As the girls had to check out of the hotel this morning we transferred their luggage to our room and they put aside travelling clothes so they could change later.

Originally Stacey and Amy had planned on spending today on the beach and we were going to wander around the art deco area then all meet up for the Duck Tour which gives you a tour of the area in an amphibious truck before they had to be at the airport. However, none of us felt entirely safe in the South Beach Miami area and last night at Bubba Gumps decided to go to Miami Zoo instead.

We looked on the map and it wasn’t too far away, so we put the address into the car’s navigation and off we went. We expected it to be about 20 mins away, so when we had been travelling for half hour we wondered where we were going. The navigation eventually led us up a dirt track and told us we were at the zoo – er no we weren’t. We were in the middle of nowhere. So, we entered the address again and it told us to go in completely the other direction. This is the first time the navigation has been so wrong, but we got there eventually!

The car park was pretty empty when we arrived which was great and we ended up walking straight in, no long queues as we had seen in Orlando.

This is not the worst zoo I have ever visited as many of the larger animals did seem to have a lot of space, but obviously not as much as if they were wild.

I love lizards, so when we kept seeing beautiful big lizards in many of the enclosures I was very happy. They didn’t seem to be part of the exhibits, they were just there enjoying the sun.

There was also a really nice aviary area full of beautiful birds.

Eventually, we were hungry so stopped for lunch. It was at this time that the heavens decided to open and the rain started. We ran for cover and found a gazebo to hide under. We hoped it would only be a quick shower, but then the thunder and lightning started. A few more people joined us and there were more people under another gazebo across the way.

We ended up being there for an hour or so and by the time it started to slow down, it was too late to do the rest of the zoo as the girls had to be at the airport by 6 pm. So, unfortunately, we had to return to the hotel. Chris and I went to the neighbouring hotel for a Starbucks and left the girls in our room with their luggage so they could change ready for their flight. They later joined us at Starbucks where we chatted for a while.

Then it was time to get to the airport. The hotel provides a free shuttle so we all boarded and off we went. I am so glad we didn’t have to drive as the roads and the airport area were crazy. The shuttle dropped us at the Virgin gate and the girls checked in their luggage. We then went to Pizza Hut for a bite to eat and then visited a few of the shops before we had to say a final goodbye.

This was a little emotional, to say the least, but all good things have to come to an end and we sadly waved them goodbye as we boarded the shuttle back to the hotel.

One cool thing was that I was tracking their flight on my iPad app and could see exactly when they were leaving the gate. We looked out of the hotel window and at the exact point the app said it was taking off we saw it fly straight over our hotel room. Definitely, the one as we could see the Virgin logo etc, it was very close. Very cool!