Matt said we should go to a swamp and look at birds. He said that I should take my camera because it would be beautiful.
We arrive at the swamp. The lady who sells us tickets starts talking about deadly snakes.
Then, she and Matt start chatting about alligators. Alligators I might encounter roaming in the wild. They tell me it's safe. I have doubts.
We walk through the swamp and it's surprisingly beautiful, although it's not the right season for most birds. We spot lizards and frogs, Ellie naps peacefully in her stroller, we generally have a good time.
Then Matt says, "Megan, look right here!"
I look where he pointed and see a giant alligator that obviously wants to eat me. He has shifty eyes and gives me a dirty look, while my husband smiles, clearly expecting my toddler and I to be delighted at this eight foot long toothy and probably hungry gator.
|This is when I stopped thinking the area was beautiful.|
|I didn't want to get any closer with my camera. Or my body. Because he'd eat me.|
He got half his delight. Ellie started clapping and saying "Ga-tor! Ga-tor!" while I pondered how to cross the boardwalk that Mr. Gator was under. (For the record, I named him "Chompy.") I eventually hurried across, as Matt and Ellie followed, pausing to check out the giant gator tail.
The good news is that no one was eaten alive. I am still paranoid about alligators, though.
*Matt disagrees with this title. He would call this story, "The Time I Saw an Alligator and Proved I am a Wimp" or something like that. But he's not here right now, so I can call it what I want.
Moving on and away from giant alligators with big teeth...
We took Ellie to a water park. Ellie's first water park (not just spray ground) experience was the day before we left, when our local Down syndrome group had a picnic at our local park. Ellie loved it, so we went for round two in Naples.
Although the water park was insanely hot, Ellie had a blast. Her favorite was the lazy river, where she sat on a tube with Mom or Dad and yelled about all the animals she'd seen at the beach. (And sharks. Always sharks.) The lazy river had two routes, one of which dumps water on the heads of otherwise lazy and relaxed people. Ellie didn't like that route, which we learned from experience.