We are up early but we are okay because we crashed so early. I should note I woke up around midnight and could not get back to sleep, ended up reading for three hours.
We head to the nearest Starbucks – see nothing changes I still have my priorities. Traffic is very light at 6:30 am. I know you are wondering why are you up so darn early. Well we are meeting Barb and Craig for breakfast at Joe’s Diner for 7 am and then heading to the Everglades for a tour for 9 am. We walk into the diner and we are so happy to see them both. It has been a while but since we chat often with them on Skype it feels like no time has passed. But good friends like them are hard to come by and I feel like I am seeing family again. Love you both if you are reading this.
The Everglades Safari Park is about an hour away. We prebooked a private hour airboat ride. We wanted to get there early before all the crowds arrive and so we could see lots of wildlife and they didn’t disappoint. Lisa our guide for the tour took us out and would stop and explain things and then carry on then stop and point out more things. She explained how the Everglades formed and how large they are and how they have been used and abused in the years that Florida has been settled. How they are now working at rehabilitating the Everglades and how it affects the wildlife that call the Everglades home. This tour was amazing. We have done Everglades tours before but it was a huge group in the boat and certainly not as informative as this was.
I will state even though the day would get warm and I wore shorts, make sure you wear long pants cause I was freezing while out on the boat and when we stopped I warmed up. Kind of like the alligators we saw. And we saw many alligators as they rose to the surface waiting for the air to warm up to come out and sun themselves.
After the tour we headed to the Target store to stock up on some supplies. We knew that this was a smarter idea to just buy most of those toiletries we would need for the 7 weeks on board, like toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, mousse, detergent, bars of soap and other items.
We had a lunch at BJs and then went to Total Wines just off 17th Street near the pier to get our supply of wine. We ended up purchasing 8 bottles to bring on, and of course Bernie got some of his Champagne. The staff at Total Wine are so helpful, we couldn’t turn a corner without someone there to help us fine what we were looking for and they even recommended quite a few bottles too.
We dropped Barb and Craig off at their hotel and we went back to ours. We knew we need a nap before dinner tonight because of such a busy day. And nap is what I had, I swear I walked in the hotel room, dropped the bags and put in my ear plugs, put on my eye mask and I was OUT. After an hour and a half I was rested and ready to begin the Valentine’s Day Dinner.
Craig had made reservations at Bimini’s Boatyard on 17th street and we met them there. Barb and Craig had little Valentine’s Day gifts for us. Now aren’t they sweet. Barb embroiders items and she embroidered a beautiful apron with Napa Valley Wine on it. A cherished gift from cherished friends. We also both got little care packages to enjoy on the cruise. We gave them a big chocolate heart from Purdy’s Chocolatiers in Vancouver.
Dinner was very good, our server Craig was hilarious and so helpful and accommodating. I had scallops with a pearl barley salad that was very good. For dessert Bernie had the key lime pie (one of his favorites and he raved about it), I had a Black Forest type cake that was very very good.
What a great day!