Tuesday, October 11, 2011

South of the Border

While traveling, yesterday, to Richmond bill boards advertising for "South of the Border" began popping up along side the road.  At first I was confused as to what kind of facility this was.  It seemed to be a restaurant and then maybe a hotel.  Then I saw a leather shop, Reptile Lagoon - the largest indoor reptile exhibit, Pedro Land Amusement Park, import gift shop, and Sombrero Tower, signs.  I was very confused about this South of the Border, but based on the signs I was fairly certain that I was about to visit tacky central with a touch of mexican flavor.

This kids were weary from traveling so we decided that we should stretch our legs at the this tourist trap.  After checking out the plaster animals we walked into the gift shop.  Upon opening the door the smell took me back in time to my childhood in the 70's, when smoking inside of a building was the norm.

Little Mexico Hat shop...how unusual, I thought.

While the kids enjoyed the hats I was quite sure we had entered the Twilight Zone, as we were the only ones shopping or even visiting this amusement-park-like place.  It was odd.

Oh my!  The selection of shiny brightly colored clay animals they had for sale!

Since visiting, I have looked up South of The Border online.  It was originally built in 1949 and was a place that people from North Carolina could cross, just south of the border, and purchase liquor.  From there it grew into its present day form and is known as an institution in South Carolina.

This is Pedro and he is 97 feet tall and weighs 77 tons.

The Reptile Lagoon...

The only question that remains is this....Have you been to South of the Border?
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