6,533 (4.5km)
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Old 18 Dec 18, 03:46 PM  
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Join Date: Dec 11
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Wild Florida sounds fab, we had free tickets for it I think but we couldn't fit it in, wish we had now. Those peacocks look lovely! How pretty.

Fab pictures.

Wow there was a lot of alligators wasn't there, I'd be a bit spooked being that close to them

How brave of the girls to hold the alligator, not sure I could have done that. I see what you mean though and I'm not sure how I feel about it either.

Another fab day and those pins were a bargain! xx
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Old 21 Jan 19, 02:09 PM  
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Join Date: Apr 15
Location: South Wales

Wild Florida looks brilliant. I agree about not liking them taping the alligator for the photos (but I guess as they charge for the photos they see it as an opportunity to make money which goes towards the conservation)

Such a shame you felt ill, I think it gets exhausting around the middle of the holiday though, all that walking and hear catches up with me for sure 😀
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