August, 2012 
All photos courtesy of Zoo Miami. Above story: flamingos. Below: jaguar, budgies, feedding giraffes, tigers in front of temple
Southeast Florida
17th Annual Key West Lobsterfest


Now is the time for all lobster lovers to visit Key West--to celebrate the opening of Lobster Season--where they throw the biggest party of the summer on August 10-12.


Entertainment Schedule

Immediately following sunset on Friday, August 10, join the Lobsterfest Duval Crawl. Everyone receives an Official Lobsterfest T-Shirt, souvenir lanyard, and drink specials at participating bars. The cost is $18, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Key West High School Scholarship Fund.


At 8pm is the Kick-Off Party at Rick's/Durty Harry's Entertainment Complex at 202 Duval St, where you can enjoy the Durt Bags on the main stage in Durty Harry's or dance to music on the deck in Rick's Upstairs.

On Saturday August 11 from noon-11pm is the Street Fair where the 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 blocks of Duval Street will feature art, crafts, and lots of lobster. From 1-10:30 pm there’s a Free Concert at the intersection of Duval St. and Greene St. Scheduled acts include Alphonse, Joal Rush,  CW Colt, Cool Breeze & Kelley James

On Sunday, August 12 from 11am-2pm,
a decadent lobster brunch will be served at the Double Tree-Grand Key Resort at 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Reservations are suggested.

Get your claws into this event. For more details, or go to www.keywestlobsterfest.com.


Photos courtesy of Key West Promotions



 Zoo Miami


How long has it been since you’ve been to a zoo? The reference isn’t to one of those theme parks with some animal exhibits, but a real zoo. Of course, no one enjoys animals more than kids, so before school starts again maybe its time to consider a day at the Miami-Dade County Zoological Park and Gardens.

Miami, the city, is sometimes called a zoo by the unappreciative of all its beauty, myriad activities, and sites—but it also has a legitimate zoo—one of the best, and one that gives fresh meaning to a family outing.

Zoo Miami is over 300 acres containing 2,000 animals and more botanicals than you can count. It’s carved into four main exhibit areas: Asia, Africa, Australia, and the latest, Amazon and Beyond—each featuring wildlife indigenous to the implied geography.

Some exhibits--like the reptiles and amphibians—are indoors and air- conditioned. There are interactive water jets for the kids to cool off in—actually get soaked—and misting stations throughout where grown kids find a respite from the heat. It might be a good idea to bring bathing suits for the young ones.

The emphasis here is on the animals, but they haven’t forgotten that everyone needs to get around in comfort to thoroughly enjoy all there is to see. Walking can be more than three miles, and if that trek seems too long, there are some other really fun ways to circulate.

There is an air-conditioned monorail that gives a great aerial view of the layout as well as most of the animals. There are no caged creatures here except for those that could fly away. All the habitats are openly displayed with natural-type containments--like moats, separating the savages from the civilized--but still at a range close enough for appreciation—probably from both sides. The monorail stops at four convenient locations, and you can get an all-day pass to get on and off an many times as you like.

A popular mode of transportation is the Safari Cycle, a four-wheeled pedal-powered vehicle with a surrey top and room enough, in the larger of the two choices, for the whole family. If you can get the kids away from the controls—they love to drive them like a car—you can take turns at the pedals.

For the less physically ambitious there are golf cart, behind-the-scenes tours led by experienced guides interacting with zookeepers along the way. Four specific explorations cover varieties of animals from large to small, cuddly to predators, hogs to dogs, and furry to hard-shelled, from both Asian and African continents, presented with enlightenment from your chaperone.

There are opportunities for photos almost everywhere with some of the best prospects at feeding times conveniently done on a regular schedule. The animal’s keepers treat them to their favorite munchies, and at the same time are open for questions.  With some of the animals you can even get in on the act yourself. Feeding the parakeets and parrots, especially makes the younger kids giddy, and feeding the giraffes seems to be a job craved by every one.  It’s thrilling to have one of these gigantic, awkward, but gentle beasts eat out of you hand—that is if you don’t mind a little slobber.

For those seriously into zoolatry, and at least 18 years old, they can perform as “Zookeeper for a Day” alongside the real zookeepers. They can assist with feeding and exhibit maintenance while learning to identify and evaluate the animals each day. It’s a way to gain understanding and appreciation of a zoo from the out-of-spectators-sight perspective.  It requires a reservation and a cover charge with an additional reward of lunch with the pros and a real zookeeper T-shirt.

If that were not enough, maybe you’d like to stay overnight. Forget the motel--sleep over in a program called a “Zoo-inn.” Again it requires a reservation and an extra fee, and it’s mostly for groups, but anybody with a couple of friends can join in. It runs from 6:30 pm on a Friday or Saturday evening until 9 the next morning. Zoo-Inners are privileged to selective exhibits unavailable to the general admission plus a Pizza dinner, breakfast and a souvenir.

Whether you’re accommodated for a day or a night, combined with all the special features, and scores of exotic wild life, you’ll no doubt conclude that Zoo Miami is more than you expected from an animal exhibit, and an experience more than a simple visit.

Zoo Miami is located at 1 Zoo Boulevard (12400 SW 152 Street). Call 305-251-0400 or go to www.zoomiami.org


Publisher: Lisa Loucks-Christenson (800) 928-2372 toll free . Email: Lisa@Flatrips.com

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