We left Clermont just after 9am on Saturday December 17th with Acey’s mileage at 96,223 and Thor’s at 110,777. We put 66 miles on our bikes while staying in Clermont. After stopping to make lunch, we arrived at Breezy Hill RV Resort about 2pm. This is the closest place in our campground membership package where we can stay and be fairly close to Linda’s brother in Hollywood. We decorated a bit for Christmas!
Chuck flew in from England where he has been working since September and will be over there till August 2023. Chris flew in from Nashville; they spent Christmas week with us. We had meals at Rob’s place and at Acey. It’s always fun to have family together during the holidays!
We had a few outings during our time together – we had a fun day at Zoo Miami.
Rob rode an elephant
Linda rode a gator!
We saw lots of animals, a beautiful tiger.
A white cheeked gibbon.
This Bornean Orangutan looks to be covering a laugh or has a deep thought – or maybe he’s playing peek-a-boo…
This Sloth Bear was so cute as it paced back and forth around this rock face.
Lowland Anoas – the smallest cattle species – are found in Asia.
Cuban Crocodiles – not in the pool, but perhaps trying to escape their enclosure?
A colorful lizard crossed our path as it was visiting the zoo too!
Perfectly posed peacock.
Watch out below; this stork was perched on a branch over the walkway!
A white stork.
It was rather comical watching these ducks follow the zookeeper as he put food out in the aviary! He has his ducks in a row…
A pretty lovebird.
Another colorful bird – this is a swamp hen.
There was a large aquarium that we watched for a while. These blue fish were iridescent and didn’t seem bothered by the Southern River Terrapin swimming by.
The Giant Thai Catfish can reach up to 9 feet in length and weigh over 600 pounds!
Ongard is 12 years old and the Zoo’s youngest elephant; an Asian elephant, he has smaller ears than his African “cousin”. Not sure how he ended up with only one tusk.
A bit of history here! This giant pot of gold stood for many years at the entrance to the Children’s Zoo at Crandon Park. It was recently restored and relocated to Zoo Miami!
Like a chubby unicorn, this Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros has one horn alright – and a “suit of armor” for skin. What an unusual animal!
These lions looked quite comfortable taking a cat nap on a pleasant afternoon!
Grevy’s Zebra are native to Africa – their large ears and a white belly make them different from other zebra species.
It was fun watching these Asian Small-Clawed Otters play in and around the water.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And a dragon – a prowling Komodo Dragon!
It was hump day and it was appropriate to see some Bactrian Camels!
Another visitor to the zoo – this squirrel may have been looking for a handout…
Dholes are a type of wild dog found in Asia – they have a bushy tail!
Western Lowland Gorilla – taking a snooze.
The brightly colored Eastern Mountain Bongo is considered the largest forest antelope.
Reticulated Giraffes average 14-19 feet tall!
As we neared the African Elephants, we saw this dazzling Golden Elephant!
African elephants are the largest living land mammals in the world! They live up to 60 years in the wild, grow to 9 feet tall with a weight of 12,000 pounds! Females give birth to a single calf after a 22-month gestation, the longest gestation of any mammal.
Wart Hogs – about as attractive as their name implies!
Galapagos Tortoise live over 100 years in the wild and grow to 6 feet in length, weighing 500 pounds!
Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat live in southern Australia.
Double Wattled Cassowary is a bird from down under – living in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. This flightless bird can run up to 30 mph, jump over 5 feet high and is an adept swimmer! This bird wouldn’t turn around to show us its big red wattle…
Last of all – a flamboyance of flamingos!
We went on an airboat ride in the Everglades at Sawgrass Recreation Park – it was a beautiful day for this activity.
Here’s a boat like the one we rode on.
We were all disappointed that we didn’t see any gators on the tour – just a few birds.
There were some exhibits to see after the ride – this big crocodile is not native to Florida.
But gators are native – these two were enjoying a soak in the pool.
