Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Our only true excursion in Miami, other than food of course, was to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. I thought there were a lot of palm trees on our way into Miami, but I’m not so sure if the entire state of Florida can compare with the amount and variety of palm trees that Fairchild has to offer.


Does this not look like a snapshot from the movie Jurassic Park? I kept waiting for a brachiosaurus to come walking by.


These leaves were bigger than Lance’s and my head combined!

This was also the point where my camera battery died. I made it through four days of our trip on one battery charge and this was the moment she decided to crap out on me.

It was also ridiculously hot that day. The temperature was somewhere in the high 90s with the real feel at 100+ and humidity that made taking a single breath feel like an accomplishment. When I learned that the gardens are spread across 83 acres, I looked down at my body covered in sweat, the camera slung across me that was dead weight now and couldn’t imagine making it through the entire property alive.


We popped into the butterfly garden as I was trying to figure out the nicest way to tell Lance that I was going to melt apart if I had to walk the entire grounds.


Fortunately, the garden had watering stations at every single turning point. I filled up the complimentary water they gave me at admission somewhere around 392 times.


We took our time and wandered around trying to enjoy the beauty despite the pressing heat.


This lily pad pond was a particularly beautiful spot. There were benches surrounding it, but after sitting for a minute we decided we needed to get out of the sun.


When we first arrived they mentioned a tram car that offered tours of the facility. We ignored this, as we usually do. We don’t need a tram car! We’ll take our time and do this thing ourselves! After walking around in the heat for two hours, we decided the tram car might be the best way to see the rest of the garden without passing out from the heat.

Most of the grounds are run by volunteer workers. They are stationed in the different areas of the garden to offer water and assistance to visitors. We learned that the next tram car would be coming around in forty-five minutes. Actually, we were told that the Spanish tram would be coming in fifteen and the English car would be coming in forty-five.

Lance must have momentarily lost his mind, because he was willing to board the Spanish speaking tram car.

Please note: Neither of us speak Spanish. Even amidst heat, I knew I wanted to wait the extra half hour to hear about the garden in English. Forty-five minutes is usually a long time to get me to sit still, but we enjoyed the time by sitting beside a pond and watching for reptiles.


Note to self:

Dear Jessica,

If you ever have children, train them to be still and quiet on tours. Or, don’t take them. You, and everyone else on the tram car, will thank me. You’re welcome.

I got your back.


I love children. I teach children.


But. But. But.

I can’t stand when parents allow their children to be a disruption that impacts those around them.

There. I said it. I’m a terrible, horrible person, I know.

We started our tram car tour of the grounds with one family that had two tiny little guys. The youngest was probably three and the oldest, I’m guessing, five. At the start of our tour, they were talking, yelling and climbing all over their seats to the point that I was barely hearing what the tour guide was saying. To make matters worse, their mother wasn’t much more aware of her volume level when ‘disciplining’ them. We were then joined at our first stop by a mother with three children who made the first two children look like quiet, peaceful, little tenderlings.

I did catch from our volunteer tour guide that South Florida is a subtropical zone which is most ideal for tropical gardens. This is why they are able to be home to such a wide variety of palm trees and other tropical plants.

Despite undisciplined children, and even some undisciplined adults, we still enjoyed our hour long ride around the grounds. Our tour guide really knew his stuff and I learned a lot about palm trees that I’m sure I have already forgotten.

This view is my favorite from the entire grounds:



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