What do Chipper Jones and alligators have in common? The only thing I know of is that Josh and I saw them both during our last few weeks in Flo-rida. The difference, however, is that I was more excited to see alligators than Chipper Jones and Josh was more excited to see Chipper Jones than alligators. Last Tuesday we went with Josh's office to a tour of the Everglades via "Holiday Park" airboats. When we got to the "park" I finally felt like I was in the South. They were selling fried gator at a little snack shop that was manned by a woman with a fry basket in one hand and a cigarette in the other, there were two grave stones of former employees in the lawn out front (I imagine alligators got the best of them), and the tour guides all had bleached mullets, hiking boots, tight jeans, and tan, leathery skin. So... it wasn't exactly how I pictured my trip to see one of the most fragile and ecologically diverse national parks in the country, but I left feeling quite satisfied that I had gotten a good taste of an authentic southern boat tour. The tour itself was fantastic. The Everglades are essentially a giant swamp with lots of sawgrass, bugs, birds and, of course, alligators. The airboats were loud, uncomfortable, and filled up with water at the bottom when they stopped too long, but when they went fast it felt like Splash Mountain only we never went downward and it was much hotter. Our tour guide talked like Gretchen from Recess and was of the aforementioned description of the Holiday Park tour guides, but she knew her stuff. When we came close to the alligators she always made sure to throw stuff in the water so that they would come right up to the boat. We saw quite a few alligators, very pretty scenery, some other cool animals, and the tour even ended with the classic "gator show" where the guy did daring tricks with alligators and told us about all his near-death experiences. It was only disappointing that he had all his fingers. See for yourselves:
Just feeding the birds with people food while we waited for our tour.
Josh agreed to a photo shoot while we waited.
Our mode of transportation: the Airboat.
We would have used this as our engagement picture but... we're already married.
An actual wild alligator. The tour lady said we might see an alligator brawl, but that was the only time she disappointed us because there was nothing of the sort.
This was at the gator show. We never saw an alligator do that in the wild, fortunately.
And as for Chipper Jones? The Braves came in town this week and since the Braves are Josh's all-time favorite baseball team and Chipper Jones is one of his favorite baseball players, we immediately began employing any means possible to get to one of the games. Josh left work a little early last Thursday for his first and possibly only chance to see Chipper Jones in real life and I was definitely in on the fun because we couldn't let the entire summer pass without seeing one baseball game. I let Josh man the camera (he had the zoom lens on the entire time and before we deleted pictures there were probably 40 closeup pictures of Chipper). It was fun to see Josh so excited.
Josh didn't actually catch that ball... but what if?
And here is part of Josh's tribute to Chipper. Oh there are others... him standing, crouching, every possible movement of his swing, and him walking away from the home plate after striking out (it wasn't his best hitting game). But uh... let us know if you want to see the rest.
2 months ago