The Youth Expo Experience 2013

On April 12th-14th the annual Youth Expo was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The Youth Expo is a gathering of educational displays and non-profit organizations centered on a younger crowd. We have gotten to be a part of this wonderful event for about 10 years now and always enjoy participating. 

Our set up has a tortoise pin, cages with various reptiles, and our infamous T-Rex on display. Throughout the day two of our employees have out two different animals for the crowd to interact with, typically being a bearded dragon and a ball python. 

We tried out a new in-car TV technique this year in which we had a TV in the trunk of one of our party cars. It continually played episodes from The Reptile Zoo series and people could come and watch whenever they pleased. Not to mention it looked pretty cool. 

Our unique animals offer a unique experience for all ages. Who wouldn’t love getting up close and personal with these awesome animals?

 

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Is that an Irish accent I detect?

So, some of you have probably noticed a slight style change in some of our recent blog posts and we never explained why... Me. I’m the explanation for the change, who am I?

Good question, my name is Megan and I have taken over this blog for the past couple of weeks. I am currently living in California in the beautiful Huntington Beach area for the summer months, but before I tell you all about that amazing experience, I better tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 20 year old, public relations and media studies graduate from Ireland. I arrived in California way back in June and had read all about Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo online and I immediately knew that I would love to work there, so I got in touch with Jay and Laura who were nice enough to give me an interview, and even kinder to give me a job for the Summer. As I spoke to Laura and realised that she was looking for a publicist that wouldn’t mind working with some reptiles too, I felt I was perfect for the position plus I had 4 years experience working in Ireland's only Reptile Zoo. Three days after my interview I began working and haven’t looked back since!

It was kind of surreal to be in California and see all these places that I would normally only see on TV, and I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime. Working in The Reptile Zoo took a lot of getting used to and a lot of adjusting for me. It was like a little piece of home though, the familiarity of working with reptiles and talking to visitors about them, if I’m honest it helped ease the feeling of being home sick, just a little bit. I did have one major problem when I started working in the Reptile Zoo though... the currency! I dropped a cricket one day and Sam said “that will cost you a quarter now” my reply was simple “You might have a chance of me paying if only I knew which coin that was." Thankfully after a few days I managed to get the hang of it. Another time when trying to go on my lunch break it got very confusing as I told Garrett that my break was meant to start at “half one”…the look of on his face was priceless as he finally realised that I meant 1.30pm.

Here are a few examples of the slang or word differences:

Bin = Trash                    Can Plaster = Band Aid                   Royal Pythons =Ball Pythons                    Lads = Guys

Then I got the chance to work at the OC Fair, I hadn’t even heard of the fair before and had no idea what to expect but when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The fair is huge, way bigger than I expected. Mandy had told me that you can literally get anything deep fried at the fair…..she really did mean anything. I was shocked to find you can get oreos, snickers, bananas and even CEREAL deep fried ! I love working at the fair because it is so busy, you get to meet so many different people, each with a different story.

I have met lots of wonderful and interesting people here, some strange people too (especially on the buses and when we went to Venice beach..but that’s a whole other story!). One of my favourite things about this Summer is getting to meet the people with the true southern California hospitality, people who were genuinely interested in finding out about Ireland and telling me lots of stories about their lives and experiences! In particular I met a lovely lady named Shirlee, a customer at The Reptile Zoo who is travelling to Ireland in October and we spent a long time giving each other lots of info and tips about our home towns!

All in all I have really enjoyed my time here in California, the people, the places, and mostly the weather. It took me a few weeks to settle in here and get used to the California lifestyle, but I really love it here, it is now like a home away from home and I hope to come back next year to experience everything else it has to offer! I am looking forward to going home and spending some time with my friends and family, but it has pretty much rained in Ireland the entire time I have been here so I’m not looking forward to that!

This is my last week working in The Reptile Zoo and I can honestly say that I am sad to be leaving, but feel like I have made some really good friends here and I have been given the opportunity to experience so much and for that I am truly grateful. I’ll be back in Ireland in two weeks, but who knows you might just see me again next year..fingers crossed!  And as we say in Irish “Go raibh mile maith agaibh” which basically means thank you all very much!

 

 

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Fire...fighters At The Reptile Zoo

 

Hola Herpers!   The summer months are definitely heating up here at the Reptile Zoo with kids off of school, visitors on vacations and more and more new animal arrivals!  Our team is hard at work to better our Zoo and store for your education, experience and enjoyment!  With so many volunteers out at the OC Fair promoting our Reptile Zoo/Jurassic Parties booth, we are hard at work here at the home base awaiting the rest of summer’s surprises, hosting parties and giving animals to new loving homes!  Here are a few snap shots from today.

 

^O^……Priscilla

 

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Good Morning Reptile Enthusiasts!

 

Today is my first official day working at The Reptile Zoo. Yesterday, me and 3 other trainees were

inducted into the world of reptiles. I happened to be the only one without much experience with

reptiles and amphibians, and let me tell you, by the end of training I had dealt with more snakes,

tarantulas and scorpions than I could have ever wished to handle in an entire lifetime! The enormous

selection that Prehistoric Pets has to offer is astounding! I was able to get over my fear of spiders, but

something is definitely holding me back from getting all cute and cuddly with those super worms haha. I

even battled wits with the giant tortoises by trying to pick one up. Tortoise – 1. Shannon – 0, I’m sad to

say.

Of all the reptiles that I was introduced to, my favorite would have to be the Bearded Dragon. These

little guys were so gentile to hold and look like the toughest guys around. Plus, their curious head tilt is

super adorable!

 

Well that’s all for now! I can’t wait to go on more adventures here at Prehistoric Pets. There always

seems to be something going on and something new to learn about.

-

Shannon

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