Airboating to her heart

When you think of second-date material, you should think of running over hundred-year-old alligators.

This can be done in a romantic way with airboating. Usually lasting an hour, airboating can be a semi-cheap, creative idea for an afternoon in the sun.

This is best for a second date, primarily because there’s no way you will actually be able to talk to your date. It helps to get to know who and what you’re dealing with on the first date.

When you’re airboating, the boat is so loud that everyone gets to wear goofy ear muffs. There’s also not much privacy, since you will be sharing a boat with about 10 other people.

There are a few things to know before you go.

Make it an early morning. Most places close by 4 p.m., so try to make the 10 a.m. ride. You’ll be cooler and have a better chance of seeing alligators. Surface temperatures have been known to hit 120 degrees in the mid afternoon. The best clothing attire is beachwear. Bring sunscreen because you will get sunburned, despite the cool air you get while you’re moving.

Prepare to be whacked in the face. No, not with that – get your head out of the gutter. Since the airboat has a flat bottom, it can ride over pretty much everything, including plants and gators. The best advice is to prepare to duck from the plants and keep your mouth shut from the bugs.

Loxahatchee Everglades Airboat Tours is the closest place to the Boca campus to go airboating. At the very end of Hillsboro Boulevard, it’s about a 30- to 45-minute drive. If you’re running late, we did some testing for you. You can successfully go over the speed bumps at 55 mph in a low-riding Honda Civic. Beware, though – since the area has recently become part of Parkland, the cops are out and in force.

Remember to go on their Web site, www.evergladesairboattours.com, for coupons. If you pay full price for the ride, you’ve been scammed. They usually have a 25-percent discount or a “buy one, get one half off” type of deal.

There are other places, but this one is closer and has a totally corny museum that everyone just has to go see. Stuffed gators, foxes and boars are on display, along with fish and turtles. The highlight of the museum is all the old newspapers hanging on the wall featuring articles about airboating successes and tragedies. They make for good reading.

So before you unleash your gator, try to take her to see a few gators that call our western backyard home.

Loxahatchee Everglades Tours
15490 Loxahatchee Road
Parkland, FL 33076
(800) 683-5873 or (561) 482-6107
www.evergladesairboattours.com