January 17, 2010

Orlando:part II

(Yes, we were all decked out in winter gear in Florida)
Well I better blog about the rest of our vacation before the memories all slip away. In fact I am scratching my head a bit now thinking how do I start. The second day we hit a new spot called Gatorland. Our high brow, well paid, semi-famous (we saw she's played for 2 presidents on her website), violin teacher recommended it to us. She's classy like that.

The park bragged that it had over 1000 gators to view. I found that after about 60 they all seem pretty much the same. Except the albino alligator of coarse! What I did like about this park was the atmosphere. It was all gritty and down-home. Maybe you could say back-woods... I don't know, but when we read the sign pulling into the parking lot, it said 'speed limit 4.7 mph' we knew that someone here had a sense of humor.

It was a family owned establishment and that meant that the guy taking tickets was also the guy driving the rusty train. Oh, and he was also the guy in both the gator jumping show and he helped his friend out in the gator wrestling show. He navigated the line of children waiting their turn to sit on the gator's back for 10.00 a pop. It's call "rookie wrestling" and I talked Big Boy out of wasting his money on that (saving us 50.00, because if one kid gets to sit on 'Leonardo', then you know the rest will want a piece of the action.) I feel like revealing a piece of information for those of you out there who need to know about a bit of deception in their photo staging. They have the kids put their hands around the gator's jaws that are taped shut with electrical tape. But to make things look scary in the picture, they have the patron place their hands over the black tape so it won't show. I felt it was pretty dishonest and I could not contribute to the overall deception of it all.

T said something funny while we were standing there watching all the lucky kids sit for a photo on the gator's back. He said to all of us "hey, what's that sound? Do you hear it? It sounds like cha-ching cha-ching cha ching... (long pause) Yeah, I hear it every time one of those kids sits on the gator's back..." Really not worth 10.00.

The best part of the whole thing was that there was a relaxed atmosphere where we just hung out and didn't rush to each ride worried about lines and crowds, etc. We had a great time there. Great being-together, family time. Here are some awe inspiring photos for y'all to enjoy.

Next stop... my favorite- Magic Kingdom!

(he was an impressive gator wrestler with a witty script to follow)

(We had a train to catch)

(a legendary train)

(What great camera skills eh? T got this guy eating a hot dog someone tossed in)


Kristina P. said...

That actually looks very, very cool.

Eileen said...

I lived in Florida as a teenager and one time I went to go lay out in the sun (because you know how I get all perfectly bronzed--ha!) and anyway, I was laying out my towel and noticed that there was an ALLIGATOR sunning itself on the bank of our canal. I tell you, I about died right then and there.

Ever since then, gators have been my number 2 most feared animal. My number one most feared animal is unfortunately the one that currently resides in my neighborhood--the cougar. Or I prefer to call it mountain lion when Lyle tells me my fear is unfounded. It's a LION in my backyard!! I felt safer with the gator.

Kelly said...

I used to have nightmares about kimono dragons coming to get me- moving very slowly. No matter how fast I ran they always caught up to me though.

Not really a fan of reptiles but from a distance it's okay. My teens really liked this park.

Emily said...

By the time we get to Florida, I think my kids will be teens. We'll have to stop by Gatorland for sure.

literaqueen said...

I think Gatorland makes up for teen boys having to watch princess performances at Disneyworld.