Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh goodness; what BIG teeth you have...

With Spring in the air, such as Spring Break and Spring Forward {as we did Sunday with our clocks}, Tabitha and I are taking the boys to Cameron Park Zoo.  Accurately speaking, Tabitha is driving and I am tagging along.  Yay, I have never been to Cameron Park Zoo and I am looking forward to seeing it.  Plus, Eli has never looked upon anything other then their dog... this will be fun!!

What a day.  I had so much fun.  Tabitha, the boys, and I left Hillsboro at 8:00 am.  "The parking lot at Cameron Park Zoo isn't very big, and I want to park by the entrance, so we have to leave early" Tabitha said.  "As we head out" She continued "We'll stop and get the boys and myself donuts.  I Don't know if you want anything from there, but we can go to where ever you want to, and then head to Waco"   After telling Tabitha and Garrett, about my Mouse dance {another blog} and listen to Garrett laugh, it hit me.  Starbucks is in the same parking lot as the Donuts place.. wonderful!!  We were pulling out with breakfast for everyone, I had a Large White Chocolate Moca, and a blueberry muffin from Starbucks.. Heaven.  It wasn't to long before we were parking at Cameron Park Zoo and heading toward the entrance.

Garrett and Eli {Eli's first Zoo Visit}

There was so much to see.  Eli pointed to everything...  Trying to take it all in.  I don't know what took me so long to visit this Zoo!!  I think if Eli could have, he would have been shouting "Ook"..  He was so cute pointing.
Point to the water, ducks, and fish..
"Hey, look at the bass"..

 There was a play area, that both the boys took advantage of.. Garrett had a blast on the slide..

and they were both eaten by a snake..

The monkey was taken by Eli... and Eli was taken by the monkey...

Garrett enjoyed the little guy as well.

The weather was awesome.  At the start of our Zoo Journey, the park wasn't full.  So lingering at the cages and glass viewing areas were never a problem.  As the day went on, we couldn't linger as long.  The bears weren't out... and there were a few other empty animal areas.  But, we loved the things we did see.   Of course with two boys, the fish area was a big hit..

Such pretty colors.  They were a big hit with all of us in all actually...

The fish, the alligator, and the pelican made us all miss Florida.  
As we walked onto this man made beach area, we all got a whiff of the Florida beaches.

After all the walking, and stopping to check out the animals.. It was more then time for a break.  Let Eli strech his legs, plus there was this ranch house {it was closed} but it made a perfect picture spot.  And beside the house was a wagon and outdoor fireplace.. it was really cool looking..
Tabitha, Eli and Garrett..

A Brothers love.. Eli was getting heavy..

The Lion and Lioness area was the best.  At first I wished the Lion would turn his head so I could get a face shot.. Then before Garrett and I knew it, the Lion was up and walking toward us. Getting more then we had hoped for...

I love Lions.  Their manes, the way they roar.  Their big paws.  The way they are a pillar of strength.  At first glance, I said.. "God, if only he would turn around so I could see his face"...

"And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will.  And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for."
1 John 5: 14~15

The Massive Lion begins to stand.  I think, to just face in my direction and lay back down.  Guess again.
The Lion spots Garrett and I.  My first thought, and what I said to Garrett was .. "I got a picture of his face.  He's looking right at us."  But he didn't stop there...

Garrett took this shot, because as the Lion began walking toward us, I was telling my legs to run.. That didn't happen.  Garrett said  "Let me have the camera, and I'll get one of him walking this way."  The Lion was making that Huffing sound, calling his mate to the window, and she responded.  He didn't stop there either..

The Lionsess was asleep until he called.  In one swift movement, she was up on her legs, ears up, and heading in our direction.  I started to pray that the glass would hold.. And telling Garrett "Go and get your mom."  He didn't move, I wondered, if he to was frozen in the very spot he stood.  "Garrett!! Go and get your MOM!!"  In a flash he was gone and back..   The Lion looking for him, and then followed him to my left side..

