Let's get serious -- driving your visitors around the crowded roads of Broward or Palm Beach county to get to the beach or the restaurant or the Everglades is OK if you like traffic jams and they don't mind not seeing it all. But there is a way around that which we figure is cheap at the price: a 30-minute chopper ride that gives your relatives and friends a bird's-eye view of the whole South Florida thing. Belted into the vibrating cabin of a Bell Jet Ranger, an Astar, or a Robinson R44, the out-of-towner will see a ribbon of white sand running 60 or 70 miles north and south from a vantage at least 1000 feet above the beach -- without the threat of a traffic jam. The Everglades lie to the west like, well, like a river of grass (Marjory Stoneman Douglas' famous phrase) and between the beach and the 'Glades, the chopper cowboy can see South Florida's famous urban sprawl. Pick a day that's windless (it's not safer, it's just more comfortable), talk your mom and dad into a little adventure, and don't worry about the bucks ($99 for a half-hour ride). It's worth it to say you showed them everything and get it over with.

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