A couple weeks ago we scored some free tickets for both the African Safari Wildlife Park and Cedar Point, so we decided to take a little 2-day road trip as a fam. We left early Sunday morning for the Safari Park, stayed in a hotel that night, and spent Monday at Cedar Point.
When we told friends we were planning on doing the Safari Park, we heard things like, “Only go if you’re already in the area. It’s not really worth the 5-hour round trip.” And from my friend Megan–“That place is hilarious.”
Now, we’ve been to a lot of zoos and seen tons of animals and even been on several “safaris,” but no one has ever told us “that place is hilarious.”
We mentally psyched ourselves up for an adventure. And hoo boy, the drive-your-car-through-the-hungry-animals “Safari” did not disappoint. We were cracking up the entire time and had so much fun we went through again.
The first time we got a free cup of food that didn’t last us very long. The second time we paid $10 for 2 big cups of food and 2lbs of carrots. So worth it.
The animals ranged in size and aggressiveness from itsy-bitsy spankin’ new fawns to great big bison, elk, and a 2200-lb Scottish Highlander (think big, shaggy cow with horns bigger than my thighs).
Nina liked the little deer. Aren’t they just as sweet as can be?
There were way too many deer to count. I’m glad we didn’t bring Gabe’s dad. I fear that one of the older males might have ended up on the wall of his cabin.
Nina might have liked the deer and the llamas and alpacas and even the baby bison, but the mama elk got a little too close for her personal comfort.
Gabe (and the rest of us) got the biggest kick out of the car in front of us. They had all four windows down the entire time, and these animals know no strangers (and have no boundaries). It’s a miracle that they made it through unscathed (well, except for the obligatory animal snot and slobber all over the place.
Our van only has two windows, so the girls had plenty of room to “hide” if they needed to. And Gabe made me close the windows anytime something too huge came along (I did feed a big ol’ elk bull and a couple bison).
But we went out of our way to avoid this guy (who was surprisingly adept at putting his head in a car window without his horns making any contact).
The zebras were adorable. And so funny when they chomped their carrots.
The pictures suggest that we followed the rules and put the carrots in the cup. But it was way more fun to feed them to the animals by hand. And we all escaped with all 10 of our digits.
And then… And then… be still my heart. GIRAFFES. The giraffes and zebras were the only animals actually behind fences. Someday I will see them in the wild roaming free. I can’t wait.
Other highlights of our trip included a $3 car wash, celebrating 5 years in our house with dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, Frosties at Wendy’s, swimming at the hotel, watching a marathon of Swamp Monsters on Animal Planet, and beautiful weather/awesome rides at Cedar Point.
Gabe rode this crazy thing. (Zero to 120 mph in 4 seconds, then straight up and straight down 420 feet.) INSANITY. It hurt just watching.
We also made a quick trip to Lake Erie (so much prettier than I remember) after buying Livi some Zanfel for her awful, awful, awful poison ivy (she’s on the road to recovery now–thank you, Jesus!). Gabe took this sweet HDR shot (which is actually 3 shots put together with all different lighting–I have no idea how he does it).
And a great time was had by all (that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it). Cambodia is our big deal this year (just like last year), so no vacations or anything, but we don’t mind. Who says you can’t have fun on a two-day road trip to the top of Ohio? Rock on, Ohio!!
Have you taken a fun mini-trip this summer? I’d love to hear about it.