Flamingo Gardens – An old Florida Hidden Gem

Are you looking for something to do that is family friendly and does not cost you an arm and a leg. Then you might want to consider Flamingo Gardens in Davie Florida. I had a chance to spend an afternoon with my family and we have lots of fun, from the Wildlife Encounter Shows, Narrated Tram Tours, Botanical Gardens, Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, Museum, and well stocked Gift Shop.

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER SHOWS

We headed right away to the live presentations featuring several of Florida’s native wildlife, such as birds of prey, small mammals, and reptiles, with interesting facts about the species and their relationship to the environment. These shows are presented daily at 11:30, 1:30, and 2:30 weather permitting. My 4 year old daughter lost interest here after awhile but my wife and I enjoyed it.

Welcome to Flamingo Gardens

Welcome to Flamingo Gardens

NARRATED TRAM TOURS

We took the narrated tram ride through the back 46 acres consisting of a mitigated tropical rainforest, wetlands area, and a native hammock including some of the last natural jungle growth in South Florida. The tour is fully narrated, lasting approximately 25 minutes, leaving every thirty minutes from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, seven days a week, weather permitting. This was the last activity we took and after a hot day the cool breeze from the drive was appreciated. We love seeing all the natural tropical plants and trees.

Come Smell the Flowers Flamingo Gardens

Come Smell the Flowers Flamingo Gardens

BOTANICAL GARDENS

The Wray Botanical Collection and Arboretum at Flamingo Gardens consists of 15 acres with over 3000 tropical and sub-topical plants and trees. The Arboretum is home to 18 “Champion” trees, the largest trees of their species as designated by the Florida Forest Service, including the largest single-trunk tree in the Florida. Specialty gardens include the Croton Garden, Butterfly Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Florida Wildflower Garden, Bromeliad Garden, and Children’s Garden. You won’t believe all the amazing and huge trees to explore and take photos of the family.

Wild Life at Flamingo Gardens

Wild Life at Flamingo Gardens

EVERGLADES WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens provides residence to permanently injured and non-releasable birds and animals. It has the distinction of being the largest collection of Florida native wildlife in the State with over 85 native species including alligators, bobcats, panthers, otters, eagles, peacocks and, of course flamingos. It also contains one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the country and one of the premiere River Otter breeding programs.  The animals seemed like they were well care for and my daughter really enjoyed them.

Big Trees at Flamingo Gardens

Big Trees at Flamingo Gardens

WRAY HOME MUSEUM

The centerpiece of the gardens is a natural hammock of 200 year-old Live Oak trees dripping with species orchids and epiphytes. Amid the trees is the historic Wray Home Museum, built in 1933 by Floyd L. and Jane Wray as a weekend retreat. It is the oldest residence in Broward County west of University Drive. The building was restored in 1991 to depict a typical South Florida country home of the 1930’s and is open to the public with guided tours from 10:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week.

So if you are looking for an attraction that has stood the test of time, then you need to come to Flamingo Gardens.

Flamingo Gardens
3750 South Flamingo Road
Davie, FL 33330-1614

PHONE
954.473.2955

If you have been there, please give us a comment of your own. WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!! You can comment below.

Allure of the Sea Leaves Fort Lauderdale

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea is a beautiful and grand cruise that leaves Fort Lauderdale’s port most Sunday afternoons. While sitting on the beach, I caught some photos of this cruise ship leaving the port. I knew this was one of Royal Caribbeans updated and special ships and have Dream Work characters on board which makes it really special for families.

Here are a few photos of the ship….
Allure of the Sea Royal Caribbean

Allure of the Sea Fort Lauderdale

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea

When I got back home, I did some research on the ship and to find out what made this ship so special. From what I found out online, its the revolutionary design of Allure of the Seas that will excite any cruise passenger. The ship has the following:

  • One to two-story ocean views contemporary Loft Suites
  • Full-sized carousel on a Boardwalk neighborhood
  • You can spend some quiet time in the adults-only Solarium
  • The kids’ imaginations can run wild in our Youth Zone – the largest dedicated youth area at sea.
  • Jump right into the Pool Zone, where you’ll find the H2O Zone, cantilevered whirlpools, FlowRiders and a thrilling zip-line view of the ship and sea below.
  • When it’s time to unwind, you can go for a stroll in Central Park – a meandering garden and lush public space lined with foliage and fine restaurants
  • You can take in the majestic view from any of the multiple balconies overlooking the AquaTheater, the first amphitheater at sea.
  • The ship has 28 ultra-modern loft suites and 2,700 spacious staterooms,
  • This ship is 16-decks and can prove that the impossible, is possible.

Wow, this ship sounds like it has it all. I have never cruised, so I am counting on some of our readers to give me some feed back of their experiences on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Sea.
God Bless,
Johnny

Fort Lauderdale Spring Break

Hi there,

Spring Break is upon us and Fort Lauderdale is one the places for many students and non-students alike to travel in March and April of every year. I have a special appreciation for Fort Lauderdale’s Spring Break because that is one of the main reasons I moved to South Florida to live many years ago, a great choice in my life.

Here is video of some of the beach action in Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break. Spring Break is mostly about the beach, sun bathing, and lots of water sports.

Its not that wild in Fort Lauderdale anymore, believe me its still a lot of fun and a great place to visit with the weather is sooooo nice now, 80 degrees in the day and 60 degrees at night.

