Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Everglades Holiday Park - Fort Lauderdale

Sometimes it amazes me how few people that I know have ever taken an airboat ride in the Everglades. One of the first things I did over 30 years ago when I arrived from Philly was to drive way out west to 

Everglades Holiday Park and see what the Everglades were all about. 
Well it's not so "way out west" any more. South Florida has grown up amazingly fast and if there were not a line drawn in the muck, it would have kept on going. Over the years I've taken quite a few rides so I know my way around a bit. For this visit, my daughter and her boyfriend joined me. We picked the only day of the year with a chill in the air and the gators were scarce but there were plenty of vultures - in the sky and loading up the trees. Yes - they migrate too. 


So let's talk about airboats. Everglades Holiday Park has the big ones. They seat about 25 -30 guests, twin engines, and no ear plugs required. I prefer the little ones that give a much more thrilling ride but these boats are pretty impressive when running flat out. We had a full boat on our visit and only my daughter and I had been to the glades before. Our captain was crazy enough to eat a bug. No really. In the middle of our ride he hopped down from his perch, grabbed a floating plant, tore it open to find a little worm, then ate it. He told us about all the other plants one could eat if they found themselves trapped out in middle of the swamp. Yeah - that's not going to happen. I was sure to tip him at the end of the ride so he could get himself a sandwich.... or mouthwash.

Gator Boys
I managed to catch a few shots of the wildlife as we zipped around. You can see those on my Flickr page. The gators all decided to hit the bottom to stay warm. The Everglades is only a few to maybe six feet deep, 60 miles wide and 100 miles long. The water is mostly crystal clear but looks black from the muck at the bottom. That's a lot of hiding places.  In the summer they are pretty much all over but it was our luck to see none. Off to the gator show then - free with the air boat ticket.


In years past as I remember, the alligator wrestlers were always missing a finger or two. Not only did our performer have all his fingers and toes, he was one of the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue team as seen on Animal Planet. I've seen plenty of gator shows but this one was different. He handled the gator like it was a pet dog and even stuck his head very close to the business end. I've been witness to a slight performance mishap many years ago and saw firsthand how fast and unpredictable these critters can be.

Living in the city is nice but all of South Florida looked like the Everglades just over a hundred years ago. It's great that there is this much left but it's hard to believe how much has been destroyed in such short time.

Just around the corner is the town of Weston. Mostly luxury homes and shops. My daughter's boyfriend was much more impressed with the Lamborghini and Aston Martin we saw 5 minutes down the road. Fancy cars are about as common as gators in South Florida. I'm sure the Gator Boys will stay busy rescuing alligators from the backyard pools and parking lots that were their swampy home just a few years ago.


81 comments:

  1. I can't believe I missed this one!! I was thinking you were giving up on your blog ...

    Is that a purple swamphen in the 3rd pic?? Looks just like the Aussie version!! Happily, there are no Aussie vultures ...

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    1. I have a dream to go there and meet them!!!♥ But i live in sc. :(

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  2. PS I see flashes of RED - I'm sure you could scare up a few SF pix with RED in them for the interview that'll make you famous on RED Alert??!! C'mon! You KNOW you want to ...

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  3. @Red - Over here that's known as an American Coot. Purple Swamphen sounds much more appropriate though. I'll keep working on my REDs. I know you are wanting that interview.

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  4. Where are the gator boys alligator rescue located? I'm on the west side of the Everglades (Naples area) and wanted to see one of their shows if not so far away???....

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  5. Yes, we call our birds such imaginative names downunder ...

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  6. This has become my most popular posting by far. I think it has a lot to do with the Gator Boys. If you come from Naples, it's just off of I-75 and US 27 so about an hour and a half ride. The gator show is not the TV show but is was still impressive. I passed the Gator Boy truck the other day right near my house. I really need to start watching the show.

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  7. http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21006644012926/residents-large-gator-ate-dog/

    come get him before someone else does called you like two weeks ago and left a message.

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  8. Where are the Gator boys shows located at?

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    1. Everglade holiday park
      Ur welcome

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  9. I would like to know where the Gator Boys are located as well. I'll be visiting FL soon and would like to see their live show.

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  10. I would like to know where the Gator Boys are located as well. I'll be visiting FL soon and would like to see their live show.

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    1. Me too! Im a HUGE fan of them, im also visiting Fl soon in about 2 weeks ( July 27, 2012 ) Hopefully I'll Find out soon! :)Because I would like to see one of their live shows!

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    2. Is one of Gatorade boys dead?

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    3. Anonymous, I think you are thinking of swamp people. One of the two brothers died that were on the show.

