No, I don't post reasonably-sized, pithy posts at regular intervals. I erratically post hideously long photo dumps. I'm cool like that. Not.
I do apologize.
We went on a six-day roadtrip down to California, which included a lot of things (more on that later) but most notably, a gorgeous friend's wedding... and two magical wildlife safaris.
The first one was big and rangy and looked pretty much like Africa. You just drive around, while the mildly safe, less fragile animals wander around loose, and the scarier and sleepier ones lounge in cages.
This is sad. I feel like the animals would appreciate a balloon. Especially the elephants.
Mama lions are awesome.
I totally fell in love with bears. I mean, I'd never really understood the whole stuffed-teddy-bear fascination. But now I so do.
They were so snuggly and yawny in the sun.
The giraffes just meandered around, taking their sweet time.
Hippos: an unlikely cross between a torpedo and a pillbug.
I may as well crush your hopes and dreams just like Benjamin crushed mine. Apparently hippos kill more people than sharks do. Mostly by trampling or impaling. Excuse me while I cradle this photo and weep.
A Tibetan yak. Which, I swear, is quite likely the beast responsible for the siring of our shaggy pig-dog, Bobby.
This emu should not have been loose. I rolled the windows up in a blind panic. Rats, snakes, bats, spiders--not a problem. Emus? They are deeply, deeply terrifying to me. They all look demon-possessed. This one was pecking at Rebekah through the window. GAH.
I don't think I'd ever seen a black swan before--so pretty.
Bucket list item # 13. checked off.
Bethany rocks because she is willing to wield my camera, despite her discomfort, so that she can record the parts of life where my dreams come true and I can't take pictures.
And then she rode him too. :)
He was a good camel. His head was soft and he chewed his cud meekly.
Creepy/awesome snake draped around someone.
A screech owl, which incidentally looks pretty much exactly like one of our cats. The same peevish expression.
At the gift shop, we found quite possibly the snuggliest stuffed animal of all time.
Bethany loved the baby tiger very much.
And, I got to see the Redwoods for the first time--gorgeousness.
We may or may not have been pretending to be Pooh and Piglet.
The sign said that this monster tree would be there for probably about a thousand years. Lots and lots of names carved into it.
Someday, I'm going back there with a man and a knife.
This. This was my wonderland.
Because I got to pet a baby tiger. (!!!)
So, so amazing.
It's in Bandon, on the southern Oregon Coast. Go there sometime in your life, if possible. It's a glorious, beautiful petting-zoo-on-steroids.
Beautiful baby leopard.
The mom leopard. :)
There were at least fifteen deer just running around in the area everyone walked (along with goats and a donkey), and I could like pet them.
I look at this and I start thinking about Bambi and then get emotional and want to watch it again and weep for Bambi's mom. And his dad.
A zebra backside for ya.
Again, the snuggly bears. This one was eating leaves. It was one of the cutest things of all time.
Bethany's favorite part: the weird wild pig thing. Today she asked "can you send that picture of the epic pig to me so I can make it my profile picture on Facebook?" Me: "absolutely not."
The pig was Bethany's soul sister, and the lemurs were mine. Way too excited, weird, and intense.
I've touched on my early obsession with tigers before. I had (and still have) many calendars and posters and blankets, but I kind of cooled off about them until we went to the circus. Going to the circus has a way of changing your life forever.
All the adoration came back, full-strong, and so seeing the ones at this place was absolutely glorious.
My only complaint was that I couldn't take them all home with me to cuddle with all day long. Life just isn't fair.
And there was the sleepy (but out-in-the-open--hallelujah) lion.
He was sorta sleep-growling periodically, and it was hilarious.
The raccoon was naughty (common to their race) so we couldn't cuddle it, but I did stroke a 100% non-stinky skunk, which was very exciting for me.
And there was a seriously snuggly ferret.
Silver foxes = darling.
I feel like this guy would be manageable to take home. So tiny and peaceful.
It. was. awesome. And because I'm trying not to choke you with hundreds of photographs in one post (you're welcome) the rest of the trip photos will be forthcoming (you're not off-the-hook, I'm just spreading it all out to make it seem less painful).