"" Writer's Wanderings: Florida In The Summertime - Only For The Intrepid Traveler

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Florida In The Summertime - Only For The Intrepid Traveler

Were it not for a brand new grandbaby our trip to Florida this past week would not have happened. Florida in the summertime is just way too hot, too humid and too mosquito-filled for me. There's not a whole lot to do for young children indoors in the area south of Miami where our grands are so we tried doing things early in the day and spending the afternoons in the hotel pool and watching movies in the room or playing video games for awhile. I can see why my daughter-in-law makes summertime the home school time.

One morning our son suggested we take a look at Biscayne National Park. There's a boardwalk there and a nature center. It's on the water so we thought that at least it might be cooler and certainly have less mosquitoes than the Everglades would. (Been to the Everglades. Fought the mosquitoes. Don't know that Deet is even strong enough.) We arrived at the park and began to explore. It seemed okay. I should have known when there wasn't a breeze coming off the ocean that we were in trouble. About ten minutes into our walk we were suddenly swatting and turning around to head for refuge in the nature center. The ranger put on a movie for us about the park and then talked with the kids about all the skulls on the counter from various animals of the area. So, it was worth the trip but I'd love to return when it's cooler and mosquitoless.

Another morning we took off and spent a couple hours at the Miami Zoo. We rented a cycle-buggy and pedaled our way around the zoo. By the time our two hour rental was up, we were more than happy to give it back and head for the car and the A/C. We love the zoo but on cooler days. There are lots of places to walk through a "cool" mist and several places for kids to cool off with water activities but once the sun gets higher in the sky and the humidity builds up, even that is little help. The zoo ticket allows you to return within five days for an extra $5 so if you do buy a ticket and wimp out before you've seen it all, you can always come back for another morning visit.

The Flagship theater in Homestead has a wonderful program that features free kid's movies in the mornings. Lots of the area summer camps go there for a cool activity indoors. One theater housed the summer camp kids and another filled with area people with their kids. Popcorn was at a great price and we enjoyed Smurfs 2. No humidity. No heat. No mosquitoes. Ahhhh.

Some of our afternoons were cut short in the pool as Florida's regularly scheduled thunderstorms rolled through. I don't think there was an afternoon we didn't have one.

Driving back to our hotel at sunset was relaxing and beautiful. No matter what time of year, Florida does have some spectacular sunsets. One evening we were treated to backlit thunder clouds and lightening that streaked across a dark orange sky with a hole in the clouds where the yellow and pinks of the sunset shone through. Unfortunately my camera was home in Cleveland but I can still see it if I close my eyes. Of course closing my eyes after a week in the heat with three young grands leads to falling asleep. . . . .

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