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  11. The gator show I saw was at Everglades Holiday Park.

    http://www.evergladesholidaypark.com/gators.htmlhttp://www.evergladesholidaypark.com/gators.html

    I'm not sure if the Gator Boys perform all the shows now or if there are other performers. The location is:

    http://www.evergladesholidaypark.com/locate.html

    Not the same as the TV show if that's what you are looking for but it is about 20 minutes of crazy alligator handling. Hope this helps.

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  12. I love your show and recently went to the Everglades Holiday park and saw your alligator wrestling show. After, we got to hold Spongebob (Which was awesome!!!) I would definetely go back to you guys when me and my family vist Florida in the future! Bye!

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  13. I have an alligator in lake in front of my house. Who do I call to come and catch it? I saw a show on Animal Planet - Gator Boys, but I can't find their number. Thanks! My e-mail ndlf1017@gmail.com

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  14. I love Gator Boys one day i whant to go to Flordia and see a show.

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  15. Love watching them gator boys shame they arent closer. I would be there everyday watching them.They are both so handsome and nice looking packages. should be in louisana. Lot closer to Oklahoma.
    Love you guys Merilyn

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    Replies
    1. Some of the holiday destinations in fort lauderdale.

      ft lauderdale signs

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    2. i wish they would come hereto indiana

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  16. i wanna go and help rescue gators

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  17. Can u please call us at 786 477 9723 so that u can get a gator Plz

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    Replies
    1. The county took over the Everglades Holiday Park in June, so I don't think you will be hearing from the boys any time soon.

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    2. that really sucks that county took over would love to see them boys more!!!!leave it to the government to mess something good up!

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  18. how can i become a volunteer for the gator boys

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  19. I really really really want to volunteer for the gator boys. Ever since i was little i have told my mom i wanted to wrestle an aligator because i always watched steve erwin.

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  20. Just saw one of the TV shows.... ❤ THE GATOR BOYS! Just an FYI on cell phones and water....get an I-Phone and get a case by life proof, it really works! No more water damage, it's a waterproof / weather proof..... U can even take photos and live video with sound! It's pretty neat... I post photo's / video's of my kid's in our pool, people go nut's over quality of photo's / video's and sound underwater....and most of all...NO PHONE DAMAGE!
    Keep up the good job with gator's, ❤ wildlife and that you help them out! Thank you!

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    1. where can we get gatorboys apparel?

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  21. I love your show it is so cool to watch.

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  22. how can i become a volunteer for the gator boys

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  23. I'll just tell you what I remember because memory is as close as I've gotten to building my own time machine.Love Sms , Love Text

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  24. She'd spent years trying to explain herself to me (and I to her), but in the end, it had all been for nothing. I could recite her memories, but I could not feel them. She was another country, and I would never travel there.
    Cheap Flights to Johannesburg

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  25. how much dose it cost from mims

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  26. i love gator boys my favorite gator is sanddy she is so cute yours trully jasmine lynn

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  27. you know what is so cool is that i live in FLORDA to and in one of your shows i saw that you where on a high way and that was right here in jax you should come down here and do a show at the jax zoo that would be so cool please yours trully jasmine lynn

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  28. Love the show and jimmy. I live near ft myers florida and would love to know how far away the gator boys wrestling shows are. I watched a show in gatorland and even saw 2 albinio gators.

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  29. hey dose anyone know the number for gator boys

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  30. that last comment was sent by me

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  31. On the last episode I watched, it looked like the park may be taken over, closed or relocated. Funds would help in any case. Would you consider a "RALLY for the ALLIgator" campaign? A couple episodes back there was a very preg. female, if the eggs haven't hatched put a camera on the egg, follow the hatching,then have a "Rally Cam" on the baby that shows what she's up to daily and follow his/her life (shows, road shows, dr appts.) You could provide on-line giving opportunities. Maybe have a bi-annual "RALLY EVENT", getting the staff included. Those of us that are too far away could feel closer.
    -paulabear214@hotmail.com

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  32. so paul when the gator had bitten your hand was it life threting or just a minner bite?and did the guy with the long hair ever find his hat or what. BTW are you guys going to have to close your gator rescuy

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  33. I love Gator Boys, my 9 year old and I watch together, and enjoy the show very much. He has learned many wonderful bits of information not just about aligators but snakes and turtles too. Ty Gator Boys+,, Paul, Jeremy, Scott, Chris, Ashley, Tre and the many others who have helped teach my youngster about he importance of our enviornment and to respect all the animals within our space. We are planning a trip from Michigan to the Everglades Holiday Park as soon as we are able.However We truely would be disappointed if The Gator Boys were not there. Good Luck, keep us posted so we know where to go when we get to South Florida..

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  34. Sorry to, Jimmy,, I just noticed the spell checker changed your name to Jeremy. Lol... ;-) thanks again, keep up the great work.

