I have wanted to fly through the Everglades with an air boat for years–just not with 50 loud, jabbering tourists. I finally found River of Grass Adventures, a family owned outfit, that provides private tours with seasoned 'Glades'-men, who know and love nature. I went on my first excursion with River of Grass a few weeks ago–unforgettable!!
My guide Steve was awesome,right from the start you could tell how much he enjoyed his gig. Robby, whose parents own 'River of Grass', joined us, too. Robby sometimes swims with alligators, WHAT?! When I couldn't help asking why the heck that seemed a good idea, he just said: "oh, you know, they just get a bad rap." REALLY??
Swooshing around the vast landscape in a custom air boats is exhilarating, but the stops to investigate the local flora and fauna where equally fun. We saw tiny baby gators (just a few days old), a bunch of larger ones (a few months old), to a very curious, and very impressive 9 foot sample.
We also spotted beautiful examples of swap lilies, a bunch of exotic birds, a red bellied turtle, and more. The guys even made a stop so we could explore one of the islands. And even though 'they just get a bad rap', I sneakily kept a very vigilant lookout for another 9 footer lurking in the bushes. Don't tell them.
>>>A big thank you to Curio, A Collection by Hilton (curiocollection.com) for flights and one of its remarkable hotels, The Diplomat (www.DiplomatResort.com), for accommodations.