MLK Weekend Trip to Everglades

Cormorant
We can’t say that this cormorant was amused by our zoomed-in photos.
Cormorant
There we go, he seems to be happier now.

January 14, 2011 - We started our long weekend with a drive to Palm Coast, FL.  The trip didn’t take as long as we thought, and actually took just over 4.5 hours.

Purple Gallinule
The purple gallinule is one of the more colorful birds in the Everglades.

January 15, 2011 – We headed down to Homestead, FL, and dined at Casavana Cuban restaurant.  The food was fantastic – steak sandwich, Cubano sandwich, sweet plantains, and some fantastic toasted Cuban bread.

Gator
A trip to the Everglades isn’t complete without an alligator sighting.

After lunch we made our way over to the Everglades.  We strolled along the Royal Palm boardwalk, and saw the usual great variety of wildlife, including cattle egrets on the way into the park.  Highlights included gators, an American bittern, black vultures, an Anhinga trying to eat a fish (and black vultures eagerly watching), egrets – blue, green, great blue – cormorants, brilliantly colored purple gallinules, a young tricolored heron tracking young grebe as the grebe went fishing.

American Bittern
This American Bittern is on the hunt.

Lunch was so good that we went back to Casavana for dinner.  The food was great again – bistec (steak) Milanesa with great ham and cheese, pork that was crispy, well seasoned, and so tender it was falling apart, fries, rice, black beans, congri (black beans and rice cooked together), and more plantains.  We took some bread back to the hotel with us, and Louisa tried some coffee with a bit of Cuban bread and butter dipped in it (fantastic!).  We also saw the first half and last quarter of Steelers’ playoff win – it was a great game.  That evening we enjoyed some more football (the Green Bay and Atlanta game).  Our hotel was the Hampton Inn and Suites in Homestead, and is highly recommended as well.

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