Monday, January 30, 2012

Lions & Tigers & Bears oh my!

We didn't see any of those at Safari West last weekend. But we did see giraffes and zebras and wildebeests.

Eldest Daughter and I spent the weekend bonding with our National Charity League group. This consisted of an early departure Saturday morning to hit the Napa Premium Outlets (JCrew, CAbI, Cole Haan and more) and then lunch at the Tra Vigne Pizzeria before meeting up with the others.

Safari West surpassed my expectations although I'm glad we didn't end up staying overnight in those tent cabins on property. After a while the smell gets to you. We took a two-hour open-air Jeep tour through the 400-acre preserve in Santa Rosa and got up close and personal with those zebras. There is seating on top of the Jeeps, too, so those people had the best view and also the bumpiest. The route through the preserve is not a smooth ride, not by a long shot!

The animals are pretty interesting. Who knew a Cape Buffalo was so dangerous? Or that cheetahs can't climb so they present no threat when kept in ceilingless enclosure? I learned that even though giraffes have long necks, the majority of their food is located below their shoulder level. Their height is all about group dominance. And they also sleep just 20 minutes a day. (More than Edward.)

After the tour we had a great dinner at Guy Fieri's Johnny Garlic's and headed back the hotel where some girls swam, other girls played cards, and Coleen and I eventually watched Midnight in Paris. (Good movie but, as is typical with Woody Allen, you're left with questions. Also, the novel A Paris Wife is good background for this movie in case you're a little fuzzy on Hemmingway and Gertrude Stein.) The film is up for a Best Oscar and I disagree on that one. I've also seen Moneyball, The Help and The Descendants and The Help was the best of the four although the Woody Allen one is more clever than the others.

The preserve is very close to where one of The Pinks will go to sleep-away camp this summer. We'll see if she has enough energy after a week of sun and fun to take a tour. This particular child would love it.

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