Alligator Infestation Wreaks Havoc on Psyche.

I got super frustrated one day with all the kids’ school work, so as a responsible parent I decided we would all bail. We headed off for a run to Georgia, but since my car was in the shop again we ended up going in a rental car. Now ya’ll know me well as a very conscientious and safety aware parent in addition to being responsible, and that’s why we decided to go on a 500 mile road trip with four people stuffed in the back seat of a Hyundai. Now my little children were angelic – it was Emerson who was the bigger problem…..every whisper out of the backseat met disapproving stares….not really. I would say the road trip went extremely well considering the cramped quarters.

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I would say if ya’ll h’ain’t never ben to Geeeor-ja, ya’ll ben missin’ a thing or two. It’s a very beautiful state in many ways. But creepy. Super creepy. Ever seen anything this creepy? We went to the Oke-Pinocchio Swamp. I think the name tells you a thing or two, since likely the tales coming out of here are greatly exaggerated. Now this swamp is seriously over infested with alligators. Big ones. Little ones. First I will say there was virtually no one at the park, which in and of itself is eerie. In fact, there were virtually no cars on the way in for miles. Like serious boonies. (P.S. If the kids tell you I was driving 90mph on the way in they are lying because as a responsible parent I would not endanger my three angels stuffed in the backseat). So in order to get out into the swamp we rent this johnboat – a nice little flat bottom boat made just for us!

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So we are all happily motorin’ along in this superbly eerie swamp. You do know there are every manner of poisonous water snakes in there that you can imagine in addition to all the alligators. And the water is dark and murky such that ya’ll ain’t never gonna know what lurks beneath. The trees are thick and the murky water is everywhere.

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The first gators we see elicit some genuine screams – like this big one. To add to the creepiness we see no one going in – people that is. Tons of gators, to be sure!

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About four miles in we stopped for lunch at this rest area.

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After lunch we started to head back out. Well, drat and double drat! The boat would not start! Now here we are in this super eerie swamp with no way out but to paddle? And there are no people around to help! And what if we get stuck in this creep job joint all night fighting off poisonous water moccasins and hungry gators? So we started paddling, us girls, and Emerson kept incessantly fussing with the motor. I could smell gasoline wafting about me, making my head swim! Of course it won’t start when the motor is flooded! After a mile of paddling Emerson finally got it started and we started heading out.

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Of course the motor broke down about 1 mile from the launch point and we had to go against the wind and current with virtually no power. One of those disgusting ginormous lizards was growling at us, and another was so close it splashed me with swamp water with its tail when it swam away. I will say, though, that the Oke-Pinnochio is a most entertaining place to go if you like creepy. Creepy coupled with a real sense of danger and urgency.

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In order to feel stronger and more superior to the alligators, we decided to go eat some alligator meat. What better way to show that we are superior? Take that, you dumb alligator! I am not afraid of you! I will simply eat you! Num num! Bjorn really likes the taste of alligator meat.

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From thence we headed over to Savannah, GA. Now this is a very quaint little tourist trap. We did make a pretty bad little pit stop in a, shall we say, very much less than desirable neighborhood. This happened because we lost all our cell service and hence our navigation ability. Who knows how to read a map anymore? Once we got into a safer part of town we did our own little walking tour. This city is really remarkably pretty.

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Once we were here we thought we should try some regional foods so we ordered up some crawfish and oysters, which the kids loved. I think they were mostly interested in seeing if they could have good luck (good cause and effect for those who know who you are) and find a pearl. I did tell them the story of how their great grandfather’s diving friend found the world’s largest freshwater pearl, which is now on the Danish crown.

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So since we have travel ADHD, we decided to head on over to Hilton Head Island. The beach there was beautiful, and the whole island was lovely. I have to say that the way they had the beach set up was the nicest I have seen.

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From there we skedaddled to Jekyll Island. There we discovered an awesome driftwood beach.

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I will say one discovery I have made is that if you want to force your kids to learn how to resolve conflict, make three kids share from the same ice cream cup.

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Once we got home we had to attack the homework with intense fury. Needless to say, the program at Mosaica is horrid, to say the least. It is so counter-intuitive and non user friendly! UGH! But you all know me as a very calm and gentle person, right, so please don’t expect that to be any different even if the school is making me nuts!!

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We did do some projects for school, which included a prototype of a castle and a necklace. Since we have limited art supplies here we made good use of what nature has to offer. Don’t need any ornaments, though, if you decorate your hair like Annika does.

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We were able to have croaker for dinner one night as Kristoff caught himself this lovely fish. Delicious. And today they caught 4 more. They are called croaker because they actually do croak. It is weird!

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Today there was winds up to 30 mph. Sanni and I decided to go biking. It took quite a bit of pedal power to keep the bike moving forward.

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Tomorrow is a sad day, because Emerson leaves. I tried to talk him into staying longer, but you know how that goes…. Luckily (good cause and effect) Ashlee and Ville come in a couple days. She will keep me hopping – like I am not already. So until then, toodledoo!

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