Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wild Animal Safari

After packing up our campsite Sunday morning, we headed further south to Wild Animal Safari Park in Pine Mountain, GA.

We were thrilled to learn that our Passport included a free van rental.  (You have the option to ride in their bus with a tour guide, take your own vehicle, or rent one of their vehicles.)

It was raining on and off, but it worked out to our advantage.  Fewer visitors to the park meant the animals were still hungry when we got there.  Many of the animals would come running to the vehicle when they saw us approaching.  It was rather humorous.

The front windows roll up and down like normal.  The back windows have been taken out and replaced with a few bars so that those riding in the back can reach their hands out to pet and feed the animals.  Problem was that the control for my window wasn't working on my side; Criss had to control it from his side.  I would be turned around taking pictures of the kids, realize something was breathing down my neck, and turn to see this coming through my window...

Or this...

Criss, of course, thought this was very funny.

It took Autumn a little while to get used to the animals coming at us.  She started out running to the back of the vehicle.  Eventually, she would stretch her hand, just barely reaching the window.

Slowly, she started warming up to them.  Still a little scared - but smiling at the same time.

In the end, she embraced the experience.

Silas, on the other hand, was thrilled from the start.  I wish I had video of him giggling as the animals "attacked" our van.

Criss thoroughly enjoyed himself as well.

For me, the highlight was getting to pet and feed the giraffes - two of them actually.

Such fun!!!  We ended with the Walk-About - a small zoo-like area.  No pictures, my battery ran out...

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  Isaiah 55:12


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Camping at Stone Mountain

Our Give Kids the World Passport expires this month, so we're trying to squeeze in a few more trips before it's gone.  We wanted to stay the night, so we could visit one attraction on Saturday and another on Sunday.  We didn't have much money to spend on lodging, so we decided to CAMP!  Yes, this was REAL camping - in a tent.

After our 3-4 hour trip to Stone Mountain Park (just east of Atlanta, GA), we checked in and set up camp for the night.

From there, we headed over to the Crossroads Area where the paid attractions are located.  They had provided us with free parking going into the park, and we each received wristbands that got us into almost all of the paid attractions.

The kids had a blast at the Camp Highland Outpost - a low ropes course with a zip line.

We had a great time riding the Summit Skyride to the top of Stone Mountain.

It was gorgeous up there.  Wish we'd had more time to just sit and take in the view.

Their Pumpkin Festival was underway, so the kids had fun "dressing" pumpkins and making fall crafts.

Other things we enjoyed:  Geyser Towers, The Great Barn, and the Scenic Railroad.

Our day of fun ended with the Lasershow Spectacular - a laser light show with a few fireworks.

So, how did we make it camping with two kids with multiple food allergies & intolerances - one of whom is on a feeding tube - and all with no electricity or frig?

We packed lots of millet bread, rice cakes, rice cereal, etc.  Then, we figured out how we could charge Silas' feeding pump overnight.  We have a battery charger (for a car).  It has a cigarette-type outlet on it.  We plugged in an adapter that converts from the cigarette outlet to a regular outlet.  Then, we could plug the charger for the feeding pump into that.  It worked even better then we'd hoped!

car charger to left, followed by adapter, then charger, then pump...

The next morning, the kids played by the lake and fed the ducks while Criss an I tried to pack everything back up.

We had a great spot.  See Stone Mountain in the background?

I learned a lot of neat information about the monadnock (yes, it's not technically a mountain) while visiting the park.  It's a five mile walk around the base, and there's one trail you can take to the top that's about 1 mile long.  It's nearly 600 acres in size.  The carving itself covers 3 acres (larger than 2 football fields) - with Robert E. Lee being 9 stories high.  Wow!  Even when you're standing there looking at it, it's hard to fathom how massive it is.

Beyond this, there is much more underground.  One of the tour guides mentioned that what we see is just 10% of what's there.  90% of it is underground!

It made me think of the greatness of God.  How the little we can see can be so difficult for us to comprehend at times, and there's SO much more that we can't even "see" yet.  So much more to know.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."  I Corinthians 13:12

To Our Great God...