Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Jungle

This year for Averie's birthday, we decided to take her to Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills. We went there last year without her and couldn't wait to take her. They have awesome displays and some of the animals are only displayed here and in one other country. They have a rattlesnake that is 1 of only 2 that are in captivity.
Averie loved it. She got to pet a snake, alligator and a ginormous turtle. Claiming every time "it got me mommy, it got me!" She got to see "Captain Hook's popadile" and the "gators". The only problem mommy had was when, after a month of teaching her the concept of when you see a snake, don't touch- get mommy and daddy, she decided she wants to catch a snake. With the bug catching net she got for her birthday, no less. Great.

Family picture- Does this look familiar Tammi? It reminds me of almost all your family pictures. The only one smiling is the mom.

"Maniac" or as Averie calls him, Captain Hook's Popadile. He is at least 25 ft long. He is ENORMOUS!!!!!

Prairie Dog Town- like we can't see this every day. I can't believe some people pay to watch these stupid animals. They do make for a cute picture, though.

Petting the Python

Tell us how you really feel, A.

GIANT turtles

"Methuselah" This turtle is 129 years old (born in 1881) and weighs in at 600 pounds. You can tell how big he is with Averie standing behind him.

How to Wrestle an Alligator
(in case anyone was wondering)

First- get a hold of the tail
Second- pull him as fast as you can through your legs
Third- jump on him with your knees pressed up against his armpits (do alligators have armpits?)
Fourth- and probably most importantly
Press down on his head and grab his jaw to keep him from biting you. It turns out that the average human can hold a small to medium sized alligators mouth shut. The problem comes when trying to get out of the mouth.
I could not make this up. They really taught you how to wrestle an alligator. I even got the T-shirt.

Petting a baby alligator.

So, I was looking through the side window of this display, and admiring the alligator skin boots and purse and commenting to Brian that I want some, bad. Well, I came around the front and saw what was on the front of the display. Yep, I am contributing to the Souvenirs of Slaughter. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Giant Sea Turtle. They actually found this about 40 miles from Reptile Gardens.

Looking into the "Jungle"

This is the look after asking and asking for her to look at the camera. I can't reiterate enough how much of a Gilson she really is. Getting her to look at the camera is worse than pulling teeth. When I finally do get her to look, this is the result.

I couldn't believe how much she has grown up, just in the time we have lived here. I saw this picture and wanted to cry!

The result of a VERY long day. It was a blast!!!!!!


Awesome Oettli's said...

Wow Jen that looks like a birthday to remember- I can't believe how brave she is- and yes, grown up too. Just look how long those pig tails are. Are you planning on attending the HS reunion?

Bethany Gilson said...

Jennifer I love all these pics! Tyler and I loved reptile gardens! I can only imagine how excited Averie must have been. What a great birthday!