Many of south Florida’s exclusive and gated communities lie at the doorstep of the Florida Everglades, literally building homes right to the very edge of the wetlands. The Everglades is one of the world’s largest (1,500,000 acres) subtropical wetlands. It is an endless expanse of swamps, marshes, and mangroves and is home to multitudes of wading birds, alligators and other critters.
People who are interested in eco vacations, can take tours given by the Seminole Indians of this area in a swamp buggy or air boat to learn more about this natural and interesting environment. Tip of the day…do this in the winter dry season. The same tour can be brutal during the summer. The hot and steamy summer is the rainy season and brings huge clouds of mosquitoes and other bugs that will surround you. That is when I refer to the area as “bug land”.
We travel to this suburban area, not for the flora and fauna, but to visit two of our children and grandchildren. It is Girl Scout Cookie time in south Florida and our granddaughter needed us to buy lots of cookies. How could you say “no” to our sweetie. Packing our car and driving south became our priority.
We stay at the Weston Courtyard Marriott, a businessman’s hotel located just off the I-75 expressway and a short distance from two of our children. (I know, if you read my first post about this trip, we shouldn’t be staying at a hotel just off the Interstate). Each year when we arrive at the front desk of the Courtyard, Jose Diaz greets us by name with a big smile. This is not a boutique hotel, but Jose and the rest of the staff are friendly, the rooms are clean and the beds are comfortable. The hotel doesn’t have all the amenities that we like to have when traveling but it is convenient for visiting our family.
I think almost every chain restaurant in the country can be found in the surrounding area where our children live. My husband and I joke that in this area of the country, homes must not have kitchens because there are such long lines at every restaurant. The wait can be an hour or two for a table. We have had good food at restaurants such as P. F. Chang’s for Chinese, Bonefish Grill for fresh seafood, and Las Vegas for Cuban food. If we want pizza, we head to our favorite… Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.
A medianoche sandwich and tres leches cake at Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine .
Seared tuna, “Bang Bang” shrimp and pan seared Wagyu beef dumplings at Bonefish Grill.
Roasted cauliflower pizza and salad with gorgonzola at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.
If you are visiting south Florida, and find yourself in the suburbs, know that you can eat and sleep well.