Good Days With The Mays

Personal blog for Jess and C.J. May

See you later, Alligator!

On November 26th, C.J. and I ventured to Alligator Alley to get up close and personal with the giant beasts. Alligator Alley is swamp sanctuary in Summerdale, AL, where alligators found in dangerous areas come to live. This adventure costs $15 per person, but in my opinion, is well worth it.

Coming from Iowa, I had never seen an alligator in real life before. Alligator Alley was a great place to see these reptiles in person, without becoming their meal. After seeing the size of these creatures, and their sharp teeth, I have even more respect for The Crocodile Hunter, may he rest in peace.

We started our excursion by seeing some baby alligators. They tried their best to appear scary, but those little fellas were so cute. The next gators we saw were a little older; some 2 year old’s and some 4 year old’s. These alligators were still rather small and kept separate from their full grown friends.

Little babies

The small alligators were cute, but pretty soon we saw what we had came for: the big guys. Looking through a chain link fence, we stared into the eyes of an absolute unit. This alligator was sun bathing in the grass; motionless. Honestly, I have a theory that they create hyper realistic alligators and plant them around the swamp to entice customers. C.J. told me that wasn’t true..but all I’m saying is that I did not see that big fella move an inch.

Big boy

Anyways, we made our way further into the swap and saw a slew of adult alligators. While some stayed still, there were a a few who silently swam through the swamp. We came to the part of the swamp where Captian Crunch lives. According to the sign, Captain Crunch is an alligator who was captured from the wild due to being a danger to humans and their pets. Captain Crunch killed many dogs before coming to Alligator Alley, and has the world record for bite force.

Unfortunately during our visit, Captain Crunch was pretty hard to see and we didn’t get a good picture. Even more unfortunate, as C.J. and I were walking away from the part of the swamp that help Captain Crunch, we heard a dog wail and whimper for a bit before we heard silence. C.J. assured me that a dog couldn’t get into the swamp and it was probably nothing, but I’m positive that Captain Crunch took another victim.

He could use some moisturizer
Get a load of this guy!
I hope he doesn’t get eaten

Our final stop at the Alley was the best part: getting to hold a young alligator. A small crowd of us gathered around the cage and watched as the keeper snatched up a little gator and tied his mouth shut. I wasn’t a fan of the alligator getting muzzled, but he didn’t seem to be too stressed out by it. I got to be the first one to hold the gator and C.J. got his turn soon after that. The alligator felt so dry and scaly; and a bit like rubber. I petted the reptile like I do to my cat..but I don’t think alligators are as fond of head scratches as much as Freya; what a shame.

Small fella
He’s been wrangled

Love at first bite

An exquisite gentleman and my husband

Overall, Alligator Alley was an awesome experience and I recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in the Summerdale area. After departing from the gators, C.J. and I took an afternoon walk on the beach. It was an overcast day but beautiful nonetheless. Once we finished our walk, we headed to The Wharf to see the movie, The Menu. This movie was incredibly good, both C.J. and I loved it. However, if you get unsettled by gore, maybe sit this one out.

The Menu is a movie about a group of people who go to an exclusive restaurant on a remote island. The chef of this restaurant has prepared an intricate menu for the night. However, the menu includes some extreme surprises that are sure to leave you feeling queasy. A fun fact about this movie is that C.J. grew up in the same town as one of the actors in the film; Adam Aalderks gave an impressive performance as ‘Jeremy’.

After watching the unsettling movie involving a fancy restaurant, we thought, “what better idea than to go to a fancy restaurant!”. We ate at our now favorite restaurant, Villaggio’s at The Wharf. C.J. ordered the Bolognese, which he pronounced “Bowl-og-knees” and I got the Spaghetti al Pomodoro. It was incredible; molto bene. Following our amazing dinner, we spent some time at a bar at The Wharf called Pour.

Pour is smart bar that has a self-serve, automated draft beer system. All you do is get a card and then you can place the card on whichever beer you’d like and the system will track your beer by the ounces; so you only pay for what you pour. Neither C.J. and I had seen a smart bar before, and C.J. immediately began figuring out how he could create his own automated beer system. We enjoyed our drinks and played a few heated games of shuffle board. C.J. won most of the games, but I’m honing my shuffle board technique and will be top dog in no time.

I’m so thankful that C.J. and I are able to have fun-filled days like these.


Until next time,

-Jess May

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