Florida Vacation Part 4

Florida Vacation Part 4 – Everglades & Key West

We next headed to the Everglades (possibly Key West first, can’t remember the order). The land was very flat with lots of water on all sides. As we were getting close to the entrance to the park we saw a rattlesnake by the side of the road. Dave and I took out our simple cameras and took a picture of it coiled and looking at us. We teased Dad because by the time he got his camera out, checked the light, adjusted and focused his camera, the snake was slithering away.

We told the park ranger about it a few minutes later and he asked if we had gotten out of the car. We said of course not. He said you never know what people are going to do. Last week a guy with a new close up lens had tried it out on a rattlesnake and gotten within a few inches of it to take the picture. Not surprisingly, the snake bit him.

Along the road at one point was a sign. There was a little lump in the marsh a few feet high. The sign said it was the highest point in the Everglades. We also went on a fan boat, a flat bottomed boat with a giant fan on the back and went flying through the marshes. There were also raised wooden walkways through different terrain. It was fascinating because it was the first time I had seen tropical plants. Also, since I collected butterflies, there were a number that I knew of but had never seen before. Being a park however, I couldn’t catch any. I did add to my collection elsewhere in Florida.

Then we went to Key West. It is something like a 30 mile bridge to get there, but really it is a series of bridges from one key to another until you get to Key West. I remember just a few things from Key West, one a bit dumb. We took a tour bus of the town. At one point the guide pointed to a fairly small house and said the house had 7 kitchens. He paused and we were all trying to comprehend how this would work when he said, “Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Kitchen and 5 little Kitchens”  Dumb, but I remember it 40+ years later. Then we split up. Dad took Dave and me to a small local aquarium. Mom wanted to go see the factory where they did the silk screening for Lilly Pulitzer clothes. She said it was a fascinating tour showing how they did the silk screening process. Being older now, I wish I had seen that instead.

From here we headed up the West Coast of Florida. Not sure where it was but we saw the place they had trained dolphins used in Flipper. We also saw Tarpon Springs and Weeki Wachi. Not sure what else we saw on the West Coast. Details coming in the next installment.