summer adventures ’12 part 5: all the pancakes you can make/eat

That line got me in the door at the Everglades International Hostel. What an incredible place! With a treehouse, a waterfall in the garden, pianos in the gazebo and the Internet room, it had a little something for everyone. I met a ton of cool people…Vanessa and Stephanie from France, the couple from Switzerland, and Larry from Key West, among others. It is the type of place that restores your faith in humanity. Several of the other guests were refugees from the Flamingo campground. Apparently I was the only one of us who actually made it a full night there! I guess that makes me a bad-ass. Oh, and the unlimited pancake mix was pretty killer.

Then it was back in the car for the drive down to Key West. What a gorgeous drive! The weather was perfect. I now have a pretty rocking drivers tan…

By 1:30 or so I was in Key West. I was shown to my perfectly appointed room. Complete with complimentary wine! I met up with Derek for a bike tour of the island. I basically have my bearings and am set to explore!

Travel days are always draining. I headed out for dinner (a burger and a mojito after four days of camp food hit the spot), and then home for reading and an early bedtime. Tomorrow Derek, Eric, and I are going sailing!



summer adventures ’12 part 4: last day in the Everglades

Another day, too tired to write right now. To remember: slogging, postcards, pool, mosquitoes, hostel, sleeping well!






summer adventures ’12 part 3: explorations

Today was a busy day, and I think I am too tired to write it all down, but I wanted to get a few things down.

I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, got some starbucks, gassed up, and was back in the park around noon. I had a great conversation with the ranger at the desk, and then finally watched the park video. It was a little hokey, but it introduced me to Cyprus Domes (when a low depression fills with water and can support the Cyprus trees). I have a good line on one I may walk out to tomorrow and explore, though I will need to get some mosquito netting first!

There was a ranger talk at Royal Palm that I went to next. It was well attended by a great group: a couple from England, a family from Georgia, two backpackers, and myself. Right off the boardwalk there were two alligators, and I got tons of great pics.

Next I went to Pa-hay-okee overlook. I was super excited, until I got there and realized that it wasn’t the Shark Valley Observation Tower like I thought it was.

I returned to Flamingo Marina and took the Florida Bay Cruise. It was fairly uneventful, though there was a great family of ospreys. There was a pair of dolphins playing one we got out far enough, but they were very camera shy. Hopefully I’ll have a few good ones.

Then, it was back to the hotel for a shower, postcard writing, blogging, social media updating, family guy, and bed. Tomorrow I move to the Everglades Hostel, and Sunday to Key West!