In an instant there was, The loudest, sweetest, scariest roar I have ever heard.  In fact, I couldn't even hold the camera the right way to take a picture of his mouth, it opened wide enough to fit my head inside.  When it hit me to take a picture, his roar was coming close to an end and his mouth began to close.  I really wanted to crap my pants.. to be quite frank.

one more call to his mate, as he rounded to the window in front of Garrett and I...

As he watched Garrett, He licked his chops.  I got a picture of the window frame {as you can see} to show how close he had gotten to Garrett and I.  Praying hard that his large paws and body strength {that could pull down large pray} would not jump onto the glass and push through.  I began looking around for Tabitha, and caught sight of her.  I found peace in her face.  If anything, I knew I would shove Garrett to her and offer myself up as lunch.. I figured, I would make a tasty snack if nothing else. 

He stood waiting, watching, as his mate made her across the large pen, coming toward him.  His eyes said it all.  He was king of Cameron Zoo.. And I was more then happy he was.  He could surely have it. 

The Lion slowly walked pass Garrett and I, and I mean S L O W L Y.  I was very thankful the Lioness took her time making her way to the window.  It was by the grace of God, that the Lion even came to the window as I asked.  And in my, pounding heart ~ heavy breathing ~ and endless praying {for our safety}, the Lord heard that as well, soon the Lion became tired of waiting for the Lioness {that's the only explanation I can come up with}  and when he reached that rocky area {right before the grass} he lied down and the Lioness joined him. 

As Garrett, Tabitha, Eli and myself walked away, I realized I could hear my heart pounding in my head.  I hadn't moved an inch the whole time the Lion was at the window.  I can't even remember taking some of the pictures.  Tabitha asked "Did you get good shots?" and I remember saying "Yeah" kind of out of breath, and then recounting the steps of the Lion and how scared I was.  I know Garrett took the one picture, but even now, for the life of me.. I don't remember taking anything past the first two pictures.  My arms must have moved on their own, which would explain what my legs wouldn't move... I had no control over the parts that were moving.

Out of no where, the lizard beast approaches Eli.. Quick on his toes, Garrett jumps into action..

In a swift move, Garrett gains control.  Ride em' Cowboy!!
Once Garrett had tamed the beast.. Eli touched him..  God Bless big brothers...
There was plenty to see, as I said before.  A wonderful time was had by everyone.  I loved the Ranch house, although the house was closed. and the pictures Tabitha was able to capture of the boys..

When  our belly's started talking, and everyone felt the hunger come on at the same time, we started toward the entrance way.  Our plan was to eat lunch at the cafe' just as you walk into the Zoo, but it was packed, and there were no tables left to eat at.  So we decided to eat outside the Zoo.  Maybe a nice sit down restaurant.  

The parking lot was now packed.  Cars drove up and down the isles, waiting for a parked car to pull out.  Once everyone was loaded in the car, we made our way out of our parking space, out the entrance, down Waco Dr/St {which ever it was} and onto Hwy 35.

  There was no question, when the sign came into view...

I have always loved Cracker Barrel.  I love the porch, the rocking chairs, the way I seem to feel at home the second i step foot on that porch.  It is so inviting.  Once we got inside, and gave our name and number of guest "Terry, party of 4"Tabitha said, we walked around the Cracker Barrel Store.  The things inside their stores, are like no other.  I love just looking at everything, Enjoying the way everything is placed.  When our name was called, and we were settled at our table, the waitress took our orders.  Eli snacked on goldfish as we waited for our meal, Garrett played with the puzzle at the table and wrote a fill in the blanks story, Tabitha sent out a few text massages, and I snapped away at the camera. 

From where I sat, this picture called out to me.  It is one of the things I love best about Cracker Barrel, the old pictures and antique items throughout the whole restaurant.   There is no telling who this child is, but I had to take a picture of it, the frame, and the light that seemed to call out from within it.  

Garrett is always with a smile on his face.
Eli holding out a goldfish to share.. until the Binky came out.

Although Eli looked at the camera, as you can see,
he wasn't going to put down any goldfish.
Spending the day with family.. priceless.

Sitting side by side.. Nana and Garrett..

Thank you Tabitha, Garrett, and Eli.. for letting me tag along with you all.  I had the best time I have had in a long time.  I look forward to our next adventure.

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