The Great Huntsville Safari

August 27, 2016

Bill and his college friends Sid, Margia and Claudia occasionally make a day trip out of gathering somewhere for lunch -- some place at least sorta kinda centrally located in North Alabama, North Mississippi, West or Middle Tennessee.  Some place we can all travel to and return home from in a day. 

And Bill had this great idea -- why not meet in Huntsville and go on an adventure of thrills and hilarity while driving through Harmony Park Safari out near where he used to live in New Hope?  Great!  And since kids would love it, we'd invite Margia's daughter Lily to bring her little ones along.  Even greater!  We'd rent a minivan at the Huntsville airport so we could all ride together.  Perfect!  But when everything was set, Claudia had to back out.  Awww.  Well, Bill couldn't abide the thought of an empty seat in that minivan, so he invited David, the nephew of a friend in Memphis, to ride along.  All set!  And then the big day arrived....


Our first stop was the pizza parlor at Huntsville Museum of Art in Big Spring Park.  But who cares about pizza when there are geese and ducks and fish to feed?  That's David (10) with the big smile and behind him are Rocky (3) and Joe (6).


David, your pizza is getting cold.  Eventually he was persuaded to eat.  We all ate, in fact.  And then we set out on our adventure.


Now we're about to drive out across the vast open veldt of Cloud's Cove, Alabama.  Who knows what wonders we will encounter on our safari?  What amazing sights? What wild and ferocious beasts?


Here are the rules.  We, of course, obeyed every one of them.  Especially the part about remaining in our vehicle.


Rocky says, "Animals?  How big?"  Margia has an eye on him.


Big brother Joe, of course, is taking this in stride.  Sid, on the other hand, isn't so sure.


Here, little llama...Joe has some tasty Purina llama chow in the cup.


Uh oh, a big guy.  And he looks hungry.


It's a ref from Tuscaloosa.


Sid liked the emu until it pecked him and Sid threw animal chow all over Bill.


Bill remembered this guy from last time.  That's why he didn't drive his own car through this place.


This fellow has heard we have chow.


Cars drive slowly and pause often around here.  But that's OK. Everybody's having fun.


Pretty impressive horns, big guy.


Hey, outa the way!


Everybody was excited to see the giraffe.


Especially Joe.


Friend of the emu.


Even Rocky is getting into this.


This little guy was having a ball.


He loved feeding the animals.


He even became friends with animals who needed to wash their faces.


Close friends.


We love emus.


Don't we, Rocky?


Even Bill is getting into the act.


Why use a cup when little fingers will do?  We kept a close count of fingers, and when we went home everybody still had all the fingers they came with.


They're so friendly!


I think emus are our favorite.


That looks sharp!


We are having a ball.


Right, David?


David has made a new friend.


Joe too.


I dunno about Rocky, though.  He's still thinking.


Joe kept losing cups to long tongues.


Sure hope we don't run out of chow.  Or cups.


OK, this is fun now.  I think.


Yep.  Fun.


Hang on to the cup!


The emu thinks Joe is funny.


Sid thinks this big guy is funny.


And Rocky is starting to love it all.  Is that the only picture we have of Lily?


Sid was impressed with David's ability to identify the different animals.


Bill just kept feeling relieved that the big horns were hovering near a rental car.


Finally even Bill ran out of chow.


So we left the wild animals for a chance to get out of the car and touch turtles.


David even fed a few.


So did Joe.  Hey, there's a picture of Lily!


Rocky gets up close personal with a turtle.


OK, everybody gets some lettuce.


Rocky thinks turtles are even better than emus.


Unless, maybe, they're bigger than he is.


Just the right size.


Here turtle turtle.


They seem to love Romaine.


Rocky's happy.


And Bill was glad we did this.  What a fun day!