Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Part II - S. FL, Wed., May 23rd

Off to lunch, continued from Part I...

We went back and asked the keeper of the gate if we should get our hands stamped again. Some of us were sweating off our hand stamps. They said no, we didn't need it if we still had our ticket stubs. We went to the cafe; everyone went to the incredibly clean, big, shiny restrooms, and then we got in line. This place was cafeteria-style dining, and I couldn't make up my mind, and there were people getting in line behind me. Since I didn't want to hold up progress, I got out of line and went to the courtyard to get a table right next to the ashtray.

And I had a cigarette while watching approximately 4500 blue-t-shirt-clad second graders beat the snot out of each other while waiting to board their bus. One mother-chaperone tried not to weep in jealousy and longing.

Hey, man, I didn't designate the smoking area.

I just took advantage of it.

By the time I finished my cigarette, Wesley and the kids joined me bearing their trays of food. Wesley was having difficulty breathing at the prices, but the food was definitely better than the slop we had gotten at the Seaquarium the day before.

I went inside and got a turkey and cheese wrap, a diet Pepsi, and a piece of cake for $11.89. Not too bad. And Emily let me have her crinkle fries. She had gotten way too much food. (Which probably contributed to Wesley's apoplexy at the prices.)

During lunch I discovered that my forehead was hurting. I think I got a little too much sun. It never did look sunburned, but my forehead is the driest thing on my body. The least little irritation is too much for my poor baby forehead, so I spent the rest of the day covering it with my hand. (It reminded me of junior high when we would try to cover up zits by just holding a hand over the affliction. ROFL!!! I was constantly smacking my forehead as if to say, "Wow!")

As we finished dining, Wesley noticed that it was getting toward lorikeet feeding time. I was feeling much restored, more forgiving of the total fiscal hijacking of photo ops and the dropping of "Parrot" from "Jungle Island," and we were all dying to feed the lorikeets. He and the kids went that way while I finished cleaning up the table and took Emily's unopened yogurt to the car to put it in the trunk.

When I got to the lorikeet aviary, Emily and Woodrow already had near-empty cups of nectar and were covered with birds. I bought my little cup of nectar -- for a dollar, and it was the best dollar I spent all day -- and I got covered up with greedy little hungry lorikeets. Those are the *best* birds. They're not great for pets because they don't bond with humans; otherwise, I would get myself a flock of lorikeets.

However, they do become tame like these lorikeets. They're sloppy eaters, so they flung droplets of nectar all around. When they finished the nectar in the little cup, they then crawled all over me, licking drops of nectar off of me, which tickled. When they ran out of nectar drops, they crawled all over us, just preening us and playing. It was a blast!!!!

They even crawled all over Wesley, who didn't have nectar, but he did wear some interesting toys like that button at the top of his baseball cap.

Best. Dollar. Spent. All. Day. Seriously!!!

We wandered around a little more -- not much, honestly -- and the reptile show was set to start in a little bit at the back of the park. So we made our way there, passing the petting farm full of goats and an Alpaca, and more orangutans, and in the amphitheatre was an albino thing. I don't know if it was an alligator or a crocodile. I don't much care. Seen one, seen 'em all.

This was the best show of the day. First of all, there were fewer people there thanks to the departure of the school groups. Secondly, I could hear the guy talking. Thirdly, HE TALKED. He didn't singsong and dance his way through an insipid script. The only problem I could perceive was that he wouldn't let us hold the turtles. He had diamondback terrapins!!!!! But I couldn't take pictures or hold 'em because he said I could get salmonella. HEY!!! I'm an adult; I can WASH MY HANDS!!!!


And yeah, he ended his spiel with, "Enjoy the rest of your day at Jungle Island."

Other people touched the python. Yawn. Who cares about snakes? I wanted to see more parrots.

