Tour Guide


Ricky Real Florida Adventures tour guide

Where were you born?
Cleveland, Ohio

What led you to this career?
I was a high school geography teacher for ten years which was rewarding but demanding. When I saw a posting for a tour guide position to take people to do some of my favorite Florida activities, I knew this job was a perfect fit for me. I still get to be a teacher, but now every day is a field trip!

What are your hobbies?
Travel is my #1 passion. My wife and I try to travel out of the country at least once a year. We also love visiting America’s National Parks. Besides that, I love fruit and vegetable gardening, stargazing with my telescope, and spending time with my pups.

Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs: we think Lilly is a border collie/lab mix and Mac is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are both rescue pups, so we aren’t sure! We’ve had Lilly since she was eight weeks old and Mac decided to follow us home on a walk one night in early 2022.

If you won big on the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
I have a pretty sweet 4.5” aperture Newtonian telescope now, but I would love to have a big 16” or more Dobsonian telescope, so I could see more deep-sky objects like distant galaxies.

Favorite movie of all time?
Babe is the absolute perfect movie. It’s funny, sad, heartwarming, and deep. It’s a kid’s movie that is serious enough for adults to enjoy and never condescends to the kids. Plus, a pig that thinks it’s a dog. C’mon.

Favorite movie to play on a tour bus?
It has to be Shrek. I’ve tried every other movie, and nothing hits like Shrek. Almost everybody loves it, forgot how much they love it, or can at least tolerate it. And check out our TripAdvisor reviews. Sometimes I think Shrek gets more mentions than the manatees.

Favorite Sport and Sports team?
Lacrosse is my favorite sport. In addition to being a teacher, I was a lacrosse coach for fifteen years, and played in high school and college. My favorite team, on the other hand, is University of Kentucky basketball. UK is my alma mater, and basketball is religion there.

You are stranded on a desert island what is the one thing you must have?
Snorkel gear is a must. I can snorkel all day every day, so I would be less “stranded” and more “not being bothered” while I snorkeled.

If you could ask one person in history just one question, who would it be and what would you ask?
I would love to ask Albert Einstein about how he came up with general relativity. It completely changed how we think of the universe, and is such a departure from how gravity was viewed for hundreds of years before it.

Top Orlando tip?
Get away from the parks for a little bit. They’re great, but Florida has so much unique nature and lots of cool native animals to see. Don’t miss out on that!

Favorite Real Florida Excursion and why?
All of them are great, but the Real Florida Manatee Adventure is my favorite. All of the activities on the Real Florida Manatee adventure are things I had been doing for years long before I worked for Real Florida Adventures. Take it from someone who’s lived in Florida for over twelve years—this tour is some of the best stuff that Florida has to offer all packed into one exciting day. It is truly rewarding to share the Florida that I know and love with our guests. Nothing makes me happier than when I hear people say, “This was by far the highlight of our whole trip.”

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