Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Camel Snot & Bat Guano

We took a little family vacay this past weekend and had SO MUCH FUN!

First we went to the Virginia Safari Park. It's a 180 acre drive-thru zoo and it was GREAT! The kids were able to be out of their seat belts and feed lamas, deer, camels, and other cool animals right from our car. The furry beasts would just stick their heads right in our car window and eat from the food bucket. Jayda wasn't too sure how she felt about the invasion of her personal space by such large creatures. Bella was 100% sure how she felt...and she hated it! She screamed and cried every time a lama would creep up and look at her through the window. I can't even begin to describe how hilarious it was! There's also a little petting zoo (don't go by the black baby pig with white on its nose. It bites...just ask my left hand) and some monkeys, tigers, and reptiles to look at. We highly recommend going if you're ever in that area!

We spent the rest of the day at The Natural Bridge. There's nothing to do there other than see the bridge (that takes about 60 seconds), visit their "Indian village" which totally sucked, walk through the wax museum which was intensely creepy and completely bothersome, and then watch the evening light "show" which wasn't as much of a show as it was a guide with a flashlight. It sounds like I'm being a bit negative, but we actually had an absolutely fabulous time. I think I was a bit disappointed because The Natural Bridge is listed as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. I think it's a wonder it was even nominated. HOWEVER, it was a great experience and we had a fantastic time. We recommend going...just make it a day trip or a stop over and not your final destination like we did. We also went to the caverns and saw some bats. Good times.

I think one of my favorite parts was driving through and stopping at the tiny little towns along the way. It was very interesting, and extremely humbling, to see how much of "middle America" lives. Those little places, far from city lights, make me think of what America is really built on and about the hard working farmers that really support this country. Oh, and I also think of creepy little toothless kids playing banjos.

Viva la vacations!

This is Jayda watching the animals come up to the window at the Safari Park. The one time she didn't have to be stuck in her car seat and she made a fort between the two seats and had a blanket ready to put over her head if she got too scared. Why do I find it so hilarious that my child was terrified? Not a nice mommy.

The Natural Bridge.

This poor guy. He had Bella on his back and then Jayda would want to be carried. She did pretty well, but it was a lot of walking and a TON of stairs. The most embarrassing part of the entire weekend? The fact that I only saw the back of this guy as he was charging it full speed and I was stuck eating his dust. In my defense my cute Puma tennis shoes were not slip resistant so I couldn't go too fast...plus, I was enjoying the view!

This is down in the cave. About 36 stories down! The guide took this picture and said she had no idea what that smoke/fog thing is. We couldn't see anything like that in person, but it showed up in our picture. She'd never had that happen before. oooohhhhhh (that's my ghost noise).

I know my sweet babies don't look their finest in this picture. Bella actually looks like she should be wearing a helmet and riding the short bus. But I just had to put it in so I could remember how sweet these two were on our trip. I'd look back to check on the girls to find them holding hands. Not looking at each other. Not playing. Not talking. Each in their own little world, but holding onto each others tiny fingers. This will forever be one of my favorite memories engraved in my mind.

So, where should we go next weekend?


Erin said...

Love them holding hands and Bella with the swollen tongue. :-) I went to the Natural Bridge on my way to my high school reunion in KY some time (won't say) ago and was equally unimpressed. Though I didn't have a cool ghost photo...

I've never heard of this safari park. I want to go.

Next vacation? I recommend camping at Westmoreland State Park, or you can rent a cabin. It's next door to George Washington's birthplace on the Northern Neck and is only a couple of hours from here.

Kerri said...

Hey don't knock kids with helmets - they're the coolest! J/K Too funny and so cute! The safari park looks totally groovy! Spooky ghost! Sounds like a memorable trip. You look super fab!

Stephie said...

Sounds like so much fun! And don't worry, I laugh when my kids are terrified too. Also, I hate to tell you but your ghost is probably just condensation inside your camera lens from the colder/damp air inside the cave. That happens a lot with cameras when you go from one temperature to another. (Sorry to ruin the spooky fun!) :)

Darbee said...

Oh my goodness! That picture of the girls holding hands is by far one of the sweetest things I've ever seen! They are so beautiful and are so lucky to have each other. There is nothing like having a sister!

Mallory said...

I love that picture of them holding hands! That's the sweetest thing ever!!