while i was in florida i did something i haven’t done in almost 20 years…i went to gatorland!

gatorland is one of central florida’s quintessential tourist destinations – it’s just so florida. nothing fancy, just a bunch of lazy gators and tons of birds lounging about in their habitat. there are a few shows where they feature up close encounters with the animals, but mainly you wander around the relatively small park and check out the gators. for a few bucks extra you get a fistful of hotdogs that you can feed to the gators. honestly, the gators didn’t seem that into the hotdogs, but the birds sure loved them…oddly enough!

the first (and last) time i was at gatorland i was probably 8 years old – and my dad and uncle took me and my sister. i still have the polaroid from that day, sitting on a bench with a boa constrictor wrapped around my neck and a baby alligator in my hands. how brave i was! so when the woman asked if we’d like to have our photo taken with a gator during the wrestlin’ show – i said of course! and signed john and i up…aside from getting close with the gators, we also admired the stunning flamingos, macaws, turtles, and even llamas and goats in the petting zoo! a perfectly wonderful way to spend a sunday afternoon…


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check out our up close encounters!



no day at gatorland is complete without trying a sampler platter of fried gator + gator ribs!





Filed under animals, nature, photography

7 responses to “gatorland!

  1. MK

    1) Your page is taking a loooong time to load.
    2) that one bird pic, the dark blue water, white bird with the reflection- AMAZING!!!! Like, seriously, WHOA.
    3) I have that SAME EXACT SHIRT from Anthropologie- further proof we are actually twins… but born three years apart. And you’re tall.
    4) I miss you!

  2. Chris

    Yum Yum! Nothin like a little gator nuggets to top off your day.

  3. Melissa

    Jaime-How amazing are your pictures. I felt like I was there with you. You are brave to ride that gator!!! Lotsa Love

  4. Mel

    my fav pic is of John and that bird! word………….
    i’m still laughing…

  5. pretty much the funniest photo EVER in my opinion! can’t believe no one commented on that, like, the INSTANT i posted it…

  6. Wow, I grew up about 3 minutes from Gatorland in south Orlando, and always thought its claims of international fame were just a joke!

    Was the green gator head entrance still up? It burned down a year or two ago, it was pretty sad.

  7. that’s awesome!

    no – the entrance is still under construction – it was sad :(

    i spent my childhood summers in kissimmee and fondly remember gatorland adventures, fishing in the (long-gone) local lakes, and days when you could go to disney and be one of only a handful of people in the parks…ah, the good old days!

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