To gator or not to gator – that is the question.
A bed and breakfast is where you go to escape the daily grind. As our motto for couples says – the place for “triple R trips” – quick getaways where you can recharge, relax and reconnect.
So the question is: should this type of getaway include nocturnal visits from nine foot alligators? Does that mean our motto should be expanded to “3 Rs and a G”? Or to put it another way: when you and yours make plans to share a bottle of wine in a quaint Gazebo overlooking a moonlit lake, should you include the possibility of a third party in those plans?
If a recent evening’s events here at Three Oaks is an indication, you might want to. While we’ve had our share of “unusual” two legged visitors over the years, guests with tails are actually quite rare. In the eight years we’ve been here, there has only been one other visit but this is the first gator to take advantage of one of our amenities by spending an evening in our Gazebo.
I’ve had people ask if the gator picture was photoshopped and the answer is absolutely not. The picture was taken by one of the police officers who were on the scene that night. I’ve also had people advise me that including this in a blog could have a negative effect on potential guests' decision to book.
A good point, but most of our guests are either year round or long term winter Floridians, both of which would not be put off by a random gator visit. I would compare their attitude to those of residents in areas of the country where the occasional nighttime visit from a bear is not overly disturbing. The difference here is that gators do not typically wander very far from their water homes and, unlike bears, they are not drawn to open garbage cans for midnight snacks.
So is it risky to tell this “tail”? Not really, we do advise guests to beware when walking the lake path. In fact, there are a number of signs posted by the shoreline warning of the presence of gators. And walks down to the part of the lake known locally as “Gator Cove” is a highlight for many of our guests. We keep two pairs of binoculars at ready for them to borrow to more fully enjoy their gator sightings. And finally, our backyard is completely fenced, so "gator" access to the pool, exercise room, sauna and parking area is impossible (unless a new strand of pole vaulting gators move into Lake Wailes)!
Overall, our home remains the ultimate 3 R experience with many wonderful amenities. In fact we have now introduced an additional amenity - a preemptive Gator “sweep” we cheerfully perform for any guest planning an evening gazebo visit!