Safari and Friends

by Heidi

A few weekends ago, we took a little trip to see the changing Fall colors and also to visit my roommate from college.  Carla and her family live about 4 hours away and I did my best to prepare for the hours in the car, but I have to say my nerves were shot by the time we arrived.  Graceanna doesn’t love her car seat and it was difficult for her to take a nap, so by the time we arrived she was not in the best of moods.  Much to my surprise we immediately sat down at their table and Graceanna feasted.  I really expected to put her in bed as soon as we arrived, but with a full tummy and some new friends, she was a happy girl!

On Saturday, Carla and I took the kids on a Safari while our husbands sacrificed their spot in the car so we could all ride together in their van.  I know watching hours of football was really hard on the guys.  🙂  First, we drove through the animal park where many of the animals are roaming free.  Then, after the Safari you could get out and pet the little ones.  By the time we made it through the drive, we were ready for lunch and naps. 

My favorite animal was the camel.  Gunnar liked the lion, but his favorite is the animal that bumped the van with his horn.  I think it was a yak but can’t remember.  As you know, I’m still learning my way around the camera.  It was so bright that day and I over exposed almost every single shot.  But, I learned a lot!  Keep in mind that my lens does not zoom.  These animal were so close!  The camel’s used Carla’s side view mirrors as scratching posts!

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Have you ever seen the cuteness of a camel’s mouth?  Now you have!


I LOVE this brown camel.  I couldn’t get enough of him or was it a her?  Whatever.  I liked it!

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I think they were shedding their fur.  But, that doesn’t make sense to me because winter is approaching.  Do they get rid of a summer fur for special winter fur?  I don’t know.  Unlike so many other animals, the camel’s coats looked so clean and soft except for that molting area.

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Lots of Zebra.  Even some with brown stripes too.

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The lions and tigers and other creatures of similar danger were locked up tight.  I didn’t like seeing them like that, but I knew G would want a picture of the lion, so here it is.

As soon as we were home from the Safari, Gunnar went to take a nap.  He skipped lunch, even chips.  That’s when we suspected H1N1 might be with us.  He slept several hours but woke up ready to play.  He had a fever from about 12:00 pm until about 9:00 am.  It didn’t keep him down, but unfortunately we did leave Hog Fever, as it’s called in these parts, with our friends.

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Gunnar (almost 4), Dorothy (5), Violet (2)


Dorothy and Gunnar on their “hike” through the wooded are by the house.


Graceanna and Carla

Graceanna dazzled and amazed Brent and Carla with her ability to shovel away the food.  It really can be amazing.  One night at dinner, Brent noticed it looked like Graceanna had swiped Violet’s cup.  Sure enough.  Graceanna was guzzling the apple juice.  As this was her first experience with juice, she did not put down that liquid gold until every drop was drained.

After our 48 hour excursion, Steve and I both felt like we’d been hit by a bus.  Within a couple days we both had H1N1.  We don’t know for sure if Graceanna has had it or not.  If she has, it was a much milder case than ours.  I called Carla later in the week to see if they were sick yet.  The girls were sick but the biggest news was that the night we left their septic tank caused a flood in their super nice, just like staying at hotel, basement.  She assures me we didn’t do anything to cause it, but oh my.  Not only a mess, but a very expensive mess which may not be covered by insurance thanks to their insurance sales person.  I wonder when we will be invited back.  Maybe the next time some world-wide-crazy-flu comes to the US or maybe the will invite us the next time we have torrential rains sure to explode their septic system.