12/23/2012 -- 1/1/2013

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Florida, a southeastern peninsula state between Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, has a relentless low-lying landscape with the highest point in the state being just 345 ft (105m) above sea level.  Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, encompassing approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), and its sand beaches account for more than 1,000 miles of the coastline.  The Sunshine State deserves its reputation as the perfect family vacation spot with typical travel icons -- sun, sea, sand, and Mickey Mouse. 

Getting there ...

Visiting Disney was not on my top of to-do list in the past.  However, now that Linus and Iris have grown and become teens, I figure it will be too late if we don't have a family Disney vacation soon.  Combining a Disney trip with Everglades National Park in southern Florida was a fine idea for our winter vacation this year.

We had a red-eye flight from San Francisco (10:20PM on 12/23) to Orlando (9:30AM on 12/24) with a short stop in Charlotte in the early morning.  We got a rental car in Orlando, and drove down to Miami to start the journey of our Florida winter vacation.



[Miami, 12/24--12/25] [Everglades, 12/26--12/28] [Disney World, 12/29--1/1]

Miami (Day 1, 12/24) ...





Day 2 (12/25) ...











            There were also parrot, dolphin, and sea lion shows scheduled throughout the day.  Unlike the shows in those bigger theme parks, the shows at the Theater of the Sea were in a smaller setting that we felt much closer to the animals.  We were amazed by how smart parrots are that one particular parrot could actually count and do simple math.







Day 3 (12/26) ...

Before we headed to Everglades, we finally all went to the beach to have a short walk so we at least touched the sand on Miami Beach.


[Miami, 12/24--12/25] [Everglades, 12/26--12/28] [Disney World, 12/29--1/1]

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