Sweet Summer Coleslaw and a Summer Trip: Gator Country, Beaumont TX

Last weekend I found out that I am not yet the person I hoped I could be.
The person who although scared mindlessly senseless, still makes good choices.  Still looks out for the welfare of others. Still forges on with bravery and class.

Yeah. That ain’t me yet.
And this is the story of that.

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We took a little trip to Beaumont TX, where my sweet Bella played softball in the state tournament.

Now, the girls played well in the tournament, and scratched there way back up to the top. 9th place out of 60 teams.  But the last game, was a sad, sad, tale indeed. Though, I won’t go into the details here. Just know this, it ended in an International Tie Breaker (double over-time – though I know I’m not describing it correctly) and my kid was in tears.

Not happy times.

But alas, what is a parent to do in order to right this horrible wrong of blind umpires and shady thematics?

Take child to the hotel pool.  Yes.
Buy child Blue Raspberry Snow Cone. Yes.
Throw family in the car and take entire lot to a place called Gator Country for a mere $12 a person. Yes.

It almost killed my poor spend thrifty husband.

Warwick:  Oh my goodness Nicole. Where are you taking us?

Me: Gator Country!

Warwick: Why?

Me: Because it’s fun.  Really.  Just keep an open mind about it.

Warwick: I hope it’s worth it. We’ll be eating bologna sandwiches all next week to pay for this.

So I just smiled, and tugged on him and reassured him that the wrestling and fishing for alligators would be worth every dime he spent.

 There was fishing for gators.  Which doesn’t appear to be easy.

And there was crawling through muddy puddles in cages looking for gators to tie up.

Oh. And let’s not forget throwing gators in pools with murky water and then wading in to get them out without them eating your legs off.  That one was my fave.

There was also a little section with a pier that looked out into a pond full of alligators. You can’t see it well, but on the pier there were candy dispensers that were filled with pellets that you can buy, so that you can feed the alligators.

Me: Ooooh, Warwick. That looks like fun! We should do that.
Warwick:  When we walked in, right outside the front door, I saw a white ice chest that said FREE ALLIGATOR FOOD.  Maybe it’s getting ready to go bad, that’s why they’re giving it away for free. You should go get some and we can feed the gators that.
Me: I don’t want to go get it. You go get.
Warwick: I’m not going to go get it. Tell Shelbi to go.
Me: You can’t just have an 11 year old roaming around a Gator park looking for stale alligator food by herself. . . . . . . .Fine. . . . . . . .I’ll go with her.
And so Shelbi and I went out in search of this white ice chest that has stale gator food in it, so that my husband could save approximately $1.75.
We walked to the front of the Park, through the restaurant, passed the restrooms and what do you know, we spot a WHITE ICE CHEST.

And coincidentally the ice chest said FREE ALLIGATOR FOOD . . . .in big bold print.  And something tells me, maybe I don’t want FREE Alligator food. Then things start running through my mind, like what do alligators eat?  . .Large mammals. . . . .roosters. . . .birds. . . .people. . . . . .there could be people in that ice chest. . . . .

So I decide to open it.

Knowing darn well that I should listen to my instincts. I should listen to that knowing voice that says. . .THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA.

But because my daughter stood beside me, anxious to retrieve her alligator food, I slowly raise the lid on the chest. And as I did, I saw leathery ribbed white skin. And a diamond shaped head. And about 5 or so coiled bodies all gathered in the chest, and one wiggling it’s head up about 6 inches from my fingers ready to eat me alive.

I slammed the ice chest shut, picked my heart up off the floor, grabbed my kid by her shirt tail and went to find her father.

The entire walk back, Shelbi’s eyes were gigantic. She just kept mumbling. . . .Mom don’t you think we should tell somebody? Don’t you think we should do something?

But I couldn’t do anything.

I just wanted to get away from that ice chest.
And I wanted to kill her father.

For not getting the food himself. For making me go. For making me feel bad that Gator Country cost so much money that I have to resort to free gator food that happens to be FREE SNAKES, and now for having to go tell the cashier lady that I think they have FREE Venomous snakes that are ALIVE in a an ice chest at the entrance and that I think it is a bad idea. That I know it’s a bad idea. That KIDS could get hurt, and I am scared and feel so very stupid, and I want to go and I’d like my money back too.

And now I’m sitting here typing this all out to you in a manic fit.
Because I never did warn anyone about that chest.
I never ran screaming and alerting the community.
I just let it sit.
And now I sit here thinking, what kind of person am I? That would allow her community to be in the presence of danger and not warn them.

Horrible indeed.
Oh well. Maybe next time I’ll alert the authorities. I pledge to try harder to swallow my pride and display my shame.
Luckily, Warwick said he saw some other poor soul open the chest later, and they were fake snakes.

Ooooh. I’m gonna kill that man.

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I think this is what I might look like if a Venomous snake bit into my soft flesh and then I was fed to alligators.

Though. . . . .

I’m sure I wouldn’t taste like this.
And I’m not quite sure why I just told you that, because that is a horrible image and this is a wonderful dish.

Just don’t listen to me, I’ve had a rough week.

I don’t want you thinking of horrible man eating alligators, and cold blooded snakes this summer. . .I want you thinking of refreshing salads, and crispy greens, and all lovely lovely whole foods to delight your mind and body.

Like this. . . .

Ooooh mama. So good.  It tastes heavenly. It’ll make your forget all your worries. It’ll make you dream of cool water in swimming pools, and pina coladas and summer picnics.

And not a bit about that time you spent $100 dollars going to Gator Country and were almost eaten alive.

Sweet Summer Coleslaw 


1(16ounce) bag of coleslaw mix
3 TB diced onion
2/3 cup Mayonnaise (I like the kind made with Olive Oil)
3 TB Canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt


1) In a large bowl, combine coleslaw and onion.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, canola oil, sugar, vinegar, and salt.  Whisk until thoroughly combined and the sugar is fully dissolved.

Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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