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  35. Is the show coming back on t.v.? Loved your show so much.

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  36. Oh my the GatorBoys need to stay! They do great work! Love u Jimmy and Paul!

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  37. Would Animal Planet really let the Gator Boys go??? It has shown the gators in a different light... Good Educational program. they would be stupid to not to let the show continue.

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  38. I would love to petition the county to leave my park alone! whos with me!!???

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    1. I would love that :) Some one GOT to do something.. I Think all the fans should do something and sorry But they are not hurting any alligator. I can see the passion these people has for them.. We nee more people like that in this world. I will happily sign anything to save that alligator park!!!

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    2. i will sign any thing. these two crazy guys are my heros,i love to watch them, now i wont have anything to watch in eastern kentucky

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  39. ive had gator problems and the police wont help much so dose anyone know the number for one of the gator boys

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  40. and how far is the everglades from tomball,tx

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  41. im staying in cape coral how far away am i. and can i help catch a gator.ill sing all waivers. i love reptiles and i just really want to touch and sit on the back of one like jimmy does.

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  42. my email is jmotes83@yahoo.com

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  43. My 10 year old son and I watch Gator Boys all the time. He has asked if he could wrestle gators and if we could make a trip from Michigan down to Holdiay Park. I was hoping to make a trip next year but after the July 29th show I am worried it won't be there. We love the show and would hate if it is no longer on. My son was so upset that it might not be on any more because he will not have anything to watch. He used to watch Swamp People but after Gator Boys he no longer likes Swamp People. We really hope the show keeps going and that Gator Boys still has there place at Holiday Park

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  44. the gator boys are the best. they need to stay right where they are in holiday park. keep up the good work and stay safe.

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  45. What is the status of Holliday Park at this time, I can't get any recent information.

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    1. I just typed in "has the county taken over the gator boys holiday park?" and the article came up that they took it over in June, but Gator Boys maybe back if the county except their bid. I sure hope the county will. I'd hate to see the boys move to Mississippi.

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  46. I love the gator boy show

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  47. I'm so mad that there moving them!!!!!!! :( Gator boys is my absolute favorite shows ever!! I'm so upset that it might not be on anymore!

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  48. Me and the grandboy love the show! Really want to find him a tee shirt with ya'lls logo? how bout a little help?

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  49. I love your show!(:

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  50. Me and my granddaughters love to watch the gator boys Paul and Jimmy. I really will hate it if they stop them from doing what they do best and it is very helpful to the public on the alligators how not to mess with them . And if there not going to be there anymore then our trips down south will stop. We love them and i think the COUNTY is wrong. At least let the public buy tee shirts and other items to help with the gator program. Of feeding them and housing them it's very wrong to take this away from the people. And not to mention the kids it's very helpful for them knowing what to do and not to do when they even come across a small one . Thank You Sue, Ashley , Destiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  51. I just got done watching the last episode and I am upset if the county doesn't realize the good these people do. My gosh, they are protecting the local, natural species that have a right to be there. They are OUR gators, not some exotic intruder from South America like the pythons and Boas running loose in the Everglades. I have seen how other trappers trap gators and it is sloppy and rude to say the least. No. We need people like the Gator Boys who show how humanity IS the way to go to preserve OUR native gators!!! They do us Floridians proud!!

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  52. These guys actually perform a very necessary service. The more man in croaches into the everglades the more trouble out of snakes and alligators were gonna have. If the county closes this park then where r we gonna go for help? The fire dept or police dept do not know how to trap or catch a alligator or a snake. Nor do these depts have the time or man power. Its not just a popular show it also happens to be a refuge for gators that none wants. They also provide education for anyone who wishes to learn about alligators or the swamp. DON'T CLOSE THEM DOWN....we need em.

    Beth whitt
    Mount Airy, NC but a native floridian

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    1. I think theyre making a huge mistake. Now what are they going to do about the gators . The people of florida should petition .

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  53. i love the show! i want to marry paul bedard! he is so sexy!i wanna meet him bad! i guess that'll never happen now that the park was taken over, i don't know where to find em. hes prob married anyway

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  54. oh yeah sorry i am from pennsylvania

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  56. I don't think the Gator boys are affiliated with this blog, the Everglades are very far from Tomball, TX, and the purple bird is a purple gallinule.

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  58. Hello there! What is your opinion on advertisements put on regular blogs?

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  59. Iam from sumter county fl withacoocee river home of the swamp brothers why dont the gatorboys come up here we have thounds of gators I live in croom a cochee were florida cracker hillbilly swim side by side with gators every summer they are not afraid at all we also have cuben croc so maybe the gatorboys can get this messissage 301 busnel fl

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  60. Can I ask, why this park is so different as compared to rest of the regional holiday parks? Answer me please!

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