Little Alligators and Styrofoam Margaritas

Saturday, March 17, 2012, St Patrick’s Day

I purposely did not write yesterday because I needed time to think about how to write this without offending a person who is very precious to me.  A person wrote to me and suggested we stop at a local restaurant on Tybee Island.  We took the advice and I have been pondering ever since why this person would make the recommendation.  I think I figured it out and so I can write about the experience after telling you why I think they made the recommendation.  First, this person (you know who you are) is a crab leg lover to the nth degree.  Second, this person is not known for drinking Margaritas.  She probably went in and they set a giant pile of crab legs in front of her and she went to crab leg nirvana.  Trust me.  I have seen her behind a pile of crab legs.  Her eyes glaze over.  Her peripheral vision disappears, and you could explode an RPG in her lap without deterring her in her mission to get every scrap of crab out of that exoskeleton and onto her excited taste buds.

Here lies the problem.  Neither Lucy or I are fond of crab legs.  We do love other forms of sea food, however, and so we decided to give the place a try.  It is called the Crab Shack and as I said it is on Tybee Island, just east of Savannah GA.  The place looked a bit interesting and we had heard they had some alligators there in a pond.  We walked up on to a walkway overlooking the (manmade, cement) pond and there were indeed a lot of alligators in that pond.  Now I don’t know what the natural habitat of alligators allows them in terms of space, but I suspect that they enjoy much more room than they had in this pond.  We later learned that there were 78 alligators in that little pond.  They were literally crawling all over each other.  Anyway we found it mildly disturbing, but our ignorance of alligator social behavior prevented us from judging too harshly or prematurely.  There were two curious things we observed about this scene.  One, all of the alligators were small, with the largest perhaps 4′ long.  Two, there was no foul smell coming from this pond.  Now I know that if a creature eats an drinks, it must also eliminate waste.  There were 78 alligators in a small pond, living, eating, socializing, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 366 this year.  If you have ever visited a construction site where 78 workers are using 2 or 3 porta-potties, you know that it takes massive amounts of chemicals to make the smell bearable within 50′ of these facilities.  I’m just saying.

We then went into the restaurant.  We were asked if we preferred inside or outside seating.  It was a very warm and pleasant day and we were enjoying the weather, but there were a lot of bugs also enjoying it, so we opted for inside seating.  It was very nice rustic island decor and we were seated at a table with a hole in the center.  Beneath the hole was a trash container, presumably for bits of exoskeleton discarded from various edible creatures. Okay, that’s alright, we have been to restaurants where you toss your peanut shells on the floor.  At least there is a tracy can here.  First we ordered a cup of crab stew from a very pleasant young waitress.  When the soup arrived it was in a styrofoam bowl. I suppose that’s okay, but I have never seen a styrofoam bowl that small.  It should have been called a half cup of soup, not a cup of soup.  The crab stew was quite good, but there were only about 5 or 6 plastic spoonfuls with which to evaluate it.  When I realized I had tossed my spork and napkin  into the central trash can along with the styrofoam bowl, I was told not to fret.  There was a box on a platform straddling the refuse hole which contained lots of sporks and a roll of paper towels.  For my main lunch I ordered boiled shrimp and potatoes with sausage.  It was served on a quite small styrofoam plate. The food, what little there was of it, was quite good.  Lucy ordered a crab cake sandwich, also served on a styrofoam plate.  She says the crab cake was not good.

Okay, we have all been to a picnic and eaten off styrofoam, so I guess that was not a big deal.  We are not snobs.  But then they broke the final straw.  Lucy and I both ordered a Margarita because we had read they were quite good here.  The Margaritas were served in a small styrofoam cup.  Now that is just wrong.  A margarita in a styrofoam cup?  Really? We now believed we had seen it all. It was even becoming comical. We were willing to laugh it off, and were about to do so when we were presented with the bill.  It seems the Crab Shack was going to have the last laugh.  Small amounts of food, some good, some not so good, served in styrofoam, no busboy required visa vie the central trash can, and all this for $66.00.  Ouch.  I can still hear them laughing at the gullible tourists.

Now we were faced with the problem of getting back off the island and through Savannah to head north and continue our journey.  Ordinarily that would not be a concern, but today is St Patrick’s Day.  It seems that Savannah hosts the second largest parade and celebration of this day in the USA.  Second only to NYC.  They were expecting up to a million people to show up for the revelry.  We did not want to get caught in a giant traffic jam, so we looked for a way to get around or through the city quickly.  We were driving along on what we thought was a circuitous route around the city, when we spotted a highway entrance that was called an expressway.  The map seemed to show it going right through the city.  It promised to cut off many miles from our route, so we entered it.  For a while it was just fine.  We seemed to be zipping across the city with ease.  Then we learned that in this part of the country they often use the term expressway very loosely.  It ended abruptly and dumped us out onto a narrow city street with bumper to bumper traffic and thousands of pedestrians indiscriminately walking around in their predominately green clothing.  The only place people were not crossing the streets was at the cross walks.  So we inched through Savannah for the next hour, doing our best not to kill too many pedestrians, and finally emerged on the north side and continued our trek up the coast.  We found our way to a very nice Walmart parking lot near I-95 west of Hilton Head Island South Carolina.  And so ends yet another day in the continuing adventures of Harvey and Lucy.

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3 Responses to Little Alligators and Styrofoam Margaritas

  1. Laurie says:

    Lucy, I’m sitting here listening to Barry working away in our house [muttering at the goofy wiring in our bathroom]. We were just talking about your adventures — do you two have an estimated time you will be back home?

    Are you going to hit the Outer Banks of NC? I hope so — I want to hear all about them!


  2. Dad I have to say I am confused about the Crab Shack. When we went there it was not like that. My margarita was served in glass and was good sized, as well as good food. I find it odd as well that when we were there they had 7 or so alligators as well as a rather interesting collection of exotic birds.

    • Hey Kiddo,

      That is weird. They had 78 alligators in that little pond and bragged about it. We saw the birds, but apparently they were doing some kind of remodeling and all of the birds were in a tiny room that was stifling hot and smelled terrible. Is it possible we went to a different place? Or maybe they changed owners and went down hill. That sometimes happens to restaurants. There was also another person who recommended this place to us. Oh well.. Haven’t seen your blog the last few days. Are you still at it? I am pulling for you. Those of us who love you want you to get healthy for a very selfish reason. We want you to be with us as long as possible. Keep trying. If you have a bad day, just start the next day where you left off.

      Love Dad

      Harvey Childers 777 College Park Dr SW #56 Albany OR 97322 Voice 541-971-2753 Fax 888-885-5489

      Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, refrains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.

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