Last weekend, we took a trip to Miami (with a brief side trip to Key Largo and Islamorada) to visit some of my family. It’s been years since I have been down to South Florida and I’m not sure why. It’s a pretty good drive for us, but nonetheless, we were way overdue for a visit. We had a nice time, but it would have been good to be able to stay a day or two longer. Maybe next time (and we won’t wait so long between visits).
In the Keys, we stopped by Robbie’s, a local place that has bars, boats, restaurants, and crafts/shopping areas. Its claim to fame though are the tarpon that come right up to the dock to be fed by all of us suckers who are willing to pay $10 for a bucket of fish to feed them (see an example of one of those suckers in the pic on your left – that’s me). 🙂
These tarpon are roughly 4 to 6 feet long and probably weigh well over 100 pounds and possibly closer to 200. Watching them swim silently under the water and then suddenly surface to snatch a fish into their gaping mouth was a little intimidating, particularly if you happened to be holding said fish. The safer option if you want to be sure to leave Robbie’s with all 10 fingers intact is to just toss the fish into the water and watch.
Of course, if you’re going to make a business out of feeding the wildlife, expect other wildlife to show up uninvited, including a manatee and the ubiquitous flock of pelicans. I’ve always liked pelicans even though they are a little on the homely side, mostly because they are very unique with their pouch-like lower bill and their ability to dive vertically into the water at high speed, scooping up gallons of water along with a fish or two before they bob back to the surface. This guy (or gal) was kind enough to pose for a photo.
Here’s a short video if you want to see how quickly those tarpon grab the fish.
Back in Miami, we spent a nice Sunday afternoon on a boat tour out of Bayside near the Port of Miami and the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat. The weather was gorgeous and the views were spectacular. This particular tour took us around the Key Biscayne, Star Island (so named because of all of the celebrity vacation homes there), and Port areas. There’s no shortage of excessive wealth in that area, including this $90 million dollar home built by the man who invented the little blue pill. The little waterfall out front is known as Viagra Falls.
I’ll close this post with a few other photos we took from the boat. If you have a chance to visit Miami, check out Captain Jimmy’s Fiesta Tours at Bayside. Great tour and fun way to see how the rich and famous live.