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March 31, 2001

Dear Journal,

Putt-Putt Golf

On Saturday the 3rd Mom, Dad, and I went to Congo River Putt-Putt Golf.  Mom won.  She always wins at putt-putt. 

Spring Break Vacation

I was off for spring break from March 10th to March 18th.  Dad wanted to go to the Everglades for vacation.  On Saturday the 10th we drove to Miami and we went to Lion Country Safari.  At Lion Country Safari you drive your car right next to the animals.  They aren't in cages.  We had to rent a van there because we had mom's convertible and we couldn't take it in with the animals.  It was so neat.  First we went through some gates and there were animals everywhere.  We saw lions, different types of deer, rhinos, monkeys, and lots more.  Then we went to the park part.  We went into a bird room and fed the animals at the petting zoo. 

Then we drove to our hotel.  We stayed in Homestead, Florida, right outside of the Everglades.  We went to a seafood restaurant and Mom ordered crab-cakes and onion soup.  Mom loved the crab-cakes!

zebras right outside our car
Me and Dad by the main entrance

The next day, Sunday, we packed up and headed to Flamingo, which is in the everglades.  We made little stops for hikes and sightings along the way. 

The first stop was at Anhinga Trail where we took the Anhinga Amble walk.  It had a guide and we saw alligators, birds, and lots of fish.

See the gator right behind me!
There's a fish in his mouth!

We saw birds at Anhinga Trail fishing.  They would dive underwater and sometimes come up with a fish.

We stoped at three other spots on the way to Flamingo to take hikes.  At the last stop we were supposed to see the biggest Mahogany tree in the U.S., but the trail was blocked because the boards on the boardwalk were broken so we didn't get to see it!

Finally we got to Flamingo.  Our hotel room wasn't ready so we decided to look around.  We went into a shop and came out with sodas and ice cream.  We relaxed on a bench and ate.  We got back to the hotel and sat bored in the car while we waited for the room to be ready.  Then we went on a boat tour.  The tour was 2 hours long.  Besides me getting to drive the boat, it was pretty boring.

After dinner we went to a program where a ranger and his wife sang songs to tell you to save the everglades.  They sang pretty well.  During the performance I had the company of a scorpion sitting on the bench next to me!  Mom freaked!  After that Mom took a hot bath and read her book while Dad and I went star-gazing.  We spotted the little dipper and maybe a planet or two.  But most exciting was the shooting star!

Straight ahead Captain!
Shark Tower

The next day (Monday) after breakfast we headed to Shark Valley.  At Shark Valley you can take a 2 hour tram ride that also goes to a tower.  In every single pond we passed on the tram we saw an alligator.  Climbing up the tower was very steep but at the top when you look down there were so many alligators it reminded us of when we went to Gatorland.

After we left Shark Valley we went on an airboat ride.  The airboat was so loud they had cotton balls to put in your ears!  On our ride to the "indian village" (what a rip-off) an alligator jumped up in front of the boat and we ran over top of him!  He made a thump when to boat went over him.  I felt bad for him but Dad said he thought the alligator would have sunk into the swamp and would be OK but he might have a concussion.

My first airboat ride

The vault

Then we drove to Everglades City.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast called "On The Banks of the Everglades".  The building used to be a bank.  It was neat.  It still had the bank vault that you could walk in.  Dad and I went bike riding and played on the playground for a little while.  That night after dinner we played jenga in the family room and then went for ice cream.  The next morning they served us a really tasty breakfast.

Here is a map showing where we went in the everglades.  The red is the first day, the blue is the second.

Where we went

Tuesday morning after breakfast we drove to Pass-a-Grill beach.  James and Jody had rented an apartment for the week and we spent the night with them.  It rained all day so we didn't go to the beach but that night it stopped raining so we went fishing.  I caught 1 fish.  Mom caught a stingray!  James wasn't very happy about it because he had to remove the hook.

Where we stayed with James and Jody
Grandma, Uncle Wood, and me

The next morning (Wed) we meet Grandma and Poppop.  Mom and Dad dropped me off and they went to Biloxi for two days.  Grandma, Poppop and I went to visit Uncle Wood that afternoon.  While grandma went to work me and Poppop went to the movies to see "See Spot Run" and I saw the preview for the Harry Potter movie.

Field Trip

On Thursday the 22nd, my gifted class took a field trip to the folk art museum.  We saw lots of neat stuff like a robot made out of motherboards from computers.  The first two hours before the museum opened we got to stay outside and climb trees and play.  We also learned the history of the museum.

Girl Scout Campout

My girl scout troop went to camp-o-ree on Friday the 23rd to Sunday the 25th.  Our troop and the brownie troop got to do the opening ceremony.  I was one of the color guards - I guarded the person holding the American flag.  Since there was a burning ban because Florida is in a drought, we weren't allowed to have a fire and we had to cook everything over charcol. 

Garage Sale and Birthday Party

Saturday the 31st was the annual Waterford Lakes garage sale.  Grandma and PoPpop came up on Friday night for it, and they brought their new dog, Taz.  Reindeer didn't know what to make of the little dog but finally they got along a little bit.

I only garage saled for a couple hours because I went to Chelesea Hickey's 10th birthday party.  She had a moon bounce room and we bounced in it all day and it was really fun.  I think she really liked my present.  It was a gift certificate from Barnes and Nobels.

Me and Taz

Valencia Dance Show

That night after grandma and poppop went home, Mom, Dad, and I played some of the games we got at the garage sale.  After that we went to see a dance show at Valencia.  There were three different acts, ballet dancers, salsa dancers, and swing dancers.  I liked the swing dancers the best.