Monday, March 12, 2012

The Safari Experience

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a Safari. 

We finally met up with my cousin, Courtney and her boyfriend, Jason. I don't know how this is possible, but it was our first visit since we moved to southern California. Time goes so fast. Courtney's friends Alan (who works in catering at the San Diego Zoo) and his wife Bonnie also joined us. Those two had all the inside information, knowledge about the zoo, conservation efforts, trail shortcuts, and are friends with many of the trainers. 

They were excellent tour guides. 

The San Diego Zoo is a beautiful park in a great city location, and it's impressive to see the variety of animals on display from all parts of the world.

The San Diego Zoo's Safari Park, however, is totally different. 

Rather than row-after-row of perfectly landscaped, educational cubbies of animal families, the Safari Park is all about wide open space. The park is located about an hour inland of San Diego (it was a two hour drive from our house), and the animals live their zoo life with the other animals as they would in real life. There's an African Safari, and an Asian Safari. 

Courtney and me.

At the Safari Park, you can also get MUCH closer to some of the animals and it's the "experience" they really promote. 

We got SO close, we even fed some of the residents!

Can you believe the life experiences Audrey's already had in her 1.5 years? I love it!

Courtney and Jason.

Alan and Bonnie were so excited about our visit, they bought us all VIP tickets to the park's famous cheetah run. 

Wanna see a cheetah run a 100-yard dash at 70 mph?

It was incredible to see in person. Apparently cheetahs are traveling 40 mph before they take their 3rd step. There's no "bad seat" for the cheetah run (the main event), but it was so nice of Alan and Bonnie to set us up in VIP. We had excellent seats, didn't have to fight the crowd or wait an hour to save our spot, and GOT TO MEET THE CHEETAH {too close for comfort} up-close-and-personal.

There was no touching allowed, thankfully. 
And, it's only open to kids 6 years and older {double thankfully} so unfortunately Audrey stayed back and played/napped while Courtney babysat. 

Giving me a death stare. 

It was another great day, with great people. 

love, kerry

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