Friday, December 4, 2009

African Safari, Cavern Exploration, Bull Riding and Mountain Climbing

So it has been a month since I really blogged last. I don't like to go that long without an update, especially when some crazy things have been happening on our farm, but we have been extremely busy. It all started about 4 or 5 weeks ago when our hay barn burned down. This is a long story and I promise to blog about it very soon. After dealing with the loss of our barn, hay, and chickens, we left our farm in the capable hands of farm sitters and went out of town for nearly 4 weeks. First, Noah and I flew to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area to visit my father. After visiting my father, we went to the Riverwalk in San Antonio for a few days for the National Runaway and Homeless Youth Conference that I attended for work. We returned home for 3 days, re-packed and then headed to the Bryson City, NC with the great danes in tow. We spent a week in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Then, we made the 14 hour drive back, I was home for 1 day and then went to Lansing for the rest of the week for a training for work. I am extremely happy to say that we are finally home! I plan to stay put until we leave to visit family in Indianapolis Christmas weekend.

Because we have been gone for so long, there is a lot to catch up on around the farm, especially now that it is a winter wonderland outside. I spent the morning cleaning piles of paca poo in the barn and putting fresh stray down for the alpacas to nestle down in. We still have lots of winterizing to do yet this weekend, but before I get too ahead of myself, I'd like to share some pictures of a few highlights from our travels (although they are not really alpaca related... some very animal related).

Okay, so we didn't really go to Africa for a safari, but we did get to go on an awesome African animal safari in Glen Rose, Texas at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. At Fossil Rim, you see animals living in their near natural environment. The 1700 acres of open spaces lets you see and interact with deer, gazelle, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, emu, cheetahs, wildebeest, oryx and other wildlife. You drive your own vehicle through the 9 1⁄2 mile tour and feed the animals right out your car window. You see long distance views of savannah-like pastures, forested areas and hillsides for the animals to roam. Fossil Rim gives you nature at its best: beautiful vistas and wildlife living in the open. It was definitely an unforgettable and amazing experience. My absolute favorite were the giraffes...I wish I could add a herd of giraffes to our farm!

The bird pictures above were taken at the San Antonio Zoo.

We also got the opportunity to go on a tour of the Natural Bridge Caverns, which is the largest cave system in Texas. It was a breathtaking to be in a 350 foot long cavern that was 220 feet below the surface of the Earth!

We also went to the Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky tonk. They even have live bull riding in the bar. We thought we would give it a try! Billy Bob's is located in the Historic Stockyards of Fort Worth where they have cattle drives through the street twice a day. I got an authentic pair of cowboy boots and hat and Noah got a new leather belt and cowboy belt buckle. I even got to see an antique spinning wheel at the cowboy museum. It was fun playing cowboy for a day!

We also toured The Alamo in San Antonio which is picture above.

While we didn't really go mountain climbing, we did do a lot of hiking on Baines Mountain in North Carolina. We also did a lot of eating, relaxing, reading, playing board games, decorating cookies and having fun with friends and family for Thanksgiving.

While in North Carolina, we toured the Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America which is pictured above. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas!

Well the last few weeks have been an amazing adventure, but noow its back to farm chores.

1 comment:

Randy Bancino said...

You are truly world travelers!