We stayed at the Royal Palm South Beach hotel.
They hooked us up nice ya'll. Our room was more like an apartment with a huge living area, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
The view. Nice.
One of the bedrooms.
Seriously, our hotel was awesome.
We arrived in South Beach on Monday but after a 6 am flight we were exhausted so our first day there was spent getting settled and checking out the area a bit.
Tuesday was our big Ultimate Jungle Trek at Jungle Island. We knew we were going to get a behind the scenes tour but we had no idea the level of awesomeness that was in store for us.
The best gift ever was the photographer that followed us around and took almost 400 photos. I didn't have to worry about capturing the moment, I got to enjoy every single second and I'm actually in these pictures! That never happens!
First animal encounter....LEMURS! Ya'll there is nothing like sitting on the floor and having multiple lemurs bouncing and climbing all around you and all over you!
Seriously the coolest experience ever. I could have stayed in the Lemur room forever.
My kids will never, ever forget this.
Lemurs like curly hair.
That face says it all.
They have the longest tail. It is so cool. They also have these cute hands with long skinny fingers that are so soft. They also have tiny finger nails on the top of their fingers.
After the lemurs, we headed over to feed the Galapagos tortoises. Things took a comedic turn here. I'll set the scene with pictures.
I was trying to get this big guy to bite the carrot and our tour guide told me to just pull as hard as I could. You can see from the photos that I did what I was told. I hunkered down and pulled with all my might. Guess what happened when that giant creature finally bit through the carrot? I went flying backwards into a small ditch. It was hysterical. Everyone got a good laugh, I swear I even heard the tortoise giggle.
Everyone else managed to feed the tortoise without incident. I think they learned what not to do from me.
Kangaroos were next. They were so sweet and cute.
We met a giant pig named Ace.
Cradling a sweet Kinkajou (a honey bear).
This was taken right after the honey bear peed on Benjamin and I tried to catch the pee with my hands. That's what moms do....we catch bodily fluids in our hands.
This critter was a bit intimidating but oh so sweet.
They even gave us a couple of porcupine quills to take home.
After lunch we went to the bird show. Perfect activity for my bird-lovin' boy.
After the show we got to see a few of the birds up close.
Touching the neck of an Andean condor.
A Great Horned Howl.
Ya'll we got to play with Capuchins!!
There is a Capuchin on my shoulder!!
And if that wasn't enough....we got to cuddle a baby Capuchin!!
Caleb would have taken this sweet thing home in a heartbeat.
Baby Capuchins like glasses.
A baby flamingo. He was probably the softest and fluffiest critter we touched that day.
Ya'll, I'm still not done!! Wait for it....
A baby tiger!!!
(can you say Christmas card photo!!)
Can this by my driver's license photo please?
Stop it. I can't take it.
Nose to nose with a baby tiger! Who gets to do that?
We got about 15 minutes with this cute little fur baby and it was a blast.
Can I keep this face please?
I kept telling the boys (and myself) "you will never get to do this again so enjoy every second".
Hmmm...maybe this should be our Christmas card photo.
My very passionate, bird-loving boy got to hold a parrot like a baby!
I have no words. It was truly a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We would never have been able to do this on our own and I'm so humbled and blessed by the generosity of The Rachael Ray Show and Jungle Island. It was just amazing. I get all teary just thinking about it.
So after our wild Jungle Island tour, we still had 3 days left in South Beach. So we hit the beach. Every day.
Some folks cruise the streets of South Beach in a Lamborghini. Nope, not us. This is how we roll. Seriously this thing was a life saver (and a back saver). Our hotel went above and beyond by renting this for us and covering the cost.
Love this photo.
My water baby. You can't keep this kid out of the waves. We had to drag him to the beach just to get him to rest.
I was blessed by some time with a fellow SB momma. Her family drove over 2 hours to have a beach day with us. Benjamin made a new friend in Atreyu. They got to talking about Minecraft and that was all it took.
Ezra wanted to hold Caleb's hand. My heart melted.
It was so fun hanging out with Lauren and her family. The online SB community is tight and it is such a blessing when you actually get to spend time with each other in person.
We spent a lot of time at the beach. That was pretty much all the boys wanted to do. When we weren't soaking up the sun, we wandered around South Beach finding little places to eat and taking in the sights. I was memorized by all of the different cultures there. I don't even know how many languages I heard. There were people from all over the world.
Our favorite place was a little sandwich shop that had delicious shakes. I had 3 espresso shakes while we were there.
Do you see what I see? I spy an....
....iguana. Ya'll this guy was just walking around. It was crazy cool.
We had such a great time. I will never understand why we were chosen for this trip. I'll never understand why we have been so blessed. I had no idea that making wheelchair costumes would lead to this. Life is crazy you guys and God is good.