Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simply Safari

Friday nights and Saturdays are usually pretty quiet in the Pope household.  Michael spends his time working away on a house project while Samuel and I take turns distracting him.  We like our weekends slow, with as little to do as possible.  Most of the time.

This weekend, Michael had a camping trip planned with some guys from our church.  The wives decided to spend some time together while the men were away, thus giving Samuel and I the opportunity to get in some much needed social interaction.

Friday morning, we joined a play group at the Gentry Wildlife Drive Through Safari, a wildlife refuge right SMACK in the middle of podunk Arkansas.  It's a little run down, but I love it anyway.  I've visited many times with large groups of first graders, but I quickly learned that my one toddler could give them a run for their money.

I don't regret keeping Samuel isolated these past two years, but it certainly has it's consequences.  He hasn't had much practice being in public spaces, and I have had very little experience ushering around a strong-willed toddler who was a bit cranky because his mommy locked his drink in the car (along with the keys and stroller.  Ugh!)  I am so thankful that we were with a group of sweet, understanding, and helpful mommies!!!

Despite the craziness, it was a great day for both of us to hone some neglected skills and to meet a few unusual animals.

The wildlife park has two sections, a drive-through 'safari' and a petting zoo.  Samuel's favorite part of the safari was sitting up front in my lap, pushing EVERY BUTTON in the car, and hanging precariously out the window at each stop.  Quite a change from his rear-facing car seat!!!

He rode in the car with Taylor and Addie...who were perfectly content to watch the animals during the hour long drive, while Samuel became bored about half way through!

Here is Addie and her mom, Jessica.


Samuel tried to pat the deer's head.  I'm pretty sure it would have let him too! 

An aggressive emu came to our window and began pecking at the glass.  It was a little scary, but Samuel wasn't phased.  He just waved "hi!"

This is a good way to have your fingers bitten...fyi.

In the petting zoo area, Samuel was fearless with the animals.  

Samuel and Caeden chased a rooster.

 He pet a goat.

 And he named a pig ("Oink.")

All in a day's work for this little man.  Oh, and can you guess Samuel's favorite part?  I'll give you a hint:
What a boy!

 More about our weekend adventures coming soon!


  1. It looks like he had the best time!

  2. Sounds like a perfect day and I bet Samuel slept like a log when it was over. What fun to watch a toddler discovering new things. All that wide-eyed wonder just tickles me!!! (((HUGZ))) to you both!!

  3. Sarah, I've wanted to comment on your blog for a long time now. I LOVE (love love) reading about Samuel's accomplishments and seeing how far he has come. Your blog was one of the first I found when I had my twins in the NICU and it gave me much hope. - and besides he really is such a cutie!

    It looks like the safari was a lot of fun .... makes me look forward to the days we can get out and play a little more.

  4. New post!!! Am I even allowed to say that? Hahaha. :-)