When we go on vacation, we go before the big tourist season in order to avoid a lot of crowds and it’s easier to get discounts and free upgrades that way! For a little more on that, check out the guest post that I wrote for my sister, here! However, because of that, there were a couple days that we couldn’t dive because there weren’t enough people signed up for the dive boat. So one day we decided to spend the day checking out the rest of the town.
First we tried out the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical Gardens State Park, which turned out to be….interesting in the least…
I think what happened was it was a state park that lost its funding, but the state didn’t want to close it down completely. So instead, cars are not allowed in the state park, and it’s really cheap for people to get in. You don’t even give your money to a person, you just put your money into a little metal tube that they check periodically. So when you are on your little walking tour of the park, you get to see the native plants labeled, which is what I was looking forward to learning. Except because the park isn’t really operational anymore, a lot fo the labels weren’t legible anymore, or you weren’t sure which plant was the one they were marking. And none of the plants were in bloom, so it wasn’t a very pretty walk. And while Hubby and I decided to go on a “hike” (it’s in quotes because it was more walking than anything) it was great until the biting flies drove us back to the car in a frenzy!
After the Attack of the Biting Flies we went to the wild bird sanctuary, that I hadn’t read good reviews about this place, but I thought we should check it out anyway. The best thing about TripAdvisor is you get honest opinions about places, so you should probably take that advise, is all I’m saying…
The wild bird sanctuary was sort of a sad looking place that tried to have nice enclosures for the birds, but it just seemed like they didn’t have enough funding for the number of birds that they had. There were tons of pelicans, and a bunch of them were loose, making me think that they weren’t really patients, but just learned that this is a good place to get free food. There was a very large enclosure containing multiple pelicans, and one of the workers had just come from that direction after feeding the pelicans and seagulls. Hubby and I walked to the pelican enclosure and I saw a pelican that was stuck in the ropes of the enclosure! It was a wild pelican (not a patient) that was looking for a free meal and crashed into the ropes that created a sort of ceiling over the enclosure. When the pelican landed on the ropes he couldn’t get his legs back under himself and his wings were spread out from being in the flight position, so he couldn’t get himself out of the ropes. We watched him for a few seconds, and we were sure that the worker who had just been in the area had noticed him, and went to get something so he could get the pelican out of the rope. We walked around the enclosure, trying to enjoy the sanctuary, and then I saw one of the pelicans inside the enclosure pecking the trapped pelican in the face. Needless to say, I ran back to where we saw the worker and told him what was wrong. He got the pelican out of the ropes, I held open the enclosure door for him, and he took the pelican into the hospital to rehydrate with fluids. He thanked me for helping and told me that the pelican had a band on his leg indicating he had been a patient at a different animal hospital in the past, which probably means that he knew where to get a free meal.
I guess it’s good that we were there when we were, because who knows how long that poor guy was stuck in the ropes, laying in the sun and the heat. I’m just glad he would be okay after they got him out of the ropes!
Not all parts of your vacation are going to be perfect, but the lesson learned here was to trust TripAdvisor! People take their time to write out their opinions after they have experienced something, and you get the chance to live vicariously through them. It’s very valuable information! So follow advise from Fellow Travelers like me!