Dead ‘Gators in my Thursday’s Windows.

We had a beautiful sunny Florida morning with 21C, as we started our road trip up to the family in New Jersey. After a couple of hours driving on the Interstate 95, I espied a sign, proclaiming “Last Starbucks for 146 miles, coming up Exit 176.” 😯 Oh horrors! A quick detour was definitely called for, and I happily consumed my favourite chai latte and sun-dried tomato, mozzarella and basil Panini, before we continued on our merry way. Sitting at a table outside the window were three old men, one of whom was wearing a rather scruffy Santa hat, which rather curiously said “Happy Birthday” on the front. πŸ™‚

We stopped to refill the tank at a gas station just outside Palatka. Here there were many stalls displaying fresh oranges, pecan nuts and beautiful shell ornaments.


I realised that we must be in the heart ofΒ  ‘gator country, when I looked through the window of the souvenir shop, and saw this.


Walking around to the other side, I saw even more of them.


The sun reflecting on the window was too much for a decent photo, so an inside shot was called for. I think even Phil would agree that this one is quite a large specimen. I couldn’t help wondering why there were so many baby ones for sale. Do people actually go alligator hunting? I checked this out, and read that Florida is the alligator hunting capital of the world, and 5,000 permits are granted every year which entitle each hunter to catch and kill two of these unfortunate creatures. The season runs from August 15th to September 1st, so for those two weeks, there must be feverish activity in those marshes. We did buy one of the tiny baby ones about four years ago, for our grandson in South Africa, but today, we just stole a few pics.


Then it was back in the car, and before we knew it, we were at Jacksonville, almost out of Florida and into Georgia, and not a palm tree to be seen.


I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on part of my journey, and looking at what I saw through these windows. To see more Thursday’s Windows entries, just click here.

I have very patchy internet, especially through the rural areas, so although I’ve managed to visit some of your posts, I still have hundreds of your emails in my inbox. I’ll try to catch up as soon as I can.

61 comments on “Dead ‘Gators in my Thursday’s Windows.

  1. I remember the first time we drove down from N.Y. to Florida and saw a shop with gators and shells everywhere. It may have been the same shop. I’m not sure. I couldn’t believe that people would want to buy a dead gator. It is so sad to look at. I’m missing something in that thought process.
    Anyway, you made me hungry for that panini. I have to go to Starbuck’s right now. HAppy Trails to you both … be safe.
    Merry Christmas …
    P.S. It is incredible the way the palm trees suddenly disappear when you cross over the state line. ~~~~~ : – O

  2. Make sure you stop at Lil’ Mexic aka. Perdo’s on the North Carolina/ South Carolina border its a hoot of a tourist trap..:-))

  3. Gator Country…sounds exciting! I do love palm trees and sun-kissed beaches. Fun and wonderful images. Have a safe trip and bring home great memories. Beautiful. Wishing you and your family all the joys, love and peace of the holidays.

  4. What IS it about Starbucks?! I don’t drink coffee, but I’m a slave to their shaken iced teas. I loved your post, it reminded me of all the road trips to and from Florida via interstate 95, and the fun sidetracks to “South of the Border.”

    Safe and happy travels!!

  5. I once held a baby crocodile – a live one.
    Doubt that I would want a dead, stuffed one though!! Might be persuaded to carry a alligator skin handbag πŸ˜‰
    Safe journey AD!!

  6. It’s Friday 21 December 2012, 07:00 in SA and we’re still in one piece! Hahaha.
    What a long way to travel to see the family. Road travel is one way to get to see the interesting things of the country, though.
    Thanks for the update.

  7. I hope you enjoy the road trip of all road trips, up I-95 from Florida to New Jersey. I hope you’ll post pictures of some of the Pedro signs in North Carolina: “You never saw such a weiner!” etc…. πŸ™‚ Have a great time and we look forward to reading and seeing pictures of the rest of your journey!

  8. Hi AD, were you brave enough to go inside an take the gator photo or, did hubby have to go in and take it for you πŸ™„

  9. Awww…poor little alligators 😦
    Hope your trip continues to go well Sylvia!
    You should have stopped by Myrtle Beach on your way up and I could have introduced you to a few ‘friends’. 😯 πŸ˜€

  10. have fun on your travels, into the cold! alligators are awesome creatures, it must be strange to see a huge one like that in a general store … were they selling alligator skin products? we have a crocodile skin industry over here … all farmed i think πŸ™‚

  11. I very much enjoyed accompanying you on this initial stage of your journey. Like Gunta I feel rather sorry for the ‘gators. I look forward to the next instalment Sylvia. Take Care! πŸ™‚

    • I absolutely did notice signs to Augustine Beach, and thought that there must be a lot of pretty shells there for all the ornaments we saw in that shop. What did you “hunt” there πŸ™‚

  12. Don’t worry about catching up… but then, you should be approaching civilization soon. πŸ˜‰ Silly rednecks killing all them ‘gators.

    • Yes, we’re almost in Savannah, and it’s still early enough to have a look around the historic district where we’re booked in for the night. πŸ™‚

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