For his entire life, Grand #4 has had a fascination, dare I say love, of snakes.  As a grandmother I have struggled to understand this interest as I find them terrifying but I have grown to appreciate his passion for these slithery creatures. 

As the time approached for his North American Travel Scholarship my husband and I somewhat worriedly wondered about the adventure that we were likely to find ourselves facing!  

In no time we were at his 11th summer marking the time in which we would present the plastic-snapped folder containing the application and North American map.  During a family gathering my husband presented the application with great fanfare as our Grand excitedly awaited the receipt of his ticket to an adventure of his choosing. 

As the presentation drew to an end the gathered family members began talking with Grand #4 about where he wanted to go.  He immediately responded, “Florida!  I want to go python hunting and deep sea fishing.” 

The world slightly tilted at that moment . . . but I’ve learned that if you have the very best guides you will create unforgettable moments.   I clung to that belief as I thought about spending a week walking through the Everglades in search of a giant snake and then hours on a bobbing fishing boat in the middle of nowhere.  But, I was up for an adventure and more importantly learning more about the passions of this amazing and fun grand.  

As he’s been completing his application, I’ve been researching python hunters in the Everglades, looking at more pictures of giant pythons slung around the necks of grizzly (questionable) hunting guides.   The first thing I learned was that the pythons are the most active in the months of December-January.  Armed with this information I cleared a few dates with Grand #4’s mom.  

Many of the guides left me with questions about our safety.  But, as with all other trips, the cream began to rise to the top.  We’ve identified “the python hunting guide” and have fingers crossed that we will be able to book him for our upcoming trip in January 2021.  

At the same time, I began to sense that I was a little out of my depth in pulling together the entire week’s schedule.  We would be balancing the demands of a  snake hunter who has appeared on National Geographic, History, and Discovery channels with deep sea excursions and I wasn’t sure I had the time to research fishing expeditions and work it in and around “snake hunter’s” filming schedule.  Sometimes you know when you are out of your depth.  This was one of those trips so I researched a Virtuoso travel expert and hired Amiel Lindenbaum of Post Haste Travel in Florida to help me lock down the snake hunter, arrange the deep sea fishing excursions, and secure a place to stay that would allow us to unpack for the week and relax.  

As of this post we are working to secure the “snake hunter” – fingers are majorly crossed because if we can “bag” this hunter the trip will be made!  Stay tuned –

Post Trip Update: I was successful in finding three incredible resources for our trip including: Shark Catching – Shark Chaser Charters out of Naples, FL; Python Hunting – Bill Booth Outdoors; Deep Sea Fishing – Dalis Fishing out of Naples, FL

To read more about our trip check out: NA Travel Scholarship: Hunting and So Much More; NA Travel Scholarship: A Lesson in Gratitude

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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