Day 8 – Florida Roadtrip – Homestead, FL

God’s miracles come in different shapes and sizes. When we returned from our 50 mile one way trip to get some fire wood, guess what we found? A pile of wood – enough to burn all evening. Apparently the park rangers were doing some work in the woods and though they were not very friendly when we asked them where one gets some wood here, they remembered and brought us some. We were all set with vegetables for dinner and fire wood for warmth.

I was worried for a second about our new neighbors last night when it was clueless teenage girls, but this next night it was a wholesome American family with three teenage girls. It went well though, all things considered. The next morning after we had our breakfast and packed, we were on a trail by 10:30am. We took an easy half a mile loop around a pond. There was a lot of butterflies and some beautiful birds. Though it was short, it still took some convincing for our kids to move forward.

Next on our program was the alligator farm in Homestead, FL. I generally don’t think of alligators as cute but the new hatchlings were just that, very cute.

We went to this same farm 10 years ago with Renzo. It was really nice to return there with kids. At Renzo’s insistence we sat on the first row of a air boat ride and got predictably wet. Timofei loved it, Yelisei not so much.

Next was lunch. On our way we saw a small shack that said: you have seen the alligators, now you can eat them. Lured by an Italian flag outside we went for it. That was THE BEST alligator meat I have ever tried. Very nice!

Now we only had an hour and a half drive to Key Largo and we would possibly be swimming in the ocean!

A word of advice from the BIGGEST losers yours truly: Make reservations for a state park in the Florida Keys on an Easter weekend! What we missed out completely is that today was Friday. What were we thinking?? Frantically we started calling all campgrounds in the Keys. Private and not. On Reserve America they said that Bahia Honda had the last two spots available, but they are walk in and you can not make a reservation. Also, you can not make reservation on the same day at all.

So we took off to Bahia Honda State Park to try our luck. After an 1 1/2 hr drive it was full and we were the 30th campers coming to this bitch with a burned nose with that question. We started frantically calling again. By now it is 5:30 and the kids are hungry and both of them want to poop. As Renzo is making phone calls, I went to ask the burned nose for the bathroom. She asked us to pay $9 to enter the park. Luckily we had a portable potty that Yelisei used. Now what to do with the bag of poop? I had to force myself not to leave it with Mrs. Burned Nose at her door.

Finally we got lucky. A campground that had one free space! For $80! I thought that $30 was expensive. It turned out to be $60 when we came there. Maybe some consider that a bargain but it’s still a rip-off for what you get: about 12 square meters of space with neighbors so close, you can hear them breathe. We actually didn’t quite know how to fit our car and our tent into the space, it was ridiculous.

To top it off, our neighbors arrived at midnight, talking and laughing loudly as they set up their tent and them some crazy rooster started calling his hens at 4 am every few seconds untill 6 am. What a night!

And yet… after all this punishment and torture, the next day made up for it all!

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