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Miami Florida

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Wilson’s Blog

Today in Miami, Florida we saw a lot of water. In lakes, ocean, and rivers. At Lake Biscayne National Park there is largest marine pond in America. Marine pond has 50 kinds of reptiles – sea turtles, sea manatees, lizards, alligators, and many others. I did not get too close.

Then at a river called Oleta River, Ditch and I rowed a kayak together. At Crandon Park Beach we lay down in the calm lagoon and relaxed. Ditch says I fell asleep and snored. Not true.

We left and went to the Bill Baggs Cape Florida Beach. There is old lighthouse there from the year 1825.

We walked up the steps to top! I counted 109 steps. So many for us gophers to walk up.

Did you ever have a pie called Key Lime Pie? Lime is a small green and yellow fruit. It is so good! And, we learned it is Florida Official State Pie! So, he had to eat some. We ate too much of it and could not stop. My belly was as big as Ditch’s.

Then to relax, Ditch and I went to a whole museum called Chess Hall of Fame. Chess, the game. They have a giant chess set there. Ditch and I played like our Mommy taught us how when we were little gophers.

Did you ever play chess on giant chess board? Go to Miami to play! And to go in the water on boats and on the beach! And ask everywhere for Key Lime Pie. This gopher loves Miami!

Apple Pie Picks

Everglades National Park

The “glades” are more than 1.5 million acres of grass, tropical foliage, orchids, airplants, coral and salt-water loving mangrove trees. The area is home to rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, Florida panther and West Indian manatee. The Everglades are the only place on earth where alligators and crocodiles live side by side. Keep your eyes open for seahorses, starfish, conch, tropical fish, sponges, herons, bass, turtles and snowy egrets.


Everglades Alligator Farm

Located within Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida, this farm is home to more than 2,000 alligators. While visiting the farm, you can go on an airboat ride and walking tour to spy on alligators, crocodiles, and caimans of all sizes and ages or catch the “Alligator Feeding and a Weird Animal Show.”


Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is the largest marine park in the National Park System. The park is made up of four primary ecosystems: a Mangrove forest along the mainland shoreline, the southern stretch of Biscayne Bay, the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys and the beginning of the third-largest coral reef in the world. More than 360 animal species live in the park including; the West Indian manatee, eastern indigo snake, piping plover, American crocodile, peregrine falcon and five different species of sea turtle.


Crandon Park Beach

This beautiful three-mile stretch of beach is located on the barrier island of Key Biscayne with the Atlantic Ocean on the east side and Biscayne Bay to the west. The man-made lagoon style swimming area and the sandbar located offshore makes the water at this beach calm and free from crashing waves. While visiting the park, you can also venture to the coastal dunes and tropical hardwood hammocks that are nesting and feeding grounds for migrating birds, hawks and sea turtles.


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Local Chow

Key Lime Pie

Key Limes are tiny, about the size of a golf ball. Key lime pie is a custard pie made with the juice of Key limes, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. The whole creamy goodness is poured into a pre-baked single crust pastry shell or graham cracker crust and topped with meringue or whipped cream. Key Lime juice is yellow, and that’s the color of the real-deal Key Lime pie. If you order Key lime pie and it is green, then it is probably made with Persian limes—and still yummy! The Florida State Legislature made Key Lime Pie the official Florida state pie in 2006.


"Wilson, do you know what key is to key lime pie?"


"The lime?"


"No, the pie! Ha ha!"


"Joke makes no sense. But pie in gopher brother's face does."



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Digging History

1513

Juan Ponce de León is the first European to land in Florida.


1565

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his men first visit and claim the area around Miami for Spain.


1821

The United States acquires Florida from Spain.


1825

The Cape Florida lighthouse is built on nearby Key Biscayne to warn passing ships of the dangerous reefs.


1844

Miami becomes the county seat of Florida.


1845

Florida becomes the 27th state in the Union.


1896

The railroad comes to Miami.

Miami is officially incorporated as a city.


1914

Miami Beach’s first hotel, the WJ Brown Hotel, opens for business.


1926

Great Miami Hurricane demolishes much of the city.


1996

The city of Miami turns 100.


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