Thursday, November 8, 2012

Virginia? or Africa?

One thing I love about digital cameras is that you can take as many pictures as you want without running out of film.

One thing I don't love about digital cameras is that you can take as many pictures as you want and so you end up taking 5,000,000 more than you need. And then when you get home to look at them, after about the first 200 pictures all of them start to look the same, your eyes start to burn, and then you get overwhelmed, shut your computer down, pull out a tub of Ben and Jerry's from the freezer, plop down on the couch and watch the latest episode of Modern Family to make you feel better and forget about your digital camera woes.  (Modern Family makes everything better.)

Moving on.  Day one.

(Background info: We went to Virginia because Casey's mom and step-dad (Julie and Dean) are currently living in Norfolk, and they invited us to stay with them for a while so that they could show us around. I had never been anywhere near the North East coast, so of course we HAD to go.)

The first thing we decided to do was drive down to the Virginia Safari Park (near Lexington, VA). It's a drive-through zoo/safari, where the animals will actually come up to your window and you can feed them.  At the front, we paid our admission and bought a bucket of feed for each of us. We were so excited to be up close and personal with all of these cool animals.

We had assumed it would be a liesurely drive, trying to coax the animals to come eat from our buckets.... HA! We were so naive. I will never look at animals the same way.  As we first drove through, my head was turned while I was talking to Casey, and I suddenly felt warm air on my neck and the side of my face. I didn't expect that when I turned around there would be a freaking LLAMA waiting to eat my face [top right picture].  Man, I was so scared. Those llamas were intense.

Once you tried to yank the bucket away from them and start driving, they would trot right next to your window, waiting for you to stop and roll it down.

And then there were the camels. There was a sign that actually said they would take your bucket out of your hands and eat it...but to feed them, anyway. Sure enough. They took Julie's bucket right out of her hands. (notice the bucket in the camel's mouth below)

Luckily not all of them were too bad. For example, I'd like you to meet a Watusi. I'd never heard of one, before. Now I have heard of one, seen one, touched one and fed one. My life is complete.

Although they seemed to have a bit of a struggle getting their poor heads in the window with those ridiculously massive horns.

Okay, there we go.
Next up were my favorites. The zebras.

Look, ma! I'm petting a zebra!!

 Although after a few minutes, even THEY got a bit annoying and wouldn't let us drive away.

Luckily we were able to escape and saw MANY more cool animals.

Including some very regal-looking camels... who we did not feed for fear of losing another bucket.

After the drive-through part of the park, you could get out and walk through a more zoo-like area.

...where there were ever MORE animals to see. 

The best part about this day, however, was that Julie and Dean were celebrating their 6-year anniversary. 

Happy Anniversary, you two lovebirds! 

So if you ever find yourself near Lexington, VA, I highly recommend stopping though this place.  Although a few words of caution- make sure you can roll your windows up quickly, and be prepared to have LOTS of feed spilling all over the inside of your car...and lap...and shoes...and hair...

And beware of llamas.


Casey Price said...

I love it! Thanks so much for documenting our adventures. You're the best!

the mom said...

LOL to the digital picture drama... I totally feel your pain. I've still got photos from my last trip to Bali I haven't made it through - and I need to before I go again next month!

Love the zebras. My favorite too.

(OK, hoping 3rd time is the charm with the captcha thingy.... )

Sara B. Larson said...

Wow, haha, that's crazy! Looks like fun though, if you like camel and llama drool. ;)

Jennifer said...

What an amazing experience that must have been! I would love to do that so much. Such beautiful animals and really fun to see them up so close I bet.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you and Casey seem so cute together. That Zoo is Taylor's dream come true!! How fun:)

Kristin said...

I'm thinking that a more appropriate name would be the Virginia Greet & Feed Park. "Safari" conjures images of hunters going on a long journey to see out these animals. Sounds like you didn't have to put any effort into find them at all. But it does sound very interesting! Were there any secretary birds? Thanks for sharing. :)

Brandon said...

Wow, so many animals! And very interesting ones, too. They are quite nosy, though. Glad you had a great time.

paul said...

we have a place about 30 minutes from our house called safari west. you can't drive through in your own car but they have bush vehicles like in Africa that take you on the tour. They have Yurts for overnight stays. It looks real similar to your experience. What fun.

Ashley Rae said...

Kristin- unfortunately I did not see any secretary birds, although that would have been cool. And I agree- 'safari' sounds a bit more Africa-like. Greet and Feed seems more appropriate :)

Paul- that would be so much fun to stay in a yurt near one of those places. How cool.