Tag Archives: Miami

House Envy?

Even before we downsized and took up residence in a 300-square-foot home-on-wheels, I had a fascination with over-the-top, Gothic-style houses. Most of the ones I’ve coveted were in Europe (and they were castles), but the Vizcaya Museum in Miami delivered in the fantasty department–in spades. There are tapestries, crystal chandeliers, winding stone staircases, an indoor courtyard, and a piazza straight out of Venice with a gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. A bonus: stunning French- and Italian-style gardens. Maybe they’ll let us park the RV here for a while if we promise not to touch anything.

Vizcaya Museum, Miami FloridaVizcaya Museum, Miami Florida

Monkeying Around

Monkey Jungle, Miami Florida

Lets face it, people suck. So when we found a place with the advertising tagline “where humans are caged and monkeys run wild” we knew it was going to be worth a visit.

Monkey Jungle began 78 years ago when six Java monkeys were released into the dense South Florida forest. Since then, the original troop has grown to more than 80 members, all of which run free in a 30-acre preserve. It is one of just a few protected habitats for endangered primates in the U.S., and the only one open to the public. The monkeys forage for food in the wild, but they also benefit from scheduled feeding times that encourage the critters to congregate for public viewing. In addition to the Java troop, howler monkeys, black-capped capuchins, and about 125 squirrel monkeys inhabit the park’s “Amazonian Rainforest.”

A total of 30 species of primates occupy Monkey Jungle, but not all have free reign. Many of the larger species, like orangutans and gorillas, reside in traditional enclosures. These exhibits, together with a small aviary, make Monkey Jungle feel more like a traditional zoo than it is. But the aviary, at least, is actually a sanctuary for pet birds adopted by a non-profit organization created to rescue abandoned parrots. Abandoned, no doubt, by people who suck.

Monkey Jungle, Miami Florida

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