Sunday, March 03, 2013

Little Hiccoughs


 I've been AWOL from the blogosphere lately, mostly because my wife and I got a break from the frigid temperatures laying siege to Michigan with a trip south to sunny Florida.  As with the vast majority of our trips, I do all the planning so we can save a buck or two.  That means driving long hours while fighting traffic and fickle weather.

     But I can put up with a little hiccough here and there so long as we don't suffer any major catastrophes, which we didn't.

     Now check out the picture above.  That's an alligator at the Shark Valley Visitor Center in the Everglades sunning himself on one of the pedestrian walkways by the observation tower which you can see in the background.  He wasn't there when Wendy and I walked to the tower.  He sauntered out onto the walk while we were enjoying a 360-degree view of the grasslands.

     Our tram tour guide  tapped a stick loudly on the concrete, then prodded the gator himself with the stick, trying to urge him along.  The only response he got was a hiss from the recalcitrant reptile.  So we were directed to walk past him single file, which we did.

     Wendy went first.  She was worried that her exposed ankles, white as they were, would too closely resemble chicken meat.  But I was close by, ready to the tackle the alligator if he should try to pounce.  Or I could just get one heck of a photo first, then tackle the gator.

     Thankfully, the alligator was more interested in the sun then in the tourists passing by.

     Later on in our trip we attended the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.  This was the highlight of our Florida excursion and we spent dearly for the privilege of attending food demonstrations presented by celebrity chefs, even upgrading our tickets so we could sit close to the stage.

     But, another hiccough.  No sooner had we entered the festival when my wife was shooed away from the very seats I had paid so dearly for.  I confronted a festival worker, explained how I'd paid extra for the front row seats, and she relented, telling us to sit nearby so she could watch over us.

     By the way, this wasn't the first time I worried about these tickets.  Originally, the tickets were e-mailed to me and they disappeared from my in-box shortly afterwards.  Then I found out my e-mail account was hacked.  When I arrived in Miami Beach, I made my way to the box office and explained my concern that somebody else had printed off my tickets.  She gave me a fresh set of tickets and made it so these were the only ones that could be used for entry.

     So maybe the snafu occurred in the ticket exchange--I don't know.  But we got to sit in the second row for a presentation by Andrew Zimmerman, a well traveled culinary expert whose claim to fame partly rests on his consuming the genitalia of various animals.  No samples please!

     Before his show started, the festival organizer invited all those in the cheap seats to come forward and occupy the unoccupied seats in the premiere section.  What??!!  I paid beau coup bucks for these seats.  I wanted to stand up and shout, "No.  Go back, go back.  I forbid you to come forward"

     Then after Zimmerman was done, southern chef Paula Deen took the stage.  The general admission ticket-holders were told to vacate the premiere section.  A festival worker we had not encountered before started checking those seated around us to make sure they had the proper pass.  They all held up the lanyard which they had been given, but we had not.

     She then came to us, telling us to show her the special pass and when we told her we didn't have one, she  beckoned us to leave.


     The alligator was easier to deal with.


Blogger Lynilu said...

Good grief! That ticket debacle must have been .... aggravating, at the least!

On the other hand, it is good to know you are not infallible. As I've always thought, you know.


12:57 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

What a shamozzle! You're a much more placid person than I would be in a similar situation...I think! I'd be having someone's guts for garters!

I hope you didn't kick that alligator in frustration on your way out! ;)

3:09 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--I'm still tempted to complain to Master Card, since I used a Master Card to buy the tickets, and it was a Master Card Demo Pass that I didn't get but I paid for.

LEE--That alligator had plenty of friends, big friends, there at that stop. I've seen too many sci fi movies to know what happens when you mess with mother nature.

7:07 PM  
Blogger CAROLDEE said...

Oh lucky you to be away from the snow even for awhile.LOVE your update..
Now Gators are not my favorites but I think I prefer them over snakes, at least you can hear and see them better. Cool that you got that close to them.Love how that gator is just sooo close to people. I have learned a lot watching Gatorboys on TV.. As for the ticket snafu what a crock..(heheh had to say it)I heard Paula has lost like 40 lbs and is just wasting away. Hope the whole trip is exciting. Are you back yet?? Keep updating!! Take care.. :-)

7:46 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CAROLDEE--I definitely prefer alligators over snakes and thankfully I didn't see any of them. We got to try one of Paula Deen's new healthy recipes, this one for zucchini bread with applesauce. We are back now, yes.

3:46 AM  

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