Monday, January 9, 2012

Xmas and New Year's (2011-2012)

Was at my wife's place for most of the winter break, but for the holidays we decided to make a road trip down to Florida.

Haven't really visited many national parks in the past year, so this trip down to Florida was very refreshing.  Among the National Park Service (NPS) units visited were

(1)  De Soto National Memorial - hear about the conquistador's life and how his mission failed, big time
(2)  Big Cypress National Preserve - it's creation was more a political issue, and it will always be dwarfed by its bordering Everglades NP
(3)  Everglades National Park - alligators, birds, manatees, mangroves, and (in the summer) mosquitoes.  Winter really is the best time to visit   
(4)  Biscayne National Park - 95% underwater.  good visitor center, horrible boat concessionaire.  go to John Pennekemp State Park instead. 
(5)  Dry Tortugas National Park - for the dedicated national park visitor.  2.5 hr boat ride (one way) departing from Key West @ 8am.  Breakfast and lunch provided on boat, but the whole trip is $$$..    
(6)  Ninety-Six Historical Site - for the really devoted NPS visitor.  Historical site of a battle during American Revolution.

Of course, other things and places along the way:
(1)  Crystal River, swimming with manatees (海牛)
(2)  John Pennekemp State Park - excellent place for snorkeling trips
(3)  New Year's Fireworks @ Key Largo.  Great celebration without the ridiculous crowds of Miami and Key West.
(4)  strolling the beaches and streets of Miami Beach
(5)  exotic fruits at Robert is Here .  Did I also mention their great smoothies/shakes and animals in their backyard?
(6)  key lime pie @ Key West.  Cheesy (pun not intended)? probably....  Tastes good?  Absolutely.
(7)  seafood @ Key West.   Hard to go wrong...
(8)  visiting long time family friend.  Last time meeting them was in 1997.  Found their contact through the white pages.  At least one good thing that comes out of putting your contact on the web.    
(9)  Redneck museum (seriously??)  @ Laurens, SC.   KKK memorabilia.  Closed on the day of visitation.  Probably would be threatened with a shotgun by owner if store was actually open.
(10)  Billy Graham Library @ Charlotte.  Display of the superstar preacher's life.  Free admission, why not?    

This will do for now.  Rain check for later blog entries.


Anonymous said...

happy new year!



Deadlockcp said...

去Biscayne最好是要去玩水,不然去了白去,只有一個visitor center。


Dry Tortugas,除非真的有錢有閒,不然就是熱血的國家公園遊客。去Dry Tortugas可以不玩水,只看Fort Jefferson,但旁邊就是天藍色的海水,不玩實在是太可惜了。要玩的話,小心水母 :)

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