Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale

Nick had to go to Miami for a work conference in July. So I decided to meet him in Florida afterwards for an adult vacation. Instead of Miami though,  we stayed in Ft. Lauderdale, which is much more our speed.. LAID BACK!

Now Nick & I usually like adventurous vacations but this vacation was not adventurous. NOT AT ALL! It was relaxing & low key. And it was just what we needed!

Our hotel was on A1A (Beachfront Avenue) and it was right across the street from the beach. (As all the hotels are in Ft. Lauderdale.)

Here's the view from our room.

Every morning, we would wake up, Nick would go downstairs & get us coffee from the Starbucks on the first floor of the hotel (such a gentleman) while I was getting ready & then we would walk across the breezeway

and drink our coffee on the beach.

And then we would spend several hours swimming 

and laying out.

Around lunchtime, we would take a stroll on the boardwalk & stop to eat at a place that had a view like this! 
(And that allowed you to eat in swimsuits & cover ups :)

And then after lunch, we would head back to the beach for a few more hours.

I think every single day that we were there, a storm blew in right around 4pm.

Which ended up being a perfect time for us to head back to our room to take a shower & get ready for dinner. For dinners, 

we went to nicer places

 where the patrons weren't in swimsuits & cover ups :)

And after dinner, we would take a walk on the beach. 

The one 'adventure' that we did have was when we stumbled upon a sea turtle nest excavation! Which was super cool!!

So all over the beaches in Ft. Lauderdale there are sea turtle nests. Like hundreds & probably even thousands of them.

Broward County has a conservation program that identifies, marks & monitors the nests. Every morning, super early, the monitors walk the beach in search of new nests & hatchlings. When they find a nest, they mark it like this...

This nest was discovered on July 15th & it is a loggerhead nest, marked with a CC with stands for Caretta Caretta, the Latin name for a loggerhead.

Loggerhead eggs take about 45 days to incubate. So once it gets close to that number, the monitors start checking the nests for hatchlings. Once they see signs of hatchlings, they mark the nest with an extra flag (I think they add the blue one) and they alert Nova University. Nova comes out & double checks the nest & if they also see signs of hatchings, they mark it with their flag (which I think is the green one.) And then...

someone from Nova comes out & digs up the nest.

Sometimes when the eggs hatch, not all the babies are able to dig their way to the surface & are just trapped in the nest. And this is why the conservationists dig them up. 


And I know all this information because I asked him A LOT of questions! Other people were asking "Where's the mom? You mean she just leaves them? How mean!" (Come on people, they're animals, that's what they do!) But I asked questions about how this whole process works.

So this guy dug up the nest & all the hatchlings that he rescued, he put in a bucket. (An orange Home Depot bucket to be exact. That's why this picture has an orange tint to it!) The eggs that did not incubate, he put those back in the nest & reburied them.

He said that he brings the hatchlings back to his house for the day & he comes back to the beach at night & releases them. How cool is that!

So that was our vacation... 4 days of relaxing fun in the sun & a sea turtle science lesson!