Nature Next Door

Trip Start Apr 15, 2012
1
6
Trip End Apr 21, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, April 20, 2012

In reality, we should have done this day on Tuesday, instead of the Hugh Taylor Birch Park..We would have had more time to enjoy the place had we done so, but we wouldn't have seen the turtle laying her eggs, so we don't regret our planning.

The Anna Kolb Nature Center in West Lake Park provides a nice overview of the mangrove eco-system in Florida.The nature center was named for the late County Commissioner Anne Kolb,  who in 1974 had become the first woman
elected to the Broward County Commission.She was an active environmentalist and saved this coastal mangrove
wetland from development, yet kept it open for public accessibility.

Technically, a mangrove is a type of environment, rather than a specific plant. They live in saline environments,from brackish to high salinity, due to their ability to basically be their own desalinization plants (no pun intended)..

A walk over the Mangrove Boardwalk Trail took us through the Mangroves out into the lake. Little crabs darted away as we came. Another trail, the Mud Flat Trail, took us along the mud flats. We climbed the 5 story tower to get a really nice view of the area. There are 2 other longer trails that allow one to learn more about the mangrove ecosystem and give nice views of the Intercoastal Waterway.

You can also canoe or kayak through the mangroves or on the lake. We rented a 2 man kayak for an hour and paddled through the mangrove trails, into the lake, and back through the mangroves.  There is nothing like getting up close and personal with nature to not only experience it, but to appreciate what is out there to see.

We went back to Primanti Brothers for pizza for lunch. If you are ever in Fort Lauderdale, go to Ft. Lauderdale Blvd (A1A) and 9th Ave and have some of their pizza. The crust is thin, yet crunchy; they don't skimp on the pepperoni or sausage, and it is the best pizza I have ever had.

We finally decided to go to the Casablanca Cafe for dinner. The restaurant is housed in the first beach house in Fort Lauderdale. Go about 6 and you may be fortunate to sit on the balcony with a great view of Fort Lauderdale Beach. We had escargots with an attitude (delicious), Keith had Rack of Lamb; I had Sea Bass that was fantastic; Keith had Key Lime Pie for dessert and I had chocolate Mousse..  It was all very well done and very enjoyable.
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