Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Florida Fun - Swampland, Gators, and Gambling

For many people, the idea of a Florida vacation involves relaxing on the beach, soaking in some rays, and cooling off in the surf - before retreating to a seaside condo for 10 Miller Lites and a fifth of Jack Daniels. Maybe you're sharing with your friends, and maybe you're not. That depends on whether you're an alcoholic.

But for those of the fair-skinned type (like myself and Jaimi) UV rays - and the terrible damage they can cause - scares the holy shit out of us, especially when exposing the extra-tender, extra-white parts of the body. Of course I'm referring to the back, stomach, and feet.

So when in Florida, we generally avoid the beach. And besides, with a sweet Mercury Grand Marquis at our beck and call (see my last post for more info) how could we not cruise all up and down Florida's Turnpike looking for some fun?

Our first stop worth noting was the Everglades. I've always wanted to ride on an airboat, and because it's very difficult to get a permit for one of those in New York City, it only made sense that we took this opportunity to go for a ride.

It was fun, if not overly adventurous. When I think "airboat" (which happens more often than I care to admit) I envision 2 or 3 people sitting on an aluminum platform with a huge-ass fan raging behind them - flying across wetlands, crushing birds' nests, flattening grasses, and filleting alligators with the rudder. Instead, we rode in a set of high school stadium bleachers:

Floating football bleachers. I think I saw Tim Tebow lurking in the tall grass.

Again, it was fun. But not exactly Indiana Jones fun. I think the 80 year old gentleman to my left was asleep for most of the ride

The captain of the vessel didn't destroy any wildlife, and we didn't come anywhere near capsizing. We did see about 20 alligators though, which is really the whole point of going on one of these rides.

This crappy picture shows an alligator doing what it does best - not moving at all for hours and hours on end. 80% chance it's made out of plastic.

All in all, the airboat ride was a success. And the $40 ticket included a wildlife DVD which I will cherish forever and ever.

Another great, non-beach related activity is a trip to the local Indian reservation. They will invariably have a casino somewhere on the premises. Find it, and start gambling and drinking.

Lucky for me, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was kind enough to let the Seminoles use their name and logo. They've built one of the most fantastical casino resorts I've ever seen - on their reservation in Hollywood, FL. Jaimi's brother David showed me the way. This time, instead of riding in my silky-smooth Mercury, we traveled in his super-sweet Lexus. It smelled like style and drove like a true pimp mobile. Or something.

Anyway, the moral of this short story is that I'm not very good at blackjack, and we can just leave it at that. Otherwise, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino is a great place to go for an evening of fun and entertainment.

So you can see that this was a very relaxing, yet very action-packed vacation. A special thanks to Et and Sandy Gaffe for being such marvelous hosts. I'm sorry if I left the refrigerator door open, the toilet seat up, and the front door unlocked.

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carole said...

should've gone to jai alai.
you've inspired me to take josh on an airboat ride the next time we go back (since you gave such a rave review).

The Mill said...

Yeah, airboats are sweet. They are very difficult to capsize.