While in New Orleans, we drove over to Abita Springs to visit the Insta-Gator Alligator Ranch and Hatchery.
The first hands-on experience.
Andy and a turtle.
After an introduction and some background information (for example, did you know that all alligator eggs hatch in September?), we were brought to the area where the alligators grow up, en masse, and we fed them marshmallows.
Better angle if you turn your snout.
Lots of gators!
Andy, Sam, Emma, and Sophie holding a gator! (With its mouth taped shut.)
We then visited the baby gator tank, where for a mere $5 more per person you could pick up live baby alligators. Here are Mom and Sam picking one up, tail first as instructed.
Andy with one, and Emma behind him about to pull one out.
Sophie, Sam, and Emma.
Emma, Tanya, Sophie, and Bill, with Andy on the left.
After the alligators, we visited the UCM Museum (aka the Abita Mystery House). This place houses the most unusual array of miniature scenes, knick knacks, paint-by-numbers, and more than you can imagine, tucked into every nook and cranny, and has a great little gift shop to boot. Next time you're in the area, have a visit!
This hymnal-made-angel caught my eye.
Andy was fascinated with the rotary dial phone.
The Hot Sauce House, which probably had every hot sauce known to man neatly arranged inside.
Tanya beneath a ceiling of keyboards.
I had never seen a soft-shell turtle before. The owner of the museum, John, came out to bring the kids some food to feed to the turtles.
See how big he is compared to the plain ole' box turtle? He's big and flat, like a pancake. A turtle pancake.
We topped the day off with a swim at the pool at Mom's gym in Slidell.
Whew! Long day!