I spent most of the day yesterday traveling to Florida. My flight was good and I was thrilled with the free upgrade from a compact car to a fully loaded mid size car. My trip down went smooth and I arrived at my sisters house just before dark as I expected.
With today being my first full day in Florida, I couldn't resist planning a trip to a park with Alligators since I've never seen one in the wild. My brother-in-law suggested I go to the John Chestnut Park as they usually have them there. When I first arrived and did my walk through I didn't see a single one, but when I went back to one of the boardwalks a second time, I totally hit the jackpot. I wound up seeing 6 gators. Most of them were small (young gators) and were super cute. I must have spent at least 3 hours hanging out on the boardwalk and watching the gators as well as the other birds that flew through.
John Chestnut Park was absolutely amazing with all the wildlife. As soon as I entered the park I saw a hawk fly over my car, then I passed by a group of 8-10 deer. I parked my car and walked the trails and saw all kinds of other wildlife: immature and adult bald eagles, osprey, great blue heron, american bittern, great horned owl, barred owl, turtles, gators and bunch of other birds (some of which I can't identify and will have to figure out).
It was really hot out there, I think it hit 80 today, but it was super fun. Although I saw lots of great stuff, I'm super stoked about seeing the gators. They were really neat to watch! In fact, that boardwalk drew in the crowds. Many of the people that came through were regulars who go there daily/weekly to check on the gators. I was out by myself, but I must have talked to over 20 friendly people. It was pretty darn fantastic and I'm sure I'll be dreaming of gators tonight!