Monday, December 1, 2014

Southern Oregon road trip, Pt. 2: Wildlife Safari

Mommy and Lena get a shotgun seat view of a giraffe as I drive through the Winston Wildlife Safari

In the company of friends again

...Continued from Southern Oregon Road Trip, Part 1: Visits and hikes (link).  And consider this story the unofficial prequel to our upcoming safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa.  Let's hope we make those flights!

Guest blogger Kathy picks up our Southern Oregon road trip story where my Part 1 left off:  After the driving, visiting, and hiking.  Thanks to Kathy for writing this post.  I was happy to merely be on tap to plug and caption the safari photos.  Enjoy!

We had a great time so far with our hiking, visiting, and swimming.  On our final morning down south, we took advantage of the continental breakfast the hotel offered and then set off for the Wildlife Safari in Winston.

Neither Garth nor I had been to the Winston Wildlife Safari since childhood. We were so excited for Lena experience it, too!  Levi was too little to care.

Once Garth drove through the gate, we were allowed to take Lena out of her car seat to sit on our laps up front.  She was thrilled!

As we began making our way through the safari, I forgot how up close and personal the animals could be.  Lena loved seeing all the animals: lions, giraffes, rhinos walking right next to our car, bears, and the list goes on.

Lions resting in the shade

A zebra mixed in with the herd

A hungry giraffe stops traffic ahead of us

Black bear UFC pond/cage match: Tag team edition

Lena brakes for llamas

Buffalo roam

Lucky for this deer, another safariing family had randomly given us a bag of animal feed

This emu poked his beak inside our cab a bit too aggressively for Lena's taste

"I'll take the wheel from here, Daddy."

Baby Levi watches with envy as Mommy lets Lena ride the bear

Lena runs through the Australian Outback

We've got no food, got no jobs... our parrots' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!

Levi, Mommy, me, and Lena leaving the Australian Walkabout

Before Garth and I started driving the kids back up north, we made a final stop to visit friends who live 10 minutes from Wildlife Safari.  It was nice to catch up and see how big their girls are getting.

Beating the heat with longtime friends

Thus, we began the long journey home.  A stop for burgers and ice cream at Rice Hill was a must do.

Lena and Levi got plenty of sleep on the drive home, even as we stopped to redeem yet another Groupon for the grownups.

Lena reminisces about the safari animals with one of her favorite books, "I Love My Daddy Because..."
(At least that's MY vote for her favorite book!)

Thanks again, Kathy, for writing about our first ever road trip with our all-new Hamilton Four.  Lena and Levi would've loved to join us on the upcoming African safari that we have planned.

And it's a shame that the L's can't come along on our REAL Australian walkabout in 2015!

Bonus Vine video:

Click the mute button for audio of two bears throwing down at the Wildlife Safari


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of what your family experienced at Wildlife Safari, Kathy. I definitely enjoyed the captions by Garth, who has always been able to see the humor in pictures. I loved the photo of Lena running "through Australia." That little girl definitely likes animals!

It's wonderful that you had a chance to visit with Scott, Gretchen and their cute twin daughters while you were down there.

Susan Hamilton said...

I'm not anonymous...I'm Susan. I must have hit the wrong button.

Garth Hamilton said...

Yep, we loved seeing those animals! And visiting friends in southern Oregon was a key part of that trip.

I should be home from Italy soon. Just one more flight to go. Thanks for watching the L's so Kathy and I could jet set all over this past week!