My second day in Miami we checked out of our hostel and went to pick up our rental before heading to the Everglades (and then Key West).
We had set our sights on an alligator show thingy park and I’m glad we did, cause I loved it! The park wasn’t very big, but it encompasses an alligator feeding show, snake show, airboat trip to see even more alligators and get soaked (and we all know I love everything that moves fast 🙂 I’m talking about the boat here, not the gators…)
Now… I’m fairly ambivalent about snakes, but we got asked if we wanted to hold one and I couldn’t pass up the chance (who says no to that, anyway?). My little snake guy was pretty sick of tourists when my turn finally came so he curled up into a ball and kept jerking his head back every time I tried to start a conversation… Poor thing, after a lot of “cuddling” (particularly by over eager kids) they got put back in their box and we had a chat with Trevor, the handler. (I was a bit curious as to how they were fed, turns out they feed the snakes the same way they feed the gators, they dangle meat in front of them… “Do you use a stick then?” “Nah, we just hold the rat by the tail and wiggle it a bit…” Lovely…)
When it came time for the alligator feeding you could tell they obviously knew what was coming because when we wet to sit down they had already congregated at the fence right next to us. Trevoor proceeded to throw chunks of various meat into the pen and “let the snapping commmence”. At one point he dangled a whole stack of ribs in front of them and asked us which one should get it. The gators were crawling (insanely slowly) over each other to get to it, while hissing like a thousand flat tires. Some of them were really huge, so while they weren’t exactly frightening I would say they were certainly impressive. The gators we saw “in the wild” on the boat ride were fairly small (obviously) and very laid back. They got out of the way of the boats…. eventually 😉 Waddle, waddle… In the grassy parts we saw some tiny ones that were really cute. Turns out they grow about a foot each year, so a two-year old isn’t actually that big. Wouldn’t want to take a swim with it though…
We finished off by checking out the “nursery” where all the babies and younglings were kept and also the reptile cages and a couple of snake pens. I walked right past one of the biggest snakes and wondered why it wasn’t there, before Eystein pointed it out to me… I blame the heat.