Florida Gators and Caribbean Cruise: Day 3 November 9, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

We all slept super well last night. Reagan may have done a bit of snoozing on the coffee table which we moved beside her and Keaton’s little sleep sofa. Robby was the first one to wake up and get ready. Soon everyone was stirring, zipping up bags and heading downstairs to breakfast.

Before we left for breakfast, everyone brushed and I did have no complaints with the toothbrushes so I guess we should be good. If we can only keep up with them!

I think that I could be a good buyer for hotel breakfasts-granola and flavored cream cheese would be excellent things for people to add to their menus. I must have been complaining enough the past two mornings that Robby has offered to find me some packets of flavored cream cheese for the ice chest.

Our first stop this morning was Naples Pier which was just a short drive from our hotel. It was a beautiful drive-even Anderson commented that it seemed like we were in a rich neighborhood.

As we were walking along the pier, Robby heard two old men sitting on a bench. They were mumbling something about us “must being Catholic.” Robby was quick to respond back, “no, just good Southern Baptist.” They all had a good laugh and then continued to discuss Razorback basketball for a little bit.

The pier was pretty and again, did I mention that it is warm? Like there are freeze warnings at home, and we are sweating here. So strange to me. I even commented to Robby that these people were dressed like they were at the beach-he reminded me that indeed we are at the beach.

Of course, after walking along the pier we couldn’t not go on the sand. Robby an I were going to try to avoid it, but the kids would have revolted if we didn't let them touch the Gulf waters. They stood in the water and Campbell and Keaton collected seashells. Thankfully, we were able to get everyone herded back to the car before anyone was drenched.

Back in the car, I turned on a movie as we drove to Big Cypress National Preserve. Robby wondered if the workers thought we were mystery shoppers, because they were great. They explained everything on the touch table to the kids. There was even a heavy manatee bone-heavy so the manatee can stay under the water longer.

We then watched the movie which was a td biy long but still interesting. Next everyone turned in their Jr. Ranger books to earn our second Jr. Ranger badge of the trip. Down the road a little ways, was the Ochopee Post Office. It is the smallest post office and after seeing it, we all certainly agreed. The kids mailed a few postcards from there, and of course we climbed out to take a picture.

From there, we walked on a boardwalk at Kriby Storter Park. It could have been full of alligators, but instead there wasn’t too many. Well, really there wasn’t any at all. It made me a bit concerned if we were going to see any at all!

Robert Is Here is he name of a fruit stand that Robby and I stopped at when we were in this area a few years ago. It did not disappoint with its Key Lime Milkshake for me. Robby had a strawberry smoothie which Whitman took for his own. Reagan had a mango smoothie and Graham had another strawberry one. The smoothies were fine, not outstanding. Anderson had an orange milkshake which no one really cared for. Keaton and Campbell bought a container of strawberries and a container of blueberries that they shared in the back seat.

Once we left there, we drove back into the southern section of the Everglades National Park. We went to a trail that Robby and I had walked before. That time it had been completely full of alligators. However, my fears that we wouldn’t see any did come true on that trail because we only saw the top of one tiny ole alligator’s head. Gracious.

The kids didn’t seem to mind, but Robby and I were pretty desperate to find an alligator or two for everyone to see. It was like the time that we were in Niagara and had to pray a butterfly to land on sweet little Reagan’s hand.

After leaving the trail area, we drove a bit through more of the Everglades in hopes of seeing an alligator. And that was a big fat No! It was fine though because from there, we headed for one more errand.

While we were waiting on Robby, Whitman said that he needed to go potty. I looked around and nothing nearby looked restroom only friendly. So I made Anderson stand beside me, and we blocked the boy as he went to the bathroom splattering my socks and shoes.

We must have done a good job hiding him because when Robby came back to the car, he didn’t even realize what was happening. From there, we grabbed pizzas and ate in the car as we headed to the hotel.

The car was a pretty much a wreck so it took us a bit of time to straighten things. Once things were nice, we ran in the hotel to get naked-laundry time. I did put Whitman in the shower, and when Robby checked on him, he said that it looked like Whitman was about to fall asleep in the shower.

Indeed he was about to fall asleep. Once I dried him off, he climbed up in my lap and cuddled with me until I had to get up to fold the laundry. He never went to sleep, but I sure could have. We were in bed a bit earlier today than usual, but that was certainly wonderful because I think we needed a bit of extra sleep.

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