Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 5 - See You Later Alligator!

We got our first taste of Orlando rain today, fortunately all while in the comfort of the condo. Stan decided to stay in and avoid the elements, so John and Vonna hopped in the minivan for a trip to Gatorland.

It's an unassuming place from the outside, and once you're inside you get your first glimpse of little gators.

They're pretty cool, and then you realize there are more than just a few of them.

As you delve deeper, you start to see the bigger gators. For a few bucks, you can get a bagful of turkey dogs to feed them, so we had to oblige.

Gatorland also features the largest collection of white gators in the world, which I guess means that the guy who has three of them just missed out. Not to be confused with albino gators, these fellas have cobalt blue eyes rather than albino pink eyes. This particular nasty critter is named Feros Zombi.

Along the way, there are other animals you can see and interact with, but none are as exciting as the gators. Here's Vonna making friends with a deer.

There's a whole nature preserve area which is used for breeding. The gators at first appear to be fewer and further between, but you quickly realize they're out there, sometimes closer than you may think...

I was happy to get a shot of a gator in motion - not that they're lazy, but in water they swim using their tail to propel them, and on land they pretty much lay around on their belly. They do, however, lift themselves up when going more than just a short distance.

At the end of the day, the feeders come out to get the gators jumping for chicken. You'd think people would appreciate how fast and strong these prehistoric creatures are, but they don't. There were quite a few I wouldn't have minded tossing in, but I guess Darwin doesn't need any help from me.

We got back from Gatorland and the three of us headed out to Downtown Disney for dinner and to do some shopping. Our first clue we were in for trouble was when we were all but stopped on the freeway in a line of cars all heading for the same exit. We continued on with the caravan into the parking lot, and thanks to Vonna's skillfull driving, we landed a spot as close as one could get.

We attempted to navigate the sea of people (think Harry Potter land size crowds), got what we needed from the Disney store with only a slight cut to Vonna's ankle, and then checked off each restaurant option, skipping each that had a 60+ minute wait (at 9pm, mind you). We finally settled on Paradiso 37 (which only had a 30 minute wait), and were actually seated in about half that time. It wasn't our best meal on the trip, and after we finished we made our way down to the far end of Downtown Disney, we turned ourselves around and made our way back to the car, in its premier parking spot.

Next up, Kennedy Space Center, and then to the airport to collect Paul and Athena from England. We've got one more day of fun on the horizon, and then it's setup and work-work-work!

1 comment:

  1. Nice gator pictures. Did that deer get a turkey dog too???