Wednesday, June 6, 2012

# life # travel

Alabama: Alligator Alley

The next stop after Savannah was the several hour drive to New Orleans, LA.  Since we weren't willing to drive it straight through while falling asleep at the wheel, we made a pit stop in Foley Alabama.  It was a good plan too, because the drive that day was very very stormy and the weather seemed to have no plan on lightening up.  There is an Outlet Mall in Foley, which is why I originally picked it, but we didn't get time to really enjoy it.  We were exhausted by the time we got there...the interstate we took was one very long 390-some mile stretch of boring boring flatland...then with the time zone change and the storms, it just wasn't happening.

The weather was amazing for the trip out, though, and we decided to stop at a place I had found online during my original planning process: Alligator Alley.

I had found it online somewhere (maybe Trip Advisor?  I find lots of things there...) and thought it would be an at least interesting way of wasting the few hours we needed to waste in Alabama.  Check in time for New Orleans wasn't until 3 so I wanted to find something besides the Outlet Mall to do before we had to hit the road.

I definitely didn't expect to love it!  It was definitely worth the stop and the very very VERY reasonable $10 entrance fee. 

Alligator Alley houses several hundred gators that have been removed from areas where they were considered a nuisance.  The farm was built to give them a natural environment while educating people about them.

Like I said, the entrance fee is only $10, but I highly recommend spending the extra $4 on the cup of food.  Why?  Because it's fun to feed alligators, of course.

And speaking of feeding, they do 3 feeding shows a day that are very interesting.  They feed the gators wild pigs that hunters send to them for that purpose.  Apparently, southern Alabama has a wild pig problem, and hunters do a good service by keeping their numbers down, kind of like Deer here in West Virginia.  That thought kind of blew my mind...replacing deer with wild pigs...but yeah.  Back to Gators.

 I got to hold one. ^_^  This is a two year old baby gator and one of the workers carries him around for people to hold all day.  There's no extra charge to do it, and since he does it all day there's really no line.  He actually walked up to us and asked if we wanted to hold him.  Um, yes please!

Captain Crunch is a Big Gator
I was extremely happy with my trip here.  The park isn't huge but it's definitely worth visiting if your in the area, especially if you have children.  All the kids there loved it and it was lots of fun!

After that short rest, we're off to Louisiana!  To be continued!

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