A Day in the Everglades

Me relaxing during my weekend in the Everglades

One of the locals. See ya later, Alligator

A place to rent an airboat in the Everglades

Sitting in the Florida sun

My nephew & I boating through the Everglades

An Alligator and his human assistant perform

A face-off

What big teeth you've got

My nephew and I say hello to the Alligator's sidekick

Me, my nephew and some Alligators

It's always nice to scratch one more thing off your Bucket-List. I did just that on my trip to Florida; Specifically, to the Everglades. I've always wanted to visit the Everglades and I've long had a desire to see a live alligator in its natural habitat. So one day, I got to do both.

I went down to Florida to spend the weekend (my birthday weekend) in a Buddhist retreat. I spent a nice peaceful, relaxing weekend meditating, chanting and gettting in touch with myself. There was a nice lake near the retreat and I was informed that there were actual alligators within. This was very exciting to me because, as I said, I have always wanted to see one that wasn't in captivity. I hung around near the lake as often as I could during the weekend and I never once saw hide or scale of a gator.

When Monday came, it was time to leave but I wasn't quite ready to go back to New York just yet. I spent the day with my brother, my sister-in-law, and my little nephew. It was good to see family again. We had lunch and I played games with my nephew and I had a nice day. But there was one thing I still had to do. I hadn't seen a gator yet and I was bound and determined to see one before I left. Florida is supposed to be full of gators. So where were they? I asked my brother, seeing as he is a native Floridian. I figured he'd know. He told me that if I wanted to see Alligators, we should take a boat tour of the Everglades. Seeing as I've wanted to visit the Everglades for years, I was quick to latch onto this suggestion.

So we drove to the Everglades and chartered an airboat for a tour of the watery wilds where the gators dwell. I don't know who was more excited: my 3-year old nephew or me. I was just like a kid waiting to go to the amusment park.

Off we went, speeding through the swampy waters and tall reeds, in a search for any local alligators who were obliging enough to remain on the shore or surface for me to see. We'd barely started when I saw my first real, live, free gator. It was a little one (4 feet the tour guide said) but I was thrilled. I'd seen a wild alligator!

Soon we came across a king-sized gator laying on the banks,and the boat slowed to give us a closer look at the scaled specimen. It basically ignored us. I'm sure by now it was used to these annoying humans and their noisy boats tresspassing into their private aquatic homestead. We hung around for a while as the tourguide filled us in on some gator facts (I had no idea they could run 30 miles-per-hour on land) until my little nephew got impatient. He was bored with this gator and wanted to see others. The tour guide obliged and we sped off to find more.

Overall, I saw a half-dozen gators during the one-hour tour. The biggest one was 9-feet, and I was informed by the tour guide that the locals called the big fellow "Bob", which was amusing to me, because Bob is my nickname.

After the tour ended, we stopped for a brief gator show, where a young fellow handled some gators and showed us how easy you can hold a gator's mouth closed. The hard part is getting it open once it's latched onto you. My brave little nephew wanted to go down into the gator pit and play with the big beasts. He was so disappointed when we told him he couldn't.

The gator show ended and it was time to head to the airport for my flight back to NY. I returned to NY in a much better mood than I left it in. Between my calming weekend in the Buddhist retreat and my long-awaited experience with alligators in the Everglades, I was feeling better than I'd felt for months.

So that was the story of my birthday weekend and my day in the Everglades.

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Comments 15 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Great hub....great photos....especially the one with trainer's chin resting on the gator's mouth...my four year old really got a kick out of that photo...I am sure you will always remember that "Bob"..congrats on checking something off your bucket list...two votes up!

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Very interesting read, thank you. And a happy birthday, glad it was fun!

Love and peace


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Cogerson; I'm so glad your little one got a kick out of my photos. I'll definitely remember "Bob".

Hi Tonymac; It was a fun birthday weekend. Thanks.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I really enjoy your weekend report. Wow.. it must be wonderful moment. I liked all the pictures of you. Thanks for writing this. God bless you. I hope you always healthy and success.

love and peace,

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello prasetio;

It was a wonderful day. Thanks for reading and commenting;



PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Living in the Keys growing up we saw our share of gators, sawgrass and palm trees. This hub brought back nice memories of those days. We often went fishing near Flamingo Key with my uncle Casey Jones when snapper, snook and grouper were plentiful. Great times.

Happy b-day to you and glad you had this experience.

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you, Peg. I appreciate the good wishes and the comments.



Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Happy Birthday and you cargtainly had a great day. Thank you for sharing.

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you very much, HH.

JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 5 years ago from Midwest

You should've gone golfing. When I was a kid my dad took us to Florida every spring and before Disney came onto the scene we did things like go the keys, the everglades, sanibell island, etc. He also liked to golf and on a few courses they had "out of bounds" markers for areas where gators were. My dad actually his a ball into that zone and his ball rolled up onto a gator and that was that for that ball. I wasn't much worried about them as they bathed on the edges of some of the courses. No one else seemed worried. Looking back on it now it seems pretty bizarre though!

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

I wish I'd learned how to golf. Oh well. Thanks for reading and commenting, JB.



nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

If you want to see gators in Florida, take up golf.

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

I'll do that, Nicomp. Thanks.

Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 5 years ago from Scotland

Nice account of a Day in the Everglades Rob. Didn't know they could actually run at 30 mph on land. Quite incredible. "Never get out of boat!" as Frederick Forrest once said :-)

Nice photos too.

All the best

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi shinkicker; It was a fun day. I was surprised at the 30-miles-per-hour fact, too.



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