Saturday, July 18, 2009

is your mama a llama? our safari adventures

We took advantage of Jeff not having a store to work and went on an adventure yesterday. We headed to Natural Bridge to go to the Virginia Safari Park. When we first got to Natural Bridge it was pouring rain so we took an hour or so to tour the Natural Bridge Caverns. While they were cool, literally, it was not worth the money. Fortunately it had stopped raining by the time we were finished at the caverns so we headed to the safari park. We enjoyed a picnic lunch and then went on the safari adventure. And an adventure it was.
(jeff feeding a camel)

The park is unique because you drive through and can feed the animals. Last year when we went we were in our car so we just had the windows rolled down, this year since we had Lily and my mom we took my mom's van and kept the one of the van doors open. I rode in the back with the open door and boy was that a crazy ride! The animals come right up to the car looking for the white feed buckets. One llama tried reaching across me into the middle of the van to get a feed bucket, it was scary having a llama in my lap.

(me feeding the nice, small deer/antelopes)

It was really neat though to see bison, zebras, camels, wildebeests, llamas, emus, ostriches, all kind of antelope, and elk so close, though at time they were a bit too close.

(jeff getting a close encounter with an female elk)

It was also a little strange to see bison and zebras together or camels and llamas together. The animals aren't at all grouped together based on where they are naturally from like most zoos, but just seeing them up close is amazing.

(you aren't suppose to feed the zebras, and we didn't, but they still tried to get in the van and get some food)

The kids really liked being able to drive around and not have to be in their car seats. Lance moved around quite a bit, he was a little unnerved by the animals coming in the van for food.

(lily poking her head out the window, there weren't any animals around at the time)

(Virginia really isn't the African savanna, but it was still very pretty.)

The Safari park also has some walking exhibits that we enjoyed after the drive-thru part. I loved the giraffes, especially the baby. We didn't bring remember to bring with us quarters to feed the giraffes and we were about all fed out anyways.

(the baby giraffe checking us out to see if we had any food)

(lance as a wildlife biologist)

(you can get quite close to lots of animals, the adult giraffe who was hoping for something to eat from me)

(lance by the pygmy goats, they were cute, but smelled bad)

So we had a great afternoon at the park. I can't wait to go back again another day, but next time I think we will take our car, the van was a little too up close and personal with the animals, it was fun, but a bit scary at time.

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