And another one.
Linda, of course, liked the turtles,
and the huge tortoise!
The Everglades Holiday Park we visited in 2020 was a far superior adventure; and they had an incredible gator show! (See our blog for Christmas 2020)
And of course, we visited a few breweries to sample some local craft brews. We went to Pompano Beach Brewing.
Here we are at Black Flamingo Brewing.
and we went to Spanish Marie Brewery
We rode our bikes only on 3 days since we spent lots of time with the family. Our first ride was around the Pompano Air Park.
We rode the circuit 3 times, riding past a city park, an equestrian facility, a golf course, the air park and the hangar for one of the Goodyear Blimps!
We also rode along the levee by the Everglades west of Boca Raton. As we rode north into the wind, it was tough going, but as we rode back south, it was a breeze! We did not see any alligators or pythons, but we knew they were out there!
Our last ride was along A1A in east Boca. Another windy day as we rode across the intracoastal at 40th Street (apparently it’s called Spanish River Boulevard now) all the way to Deerfield Beach and back. We saw the Goodyear Blimp out surveying the beach!
We stopped to look at the Atlantic at the Palmetto Park Pavilion.
This interesting sculpture was on display.
The Boca Raton Hotel used to be a brighter pink color – just a blush now.
As we rode back North, we stopped to eat lunch at a park by the Boca inlet.
We also took a bit of a sentimental journey, driving by some of the homes we had lived in during our years in South Florida. Jim’s family moved to Boca in 1969 and bought this home on 39th Street.
Linda’s family moved to this Boca Raton home in 1972.
Here’s what it looked like back in 1973.
Her family moved to this house a few years later.
It was sad to see the gumbo limbo tree out front was no longer there.
This was a condo where we spent our early married life in Delray Beach. Rob also had a condo nearby for a while before he moved to Pembroke Pines.
We drove south on A1A by the Boca Inlet.
And past Lighthouse Point.
We stopped by the Deauville in Pompano Beach where Linda’s Nana and Great Aunt lived for many years.
What fun we had visiting there! This was what it looked like at Christmas 1963.
Linda, Laura and Ted chilling out by the pool in 1963!
As we drove further down A1A, we got to Fort Lauderdale and saw several freighters anchored and a cruise ship – the Sky Princess – leaving the port.
When we drove over to Rob’s place, we passed by the Hard Rock Guitar Hotel.
We spent lots of time at Rob’s – watched a movie or two, played Mexican Train and other games.
We used his kitchen to fix many meals, but no photos! We had ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus and salad on Christmas Eve. Salmon, mac n cheese, sweet potatoes and salad was our dinner on Christmas Day. Rob had quite a supply of calypso cookies from Publix and nuts and chips to snack on. And Linda made a delicious bean soup with the ham bone!
We had several “share beers” to enjoy!
Rob’s macaw, Marlin, was not really happy with all these people invading HIS house, but he settled down and accepted the ruckus after a couple of days!
Marlin is 41 years old. He likes to chew in boxes in his “office”!
Jim fixed his famous pecan pancakes at Acey for breakfast one morning, and Rob brought sausage; we had salmon burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner another time.
We watched the Christmas concert at Stephens Valley Church, an evening with Buddy Green at the Avent Dinner and the Christmas worship service – maybe next year we will be there in person! We are thankful for the gift of Jesus and how the world stops to celebrate His birth at Christmas!
We sure enjoyed the warm weather and time with the family, but soon enough it was time to move on. Chris was fortunate to get the ONLY Southwest flight out of Fort Lauderdale to Nashville on December 26 (4 other flights were cancelled) and Chuck went on to Baton Rouge for a few days before he headed back to England. We will head out to no-mans-land for 2 weeks; we’ll be on the west side of Lake Okeechobee near Moore Haven. It will be a nice change from the busy megalopolis of the Fort Lauderdale area!
We hope you had a Merry Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start!