May 2019

Before I tell you about my 3rd visit to the amazing park, I want to back up and tell you about my 2nd visit. This visit doesn’t get it’s own story because there were no pictures taken, at least none that I can remember. I reserved a spot to camp at the park while I went to other state parks in the area that I missed on my previous visit. I wanted to do the canopy tree walk and I thought it would be cool to stay in the gator filled park, for some reason. When I started walking to the canopy walk I got a little scared. I was all alone in the woods and the sun was starting the set. The water on the trail was so high that all I kept thinking about were alligators swimming by. I just couldn’t do it. I chickened out and headed to my campsite. That’s when the real adventure began. What happened next was something I have not shared with anyone, until now. I went to go set up my campsite and realized that I did not even bring my tent! I could not believe I did such a thing. Baffled but still determined, I decided I was still going to stay and camp and just sleep in my car and then the rain came. That was the final sign I needed. I pack up the few things I had out and headed home feeling a little defeated and very discouraged.

My 3rd trip to the park was way more successful! I arrived on the perfect weather day with positive vibes and determined to check many things off of my list! The first thing I did was find the tours. I wanted to make sure I could do both the water tour and the safari tram tour and I did. I purchased a combo ticket and while I waited for the first tour, I went on the canopy walk I had been longing to take. It was pretty cool to take the short walk through the treetops but the view from the top of the Observation tower stole the show. It was so awesome up there. I could have stayed for hours but it was time to see the park from the water. It was a pretty neat and informative boat tour. I pursued the gift shop and got a little snack while I waited to board the safari tram. When I walked over there they were talking about cancelling it because I was the only one signed up but a lovely couple walked up, just in time, and the tour moved forward. It was pretty cool to go into the parts of the park that can’t be accessed by the general public. I am happy I was able to do it.

All in all it was a very successful day at the park and I felt like I had seen it all over my three visits. Although I will happily go back to the park anytime invited, I do not feel the urge to rush back because I left no boxes unchecked. I left the park that day feeling accomplished!