Nine days down. Nine to go. Cocoa Beach is behind us, and we’re moving on to the second half of tour. Breakfast was served at the hotel, and we were off to Jungle Adventures and Lakeland FL. On the bus ride our Officer of the Day Cole served his duties. His Quote of the Day was “The die is cast”, and his Word of the Day was “Try”. The boys enjoyed his appropriately selected Song of the Day “The Eye of the Tiger”.
We arrived at Jungle Adventures around noon, and were greeted by a ginormous gator mouth. Megan and Donna from the JA staff welcomed the boys. They got to hold a baby American alligator, a ball snake, and a tarantuala. You should’ve heard the ‘gasp’ when Megan came in the room with the tarantula. The last animal they got to touch was Theo, a copper and white colored skunk with “fur like a cat”. He didn’t stink. The foxes did though.
Megan fed a few of the 150 alligators of the park. The boys watched as she threw raw meat directly in front of their round snouts. When the gators finished their lunch, we had ours, NOT raw meat. Donna, the other staff member, took us on a tour of the premise. She introduced us to Boris and Natasha, two Florida Black Bears. The boys got to feed them food pellets through a tube in their cage. Donna continued the tour, showing off all the cool animals of Jungle Adventures: fox (the stinky ones), deer, blue and gold macaws, turtles, alligators of all sizes, lemurs, and a feisty macaque who entertained Joseph by attacking his own tail. “I’ve never seen Joseph laugh like that”, Stewart said.
Donna concluded her tour, and Reptile Ryan took over. He gave us a pontoon ride around the duckgrass-filled swamp surrounding the refuge, and showed the boys where the gators sunbathed. They saw a hand full of them on the shoreline, and met JA’s largest alligator Goliath.
The boys spent some time in the gift shop purchasing alligator heads and what-not. Moms, be prepared for this. Our adventure in the jungle ended, and we were off to Lakeland FL. In Lakeland, the boy were served a delicious dinner of burgers and chips. They changed into their concert uniform, and prepared for rehearsal. When they arrived in the sanctuary, there were people already waiting in the lobby. I was amazed by how many people were there so early. While the boys rehearsed, the lobby filled with eager listeners. They were almost bursting at the seams. Finally the doors opened around 6:40pm, and the sanctuary started to fill with the largest audience the boys have seen so far on tour. It was impressive.
The people in Resurrection Catholic church adored the boys. They were a very responsive and enthusiastic crowd. You could feel the joy they felt, listening to the boys. At Q&A time, they asked lots of questions. “How do you keep from getting home sick?” I gotta say Jack comes up with the best things. “I wait for the next day. If something fun is happening, I don’t even think of [home].” Someone asked about the different “levels” of sopranos, and Aaron had the Sop 1’s demonstrate how high they could sing. Everyone was in awe.
After the concert, the boys did their tour jobs and met their host families. Check out the epic sundae they got tonight!
They’ll be spending the next two nights with their families. Tomorrow is the Threshers game in Clearwater, and they sing for the Savannah Court Assisted Living at 7pm. Wish them fun.