Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Biscayne National Park, Florida

South Florida is cushioned by three National Parks...Big Cypress, Everglades, and Biscayne.  Having been through the first two already, our sites were set on Biscayne.

All along the walk up to the Visitor Center, there are fish sculptures along the walls.  The kids spotted a Tarpon...

...looks like this one was as hungry as the ones at Robbie's, hehehe ;).

For the Jr. Ranger program, there is just one book that covers all three parks.  There are symbols on each page denoting which activities are for which park, some pages are for all parks (like puzzles and things).  We had gotten our books the week before at one of the other parks and the kids had completed most of it already.  There were some parts that had to be done at Biscayne, so we headed into the VC to get started.

The exhibits were interesting, but the best part was the Volunteer that was at the desk that day.  She was so sweet and really enjoyed teaching the kids about the Park.  We talked to her for a long time about different creatures, plants, history of the area...  After watching a few films about the Jones family and some of the shipwrecks in the Park, the kids were ready to be sworn in as Biscayne National Park Junior Rangers :).  **just a fyi, after you have gotten your badge at each of the three parks, you will get a neat patch that has all three parks on it**

As many of you probably know, Biscayne NP is mostly water.  To really see the park, you need to get on some kind of boat.  Sadly, right now, all the boat activities within the park are unavailable.  If you have your own boat, you are good to go.  Just no NP tours right now :(.

We saw as much as we could around the building...

i like these mast flagpoles :)

so cool!  a lot of the building is made from fossilized corals

brain coral :)

...and along the trails...

a great "thinking" spot :)

every time we saw a manatee...the Barbara Manatee song broke out, Veggie Tale's version..ha!

isn't he pretty?

there were lots of them...anyone know what kind of fish they are?

We were a little disappointed that the boats weren't running, but it was ok.  I look at it this way...just a great reason to plan another trip back down there someday :).

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