Making Friends On Vacation

You know what I love about the low country? Β It’s not just the smell of the tide going out and beautiful sunsets over the marshland. It’s not only the bike rental office convincing young women that helmets aren’t cool. (No helmet laws. NONE.) It isn’t even the welcoming bumper sticker, ‘Close The Whitehouse Not Gitmo,’Β greeting my ‘Obama 08’ & ‘Denounce Torture‘ stickers.

I love that this guy has been chilling in the fountain near our vacation condo. Β For the past three days.


And he may not be as cute as the PunditMom’s panda, but I am VERY pleased he is not sitting in my lap. Β I named him Joe.

Some cool alligator facts. Because I roll like a nerd, nerdy-style holla!

  • The largest recorded American alligator was 19 feet in length.
  • Alligators and their relatives are the last of the living reptiles that were closely related to dinosaurs.
  • Alligators and crocodiles are related. But alligators have rounded snouts; most crocodile species have longer, pointed snouts. Also, crocodiles occur only in tropical and subtropical areas (only south Florida in the United States). Alligators, on the other hand, live in somewhat colder climates.
  • Alligators have a strong homing instinct and sometimes will protect their “territory” from other alligators.

This guy has the best territory in the area. I’d be protective, too. So I was NOT the parent inching my children down the embankment to take a picture with Joe. My kids might look like humans to me, but they both have fairly impressive dinosaur impressions (a T-Rex and a Pterodactyl to be exact), which may bring back some sad and angry memories for Joe. So we stayed on the concrete side of Joe’s home. And took safe pictures. And lived.

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Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

43 thoughts on “Making Friends On Vacation

  1. Ah,we nerds are Klassy like that πŸ˜€ but,FB prefers to call us Intellectual Badasses,not half bad, is it ?:D Awesome post,cool pictures :)!

  2. I'm glad you took safe pics of Joe. Seems like the smart move. I can't imagine being that close to a creature like that and not be at the zoo (trust me, I would be behind you if I was there…I don't do well with animals bigger and meaner than a dog)!!

  3. I was a bit weird-ed out but I figured that alligator attacks must be pretty rare since no one who LIVE there seemed concerned… but it was hard not to take pictures of the parents inching their closer. geez!

  4. Glad you spotted him BEFORE you went for a swim!! πŸ˜€ Not sure I'd be too happy to meet him actually ~ but maybe from a very safe distance I'd get my camera out too! πŸ˜‰

  5. I was reading about parks near us – you know, places to camp – and one description said that there were alligators in the waters and under no circumstances to let your pets off the leash and to keep your small children near you. Yikes.

  6. Me, too! Luckily they hang out in mucky water (although I did see a guy fishing near a spot where another one hangs out. not worth the fish!)

  7. CRAZY! Robby would often see them while golfing…crossing the cart paths! The dog park we'd take Sampson to had a pond all the dogs would swim in. Right in the middle of the pond was a sing that said, “No swimming. Alligators often spotted”. And I wonder why my dog is afraid of the water. CLEARLY he can read. And I dig your facts! I always get the snouts confused. Good to know! Rounded = alligator, Pointy = crocodile.

  8. P.S. There was an alligator picked up from an apartment complex on 61 about four years ago. It was under a tenants car.

  9. Very cool pics. I'd be the safe mom too. Not worth the risk. πŸ™‚

    Close the Whitehouse huh? Witty. Not. You'd think people could just get over it already…they lost.

  10. Oooh, I love learning. And gigantic reptiles. Holla!
    Around here, we just have alligator gar – big carnivorous, toothy fish. I think the biggest one on record was something like 8 ft long?
    Happy vacation!

  11. There was a gator behind my grandmother's condo that she named and talked about regularly. She got some very good pictures of it and I was always afraid to ask how she got them…

    Great shots of Joe…and a great dose of knowledge! Happy Friday!

  12. Sampson IS a genius. Or thinks that you'll are trying to off him…
    PS. Maybe the alligator just needed a ride somewhere? Joe needs a vacation too.

  13. I know! I managed to survive eight years of George Bush. This is how a democracy works! If you don't like it, vote. Or move. (I considered Canada myself)

  14. I LOVE that your grandmother had an alligator for a friend… my Nana would've TOTALLY do that too!! (It's probably where I get it from ;))

  15. I would be impressed that I survive too — but everyone else was so mellow about Joe that I'm not so sure it is surprising that I lived πŸ˜‰

  16. Cool photos! You're a brave woman. I think I would've stayed in the hotel and used my long lens. lol Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great day.

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

  17. I'd be the guy in the hotel, looking from the window. Because I'm a chicken — and EVERYONE loves to eat chicken. πŸ™‚

    That's actually very cool. The scariest things we have around here are people with Obama '08 bumper stickers (I'm only teasing you πŸ™‚

    Actually, we have cougars and bears, but they don't hang out at the hotels.

    Great story!

  18. we saw a gator in SC a few weeks ago (hanging in a retaining pond… all week!) when we were down in SC – L is now alligator OBSESSED and has actually framed a picture of him (….family in the frame? nah. alligator, yes!) – maybe it was the appeal of being able to get so close to him without a fence (me: ahhhhh! wonder how quicklly could that thign swim 100 yards across the lake and eat us? L: let's get closer, mommy, so I can see him better!)

    we just got some “Lyle, Lyle, Crocidile” books from the library in his honor : )

  19. Haha!! Your comment cracked me up — I read it aloud to the hubby.

    Oh and I'm sure a CERTAIN type of cougar may be hanging out at those hotels
    — maybe just not as dangerous πŸ˜‰

    (And no worries about the Obama teasing — respectful disagreement and humor
    are ALWAYS welcomed here!)

  20. We LOVE *Lyle Lyle Crocodile* (although it's another kinda weird book)… My
    sister became obsessed with alligators after visiting SC when she was young.
    And it lasted a LONG time. So be prepared.

  21. Our condo was a few blocks from the fountain — Joe would've had to REALLY
    want to come to dinner to find us at night (although we did have marshy
    water behind the place, which may have been his friend's home… PS. We
    didn't hang out in the backyard.)

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