Let there be Light(house)

I will write this in two sessions so you may only get the Seaquarium part if you log in early. We do not go to the Lighthouse until 2pm.

No, this is not Rusty needing a shave. This is a Sea Lion welcoming us to the Miami Seaquarium. They are very animated and seem to love attention and fish.

Of course no trip is complete without the Orca or misnamed Killer Whale. A beautiful big thing that these ladies manage with ease and no fear. Her name was Lolita, the Orca not the lady.

Rays( not all rays are stingrays) seem to be gentle creatures and very graceful. Kids are allowed to stick their hands in the pool and try to touch them as they go by swimming constantly.

No, this is not Ziggy. It is one of her relatives giving a shout out and he brought some friends too.

It was a nice overcast day so the crowds were small and the sun did not make us miserable. We just strolled through and enjoyed it all. I wish the grandkids could have been here though they would probably have driven us crazy. 

There were at least three dolphin shows but the best one was saved for last because Flipper is the world’s most famous dolphin. I did not know until they told us that the TV show was filmed right here. The tank was built right on the bay with a backdrop so that the screen shots could seem like Flipper was really free.

Alright, we are off to lunch, pharmacy, Winn Dixie again, lighthouse tour and general exploring. It will all be heart healthy because we are biking a bunch today. Man this is living. Stay tuned for more pictures and text.

Frankly we never made the lighthouse tour but we did see the lighthouse. Seems the weather did not cooperate and we could not leave the boat until 1230 and the tour began 6 miles away at 1300.

On the way we rode into the grounds of the old Miami Zoo. Jan says they moved it out into the hinterlands years ago. Many of the original animal enclosures are still there and they have incorporated them into the Crandon Nature Preserve. Some of the old zoo inhabitants obviously did not chose to move and seem to have propagated. We found a covey consisting of ibises, sandhill cranes with the red skull caps and peacocks. An odd assortment probably not ever found together in nature. As we left the zoo grounds we found a buzzard roosting tree. 

Next we stopped by the library. Jan wanted to print out a copy of the bridge opening schedule for the east coast. Apparently she does not trust the computer on the boat to work when it is needed. She wants everything in writing just like a lawyer. She met this lady who was admiring her folding bike. Her parents are traveling by RV and she thinks they need some bikes. We talked to her about our trip and gave her a card.

By the way, sometime today we accidentally must have left the United States because I went to get a slice of pizza at a place called Archie’s and I realized we were not in Kansas anymore. I had to go through two people and pay twice and get one refund just to get the lunch special which was a slice and soda for $3.50. I had first tried to get a meal at the deli next door and threw up my hands in frustration and left. If you do not speak Spanish down here you are a foreigner.

Off to a stop at the store for some cards. Kids be on the lookout in your mailbox next week. Then to the Post Office to mail the cards. Here is a picture of the Post Office which either shows how deteriorated our government is or how little use the people here have for signs in English.

Finally we were ready to enter the lighthouse park at the end of the island. It is perfect for cycling. Beautiful winding paths throughout and great scenery.

Out in the bay there were a number of houses built up on pilings. Jan says it was called Stiltsville. These houses were built out on sand flats before there were any rules about such things. A friend of her father’s named Moon Mullins built one of them. No water, no electricity other than generator or battery. Hurricanes have probably swept most of them away. While we were looking this sportsfisher came blasting through a no wake zone way too close to shore. People like this give boaters a bad rap.

We made it to the lighthouse and even got to sit for a photo op on the lighthouse keeper’s porch. Then we headed over to Boathouse Cafe in No Name Harbor. A real neat place where you can anchor for $20 per night and use the showers and laundry. The restaurant is really quaint and has an excellent menu. We had smoked fish spread and black bean soup. Jan had a homemade sangria. 

The weather was beginning to look uncertain so we hustled along to the Winn Dixie for some serious grocery shopping or at least all that would fit in two backpacks. We were loaded up when we left the store but I did pause for one quick stop to photograph an antique fire engine that we had passed the day before.

When we reached the boat it was decided to go ahead and fold up the bikes as we are planning to leave in the morning for Hollywood. Not the movie place but the original Hollywood, FL. Good thing we did because the sky fell out in a few minutes and we never got a drop. Planning.