On Sunday, we took the kids to Lion Country Safari, a drive-through safari park with a second amusement park at the end. I LOVE this place and I have since I was little. Personally, I'd be perfectly content driving through and looking at the animals from the comfort of my air-conditioned car all day long. My husband, JakeRyan and I were the people who stopped and looked at every single animal, could have spent hours staring at lions and talking about how big rhinos are.
Unfortunately, the wildlife INSIDE the minivan with us had other ideas.
Cruising along at 8 MPH and out of their native habitat of having to sit in car seats, my three were on the loose crawling all over the seats and looking for their next kill. "Kill" translates to grapes, chips and string cheese in the cooler at my feet because it had been exactly 42 minutes since they finished breakfast. These kids can sniff-out a juice box from a mile away.
In fact, they were so excited to be able to eat in the car that they completely ignored a perfectly good zebra fight happening right next to us. Who needs to see three male zebras jumping all over each other when there are Cool Ranch Doritos on hand? Seriously, look at those bad boys. It was awesome! And the zebras weren't hurt of course.
After singing the Veggie Tales Water Buffalo song several times and looking at rhinos, giraffes and 7,000 what-we're-calling-gazelles, we were in the theme park part.
So let's get this straight, scared of a tiny bird, not scared of feeding lettuce to a HUGE giraffe.
We moved on to the petting zoo where here we fed goats. Feeding had to be done through the fence (nobody wants a goat knocking their kid over just to get some lettuce), but you could also get in and pet them. I had walked in the fence with Ryan while JakeRyan stayed out with the little kids. As soon as Justin stepped in, he got some sand in his Croc mayday mayday and kicked it several feet away. So yes, I watched my kid walk with one shoe through a petting zoo. And no matter how good a job they did cleaning it up, there is still no denying what gets dropped and dribbled there all day long. Like a super-hero, I hoisted him up, passed him over the fence to his dad who then promptly passed him back when I ran around to do a hearty foot-washing.
When alas I was exhausted, JakeRyan took them into the Safari Maze, which was simply a maze of ficus hedges with one way in and out as far... as I could tell. Foreshadowing. I sat on a rock right outside that entrance/exit. The Safari Maze was right near the Toddler Train. Foreshadowing.
For those of you not familiar with ficus hedges...they tend to get a little sparse at certain times of the year, like March.
"Whose child is this???" Called the voice of the attendant of the toddler train. I couldn't believe the shocking resemblance to Justin that this kid had. I'm guessing his negligent father let him run amok in the maze without noticing a 3-year-old shimmy his way through the hedges, get in line and jump on the Toddler Train by himself. And fasten the seat belt. Doesn't that kid look just like Justin? I saw it in my peripheral vision. Although the Shrub Shimmy Incident wasn't on MY watch, I was the one who did the walk of shame over to the ride to supervise. And incidentally, aren't those other kids REALLY BIG TODDLERS?
So, the lesson learned: Bring a stoller to Disney in a few weeks.
Here are a few more photos.