We made our way out of the amphitheatre and I found the backside of the island where the other smoking area was. I sat in deep shade and chatted with my happy little family. Then I kissed a palm tree for Krisi, and then we started to leave, but we were suckered in by the petting farm. There were some giant tortoises, but since I couldn't feed them or touch them... eh, what's the point?

Then I got totally charmed by the goats and Alpaca. The pellet vending machines are right next to the fence, and if you start to get a handful, the animals all gather right there next to you, bleating for a bite. Except the Alpaca, which is big enough to stick its head over the fence and right into your hand while you're still getting pellets out of the machine. ROFL!!!! It startled me!

I spent 50 cents in no time flat, feeding goats and the Alpaca. Then I gave my last quarter to a little girl who didn't speak English whose mother had run out of quarters.

I said goodbye to every parrot I passed. There was a small aviary for budgies and cockatiels, but there was no way to hold them, touch them, or feed them, which drove Emily and Woodrow crazy. They wanted to play with the little birdies. Also, a cockatiel had worked its way out of the three-layer-deep roof of the aviary, and it was clinging to the side and crying to get back inside. Emily was VERY concerned about it. I was more angry that no employee was doing anything about it.

It's kind of... Jungle Islandish to ignore a bird like that. I don't believe that would've happened at Parrot Jungle.

We made our way out and went upstairs to the photo developing center to see our pictures. The prices took my breath away. I chose the "two 5x7's" package for $22 plus tax, and we chose the family pose -- mostly because Wesley claimed that he smiled. (I still can't perceive any teeth, but I'm taking his word for it.) Then I regretted that decision and asked Wesley if I could please have the pictures of the kids' pose. Again, I chose the 5x7's, saying, "8x10 is too big for the scrapbook."

The girl behind the counter perked right up and asked, "Are you a scrapbooker???" Wesley laughed out loud and bragged that I used to write for a scrapbooking mag, which set the girl off on a tangent about how much she loves scrapbooking but wishes she spent less money and time on it.

So I said, "Welllllllllll... since you asked. Club Scrap. I'm just sayin'. Is all."

We talked a bit about Club Scrap and Assembly Line Scrapbooking, and I wrote down the URL for her. She said she was going to check it out.

When she rang up the second photo package, it wasn't as expensive as the first. The guy behind the counter (who had been silent and unresponsive as a rock during this whole transaction) registered my surprise and scowled, "She gave you a discount."

Then we went to the gift shop and Wesley got a shotglass. The t-shirts were overpriced and mostly covered with tigers and monkeys and boring stuff like that.

I forget what the kids got.

I had gotten pictures, so I didn't buy anything else.

Altogether, even with our discounted tickets, we spent about $200 at Parrot Jungle Island. It was *not* an inexpensive day, and when you consider that I think the best dollar spent was the tiny cup of lorikeet nectar....

I can't really recommend it.

Unless you really love parrots and don't mind lots of other exotic animals. I don't know, maybe if you want to see an albino whatever-it-was....


Back at home, we thought we had until 7:30 to clean up for Debbie's return, but she surprised us and came home three hours early. Ugh.

Wesley and Jim went to Costco and bought a big chunk of beef that Jim carved into steaks and grilled. They were superb. We also had baked potatoes and salad. It was a good night, and then I had to go back to Debbie's house. Emily spent the night with Perry, Wesley took the guest bedroom, Woodrow took the couch, and I took the son's bedroom, because Debbie had taken the master bedroom back. She had also turned up the thermostat. OK, I deserved that. I had been keeping the house ice-cold while she was out of town.

I aimed a fan at myself and crashed for the night. I didn't want to leave the next day. I was in denial. We had had such a good trip in general, and I had so enjoyed Peytyn's company. I just didn't want to leave.

Oh, well. At least I got to feed some parrots and lorikeets!


At 6/6/07 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time you come to Nashville, I'll take you to the zoo. We have a loaceat area and cupt of food are a buck. If you go when the zoo first opens up, they will swarm you.

i've got a picture of victoira on my blog somewehre.


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