Our next stop in Florida was West Palm Beach. We used the Florida Turnpike part of the way. A turnpike is a road where a toll is charged. We call it a tollway where we live, but in the Eastern states, the word "turnpike" is more common.
When we got to our motel, we discovered that our room had a balcony. It gave us an amazing view of a small bay and some boats in it. Some of the boats were sailboats, which you don't see very often. The boats were docked there permanently. Sometimes we'd go onto the balcony and sit on the chairs there, enjoying the view. There was also a balcony where the doors to the rooms were. The hotel was old, so our room unlocked with a key instead of a keycard. Also, our floor was tile, not carpet.
The water view from the balcony
The first thing we did was go to the Flagler Museum. Henry Flagler was an industrialist and businessman in the second half of the 1800s and early 1900s. He was very famous in Florida in general, not just West Palm Beach. He pretty much created modern Florida. He built railroads, funded newspapers, founded Flagler College, and even helped to make the first electricity system! The citizens of Miami(which didn't have a name back then) were so grateful to Flagler that they even wanted to name the town after him!
In 1902, as a present to his wife, Flagler built a huge house and named it Whitehall. It had more than 75 rooms! He named it after the Whitehall palace in London, England. It used to be a royal palace until it burned down in 1698.
The next day was Independence Day. In the morning, we went to Lion Country Safari. When we bought the tickets, we were given a CD that we listened to as we drove through. The safari was divided into sections. There were a lot of animals there, including rhinos, ostriches and, of course, lions. The rhinos and ostriches came up to the cars as they passed. At one point, a herd of ostriches was blocking the road. One ostrich even started lightly pecking at someone's window!
After we finished with the safari, we went to their amusement park. It was more for 5-year-olds, though, and we didn't have a lot of fun there. We went on a few rides and went back to our motel.
The pond at the amusement park
In the evening, we ordered a pizza and bought a bottle of Sierra Mist to celebrate the Fourth of July. We sat on the balcony as we watched the fireworks. It turned out that the motel was on a very good spot. It was up on a hill, which gave us an amazing view! People came over to our area to watch the fireworks, which were spectacular! There were different shapes and colors. Some were sent up alone, and others in groups. They were brightly colored and amazingly well coordinated!
Then, on the morning of July 5th, we packed up and drove to Orlando.