May 06, 2005

A WILD Play Date

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Kate, Jillian, Kristen and I had a wild time at Lion Country Safari today. The first thing we did was pile into the front seat of Kristen's Chevy Tahoe to drive through the wildlife preserve. We drove very slow with lots of stops along the way, so it took us about an hour or so to complete the tour. It was amazing how close the animals were to the trail. The giraffes crossed right in front of our car.

Kate and Jillian really enjoyed it, although, at times, Kate was much more interested in playing with the seatbelts and all of the dashboard knobs. The girls would run from one side of the seat to the other pointing at all of the different animals, sometimes saying their names and making the respective noises. And every once in awhile Kate or Jillian felt like Kristen needed some help with the driving so they would take hold of the wheel.

Next, we rented a zebra set of wheels with a canopy for the girls and toured the walking exhibit. Of all the exhibits we enjoyed the feeding exhibits the most. At the Lory Bird feeding exhibit, we walked in an aviary with lots of little parrots and had the opportunity to feed them nectar from little cups. The exhibit comes with a disclaimer about birds possibly landing on you while you're in there. They had the same disclaimer at the Flamingo Gardens aviary and not a bird touched us. Well, this was a completely different story.

I held Kate in one arm and the nectar in the other and two birds flew down to feed. One landed on my head and sat there for a bit. At first I was a little concerned about having a Hitchcock moment but luckily no blood was shed. Kristen had a few birds swoop down on her as well with one stopping on her head. The whole thing would have been a great picture. Too bad there was no one there to take it. Next time we're going to take turns with the nectar to get a few shots of the fun.

At the giraffe feeding area, we fed Faba the giraffe what looked like graham crackers. He stuck out his long tongue and whipped the food right out of our hands. Kate was amazed and rightly so. The giraffes were gorgeous and very very tall. Jillian enjoyed looking at the giraffes, but she wasn't too excited to get very close to one.

In addition to all of this we also rode on the Flying Elephant Ride (twice), the 55-foot ferris wheel and the Carousel. I love the pictures of Kate and Jillian sitting on the Ferris Wheel. It was the only time I was able to get any real pictures of them sitting next to one another. Aren't they cute?

We arrived at the park at around 11:45am. At around 3:45pm we were ready to go. After 4 hours and all of that excitement there was still so much they we missed at the park: the Safari Queen tour, a round of miniature golf, the El Paso train, the animal demonstrations, the petting zoo and the alligator moat. And they'll be opening a Children's water play area in the next few weeks. Needless to say, Kristen and I purchased annual passes in preparation for our next visit.

Kate was out cold within 3 minutes of pulling out of the parking lot. Kristen said Jillian was too. Our wild little adventure really wore them out.
Posted by Jean-Marie at May 6, 2005 08:24 PM
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We had such a great time! You guys are the best play dates!! Your pictures were much better then ours. Between the very long delay on my camera and the constant movement of the girls I seem to have only shots of the back of their heads. Oh well, maybe I'll get better pictures next time. I can't wait to go back and to have another great play date. Posted by: Kristen at May 7, 2005 10:28 PM
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