If you are thinking of coming to Fort Lauderdale check out these Expedia Travel Deals to this location<<<

Does anyone have any Fort Lauderdale Spring Break stories they want to share? Please keep it PG-13.
Have a great Spring Break!!
God Bless,
Johnny

Old Heidelberg Review

It has been a while since I have been to Old Heidelberg German Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale and it was time to give this place a visit. My wife is not a big lover of German food. She says its too bland and I was hoping to prove her wrong with Old Heidelberg. German food may not be too spicy but can be very tasty and is a hearty type of food.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly German lady but not the old owner I usually saw before. Afterward the waiter informed us this women was the new owner of the restaurant. She was very pleasant and walked us past the live one man band playing German music. We sat in the long room and in a comfortable booth.  This place is authentic and definitely makes you feel like you are in Bavaria, Germany.  It brought back fond memories of my last visit to Germany so the ambiance gets a thumbs up from me.

The waiter was very nice and very attentive. He took our drink order. We relaxed and were bobbing our heads to the German music as we started our experience at Old Heidelberg. The drinks came quickly, the beer was very cold and tasty. I am not a drinker but a good German Bitburger is always a treat once in while. We took a few minutes to review the menu and I tried to explain to my wife about the German food. So we ordered a German staple, Wiener Schnitzel, and Hungarian Beef Goulash. My wife loves Lobster Bisque which she ordered.

The meals came with a very unusual salads, hearty German bread, and butter. We were hungry and enjoyed this. My wife really liked the Lobster Bisque and she said it was excellent. Then the waiter came with the main meals. They looked really good but unfortunately they were bland as my wife predicted. The Wiener Schnitzel was paper thin and very plain. The sides were good, red cabage and German potato salad. My wife dish, Hungarian Beef Goulash, was a little weird because the beef was in a liquid creamy cheese sauce. The beef was good quality but the sauce was not a winner for us at all. The side of spetzel (potato noodles) were OK for this dish.

We did not have dessert because we were full and asked for the  the check.  The cost for for 3 drinks, 2 meals, and 1 soup, $52 and we had a coupon for $5 off. I guess reasonable for a night out. We both gave the over all experience a “B” because we like the atmosphere, the service, and the drinks. The food was a C. So if you are looking for a fun night out and don’t care about the food so much, it would be a enjoyable and a nice night out because of the drinks and live entertainment.

To see there menu, go to: < Old Heidelberg >
914 State Road 84
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315
954-463-3880

Have you been there? What do you think of Old Heidelberg?
God Bless,
Johnny

Fun Lauderdale Website

Here is a good resource about things to do and places to eat in the Fort Lauderdale area. I particularly liked that they have some great listing of restaurants.  My wife loves Asian food and they have a good listing of potential restaurants to try. Also the site has a good listing of local attractions like the Swim with the Dolphins Tour and famous Jungle Queen. The name of the website is FunLauderdale.com.

If you get a chance, check it out and tell me what you think.
God Bless,
Johnny

Duffys Sports Bar Fort Lauderdale

My wife and I received a coupon through the mail for Duffys Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Publix Shopping Center. In the area where I Outside Duffys Sports Barlive in Fort Lauderdale, there are not too many good sports bar, so it is nice to know there is a nice and clean one near my house. Duffy’s has many TV screens to choose from with all different games on.

But tonight, we came here to try some of the food and get a feel for the service and atmosphere.

Overall, I would rate this sports bar an average experience, 5 out of 10.  Our server was very good and  attentive. He suggested the Duffys MVP card right after he greeted us.  This is way to earn points to redeem from the restaurant.  It seemed a good value and we signed up for the no-fee card.

We ordered the Crab Bisque, the nachos, and Special Angus Burger with Onion Rings. The food was OK, the Bisque was sweet and warm, not much crab. I did not like the nachos, but my wife did. The Hamburger was good and tasty. Sweet Potato Fries was cool, limp, and not crispy.

Since we don’t drink, I asked the waiter what was the main draw at the restaurant. It was the drinking, 2 for 1, from 4pm – 7pm and 9pm – 12pm.

If you love sports and drinking, this is the place for you. For me, the food would be the main draw for me to come back. I will be back to watch the big games mostly but my wife liked it more than me and said she would come back for the food.

They have many of these sports bar across Florida, so you may see another Duffy’s when traveling.

Duffey’s Sports Bar
Ft Lauderdale
1804 Cordova Road
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-713-6363

What your thought or review of this restaurant ?
God Bless,
Johnny

Franco and Vinnys

My wife and I went to a local Italian restaurant, Franco and Vinnys – Pizza Shack, which is on Sunrise Blvd and and near A1A.  I used to go to this restaurant in the early 80’s and used to really enjoy the homemade meals and decent pizza.

Franco and Vinny

Franco and Vinny Pizza Shack

So it has been a long time since I have been there, I would give my experience a B+ and the food a B. The waitress was really friendly and she did well.  We ordered 2 salads, fried calamari, and chicken parmigiana, 1 coke and 1 ice tea. The dinner we split. The food prices were a little on the medium/high side, not cheap for the atmosphere because the dinner room is very casual. Since I was there in the 80s, they have updated the decor a little with titles and a little marble. We spent $50 without tip.

Dinning Room

Franco And Vinny Dinning Room

The Food was good, salad was simple with a nice/sweet balsamic dressing. The calamari was a good portion and good. The Chicken parm had a nice marinara sauce on it, the breast was fresh, but the flavor was a little on the bland side. The pasta that came with it was simple and not a big portion. I am glad the dinner bread were there to help fill us up. The bread was really tasty.

Pizza Shack Inc
2884 East Sunrise Boulevard,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304-3318 (954) 564-9522
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Have you been there? What do you think of this place?
God Bless,
Johnny

Fort Lauderdale

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