Wherever I live, I want to see and do it all.
With that said, I drove my daughter, a friend and her daughter to the Miccosukee Casino and Resort for what the flyer said was "Indian Day". Whether they call it "Indian Day" because they're not offended by the term or whether they think "Native-American" has less marketing pull, I'm unsure. Anyway, I drove Calle Ocho to the end of the world and there we were on the edge of the Everglades.
There is a mid size hotel on the edge of the Everglades.
On this day, there were also many tents and rides.
Our kids both wanted to go on the rides, of course. Those scary, scary, scary rides that you find at county fairs. The ones that come out of trucks and are stuck together with erector sets, tinker toys and gum. But these felt even less safe. I scouted the rides that didn't go high and didn't go fast and looked like they were bolted together without any dangling parts. She went on. I held my finger above 911 on speed dial. Luckily there were quite a few emergency vehicles on the site. Just waiting. Hovering.
When the alligator wrestling started, I concluded the emergency responders were there for this. A man went into a sandbox with an alligator. Seriously. it was a 10x10 sandbox with wood sides about 2 feet high. A man with a mohawk put his chin on the jaws of a large reptile -- every hour on the hour. The gator was real. And it had teeth. And the shows started on time.
Though the emergency responders could have been there for the throw the darts at the balloon game. it was free and they let 4 year olds play. What got me were the men running the game seemed not to notice that people were throwing darts. They causally walked back and forth as the kids and adults lobbed the semi-dull, but pointy can put your eye out objects. But who am I to tell anyone else how to do their job. My daughter, thankfully, showed no interest in being a carnie.
Under the tents, they were selling lots of crafts. Things made from beads do not come cheap, though it was all quite beautiful.
Then we went to the casino buffet. Fun for the kids who had 4 helpings of dessert. Fun for the moms as there is a bar right next to the long line snaking to get in.
Most impressively was the play area. It was a 3 story structure kids could climb and play in. You can check your kid in and then go gamble or cheat on your spouse or go to the buffet without needed to model good eating behavior or whatever you want to do. And the play area is open to 2 a.m.! I, of course, sat in the lobby of the play area, available to give my child water, while my friend did the casino. I am that overprotective mom.
Luckily, there was a comic book convention at the hotel that we had stopped by a little earlier and I had picked some random comics from the 25 cents box. I read them, and will regift them to my brother in law who never reads my blogs. It was one of those lucky kinds of a day.
None of us even suffered a mosquito bite/West Nile fever. And the sun setting over the Everglades is beautiful. The sun came through the clouds looking like a Renaissance painting of god.
It was fun. It was free. It was Florida.
Look for us at any odd Florida thing. We'll be there. if you hear of anything interesting coming, let me know.