Nov 6, 2014

Last Weekend Sedona and Wildlife Trip

Last weekend was pretty amazing!  Yes, I know I am late... it seems that is the story of my life.  But at least I get the important things done on time.  Like get ready for vacation, leave for vacation and have fun on vacation.  If there is a special event going on at said vacation I can make it to that on time as well.  I can make it for Christmas dinner on time too.  On time to me is different than my grandma's view but, hey, I live an hour away.
Anyway, my bf and I went on an instate vaca last weekend with his mom.  She is truly a gem and has always made me feel comfortable and welcome.  She doesn't make it known if opinions differ, unless we are discussing likes and dislikes about food or something that is not a big deal.  It makes it very easy to be around her.  Not to mention that she likes to be active, like I do. 
We went to Out of Africa which is a wildlife park that has really awesome wildlife.  Things you do not normally see at a zoo and the park's idea is really cool because they do not train the animals and they keep them as close to their natural habitat as possible.
Before leaving I prepped as best I could.  I knew that the park would likely not have healthy choices at lunch time and since I am used to snacking all day I needed to be prepared with that as well. 
As you can see I chose healthy fall options:

Just kidding, I actually had bananas and carrots.  Notice how the bag of pumpkin snaps are already open.  I have no idea how that happened.  It must have been defective, from the store.  I can't imagine who else in the house would've done that!
Lunch was whole wheat with deli meat, lettuce, tomato, blah blah blah - all that good stuff on it.  Not to mention some wasabi horseradish in place of mayo but it was *spicy* so be sure not to have too much at once!

To get the morning started was a healthy, delicious breakfast.  There really are veggies in there, I swear!
Upon arrival, the first thing we did was take a tour around the park to get an idea of all the things there are, before deciding where we want to walk to.  Kinda sounds lazy, right?  Well, it is the only way to be up close and personal with the giraffes and zebras. 
They gave us animal 'cookies' to feed to them.  My bf's mom gave me her phone to be in charge of pics since I accidentally left mine in the car (so I could be on time for the tour).  My bf downloaded pics to his phone so I could get them but that didn't work out as planned so you have to visualize the giraffe sticking out his long a*s tongue to get the cookie.  Just like people, they want the cookie!
Here are pics I do have:
The above lion is pared with a white tiger and the white tiger goes to play in the tiger splash.  Lions do not like water so this lion doesn't go but while it's tiger, sister, is away - this lion cries for her return.  Just like a household pet would.

I am a fan of the king of the jungle.  The mane is so beautiful and it is such a fierce animal.  Truly king of the jungle.  I was lucky to get a great shot of this one posing for me.

This one really captures my attention due to the sheer beauty.  I am always drawn to white fur and blue eyes because it seems more rare than the typical lions or tigers .  (and bears, oh my)  

I certainly wouldn't want to be caught in those jaws.

These cats were found roaming the streets of Scottsdale, AZ.  Apparently, someone had them as kittens in their apartment until one day they escaped.  I just want to know how the hell can I get one?!  My house is not really set up for one but I can dream.

The above shot looks like something I see Max doing!  The below shot is them playing.

More house cat looking appeal.

lazy days
Interesting facts we learned are that the park employees do not *train* the animals.  They allow them to use their instinct and make their own choices.  Essentially, they play with them.  Just like our pets.  We can play with them with their ropes - or whatever toys they have and they will not harm us.  They *choose* not to, even though they can.  We might, mistakenly, get a scratch from a flying paw but that is it.  That is what the narrator at the water event taught us.  It was really cool to see the tiger go after blow up toys and play with it, just like household animals.
Although, they do not recommend doing this with an animal from the wild.

What is a trip without trying to climb the rhino?

But wait the fun didn't stop there.  From there we headed to Sedona.  It is so beautiful and the red rock is absolutely amazing!  Our plan was to hike, hang out on the strip, go into shops.  Etc.  But it rained. 
Instead we ate dinner, hung out in the lobby-which had a fireplace and was very cozy-, read about other fun activities to do on another trip, slept and went for a morning walk.  Where we got rained on.  The next day we went to an art festival with a lot of southwest style stuff, natural stuff and turquoise.  Lots of turquoise.  I'm not really a fan of turquoise so I didn't care when it rained on us, cutting our outing short. 

We packed up and on the way out we had lunch at a restaurant with giant windows overlooking the red rock views.  The sun started to make its way through the clouds which meant we *had* to have homemade ice cream.
My pants did NOT thank me for this!
The guy who mixed mine added extra candy -Heath bar -so it was an extra sweet treat.... maybe even too much but I was so excited to get special treatment that I didn't complain.

Since it was so bright out we wanted to take advantage and go for a little hike but on the way we thought we would make *one more* stop at Tlaquepaque.  This ended up being way better than it usually is!  They celebrate Dia De Los Muertos which can be really frowned upon
 by many but we learned that the purpose is to remember those who have passed. 
While we were there we found some great festive decorations.


We put a remembrance on the wall for my bf's brother who passed a few months ago and then we realized it was only supposed to go in the blue and not in the black area.  Oopsy.  Then went home.  It was an awesome weekend of wildlife, nature and fall.

let's connect:


  1. I'll start by saying I am in the eternally late for everything club. We hosted a small party at our house this week, for 3 people... we were late. How that happens I have no idea...

    Looks like such a fun vacation!! I have friends who just got back from South Africa, and they have pictures similar to the ones you have and you didn't even need to leave the state. That's awesome to have such exotic wildlife so close.

    1. LOL! Late to your own party!

      I would love to go to Africa but good to know that it looks similar.

  2. The big cats are just beautiful! I can't believe the employee can play with them. Amazing! Love the jumping by the fountain picture! What a wonderful vacation!! --Lisa

    1. It was so cool to see them play! Thanks, I thought the fountain was pretty.

  3. That lion looks pissed. I could not imagine trying to play with them. Those clouds look intense. Ice cream on vacation totally doesn't count! ;)

    1. LOL! She does look kinda pissed. I thought ice cream on vaca didn't count because of all the walking but my clothes said otherwise when I got home. Well, maybe it was the other food too :)

  4. Replies
    1. I thought I took a pic of the view during lunch but I don't see it on my phone. With as many pics I took, I don't know how that happened!

  5. :) Sedona is beautiful that picture of you two with the mountains in the background - HOLY SHIT. So pretty!

    And I love that you tried to climb the rhino - I would totally do that. :)

    And - so - tell me - who opened the bag of crisps... HMMM????

    1. bwahahaha! I can't lie. My bf's mom got those pumpkin snaps cuz she knows I love pumpkin. She did not know I grew up eating ginger snaps w/my mom so they were an EXTRA GOOD treat!

  6. I just love those big cats...such gorgeous creatures.

    1. They are certainly beautiful! I am always amazed by the creations on this earth.

  7. Love the photos. And that pumpkin stuff looks amazing.

  8. What a great trip! I love exploring my own state. That wildlife park looks awesome! We have one here that has retired movie and tv "actors" so a lot of them do the tricks they were taught when they were in the entertainment business. It's so interesting. The Day of the Dead mural is beautiful!