Before school started, my little family had a field trip with some members of my larger family at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park. Somehow, we managed to miss making the trek to Lake Tobias last summer, which made our trip there this year even better!
It's always great fun to have a four-generation outing, I always say. Or I just said it this once, but it is so true. I love my grandma and I love watching her interact with my kids/nieces/nephews and enjoying their fun. Plus, the woman is a crack-up.
It was interesting to realize how my Maia has grown up and conquered some of her fears. She used to be terrified of many things, including most animals. A few years ago when we went to Lake Tobias, she wouldn't even enter the petting zoo. She stood outside the chain link fence with a pained expression on her face while she watched her siblings and cousins feed the goats. This year, she not only tolerated being in the petting zoo, but actively approached the animals and enjoying feeding, holding, and petting them!
Naturally, Mackenna is in her element in such a setting. This little one hasn't ever been able to get enough time with members of the animal kingdom.
Mason was quite enamored with the capybaras. There were a few adults and probably a dozen babies. It was quite a sight!
Teensy surprised me by going to pet the large python up by its head instead of further down its body (where her mother would feel more comfortable touching it).
My favorite part of Lake Tobias is the safari ride. The guide drives you up into a gated area (150 acres) where all manner of animals live. The driver stops the vehicle and you can hand feed all different species of deer, elk (my favorite--they are so sweet), cattle and buffalo. It's so cool.
While we were on the safari ride, my nephew, Luke the Duke dropped his sun hat off the cruiser when we were stopped and feeding the Asian water buffaloes. Our driver wouldn't get off the cruiser to get his hat because she said that these animals were known to be a little aggressive and had even chased another driver up over the hood of her bus. We tried use the food to bribe the buffaloes to move away from the hat, but they refused. One even became rather curious about the hat. Just when the driver announced that she was sorry but we were going to have to move on and leave the hat behind, my Kenna stood up and started marching down the aisle toward the door in an effort to disembark. She even sounded disgusted with the rest of us when she pronounced, "Gosh. I'll just get it." It was hilarious! I quickly lunged for her and explained that she wasn't allowed to get off to rescue Luke's hat from the enormous water buffaloes. That girl. What am I going to do with her?
Notice this creature's reluctance to move away from Luke's hat!