Tuesday, December 29, 2009

southern safari

After a lazy morning, and a quick stop at Chik-fil-A for lunch, we all headed to Lazy 5, a local animal drive-thru park with over 750 different exotic animals roaming around.  It was sure an adventure!  I’ve been here once before, but we just drove the grounds in our car.  This time around we made an appointment to join a wagon ride and you can actually feed the animals right from your hand!  It’s so exhilarating and exciting to see them so close and we all had a great time.  I think I managed to take over 200 photos! 

Here are some of the good ones . . . 

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From left to right:  my mom, cousin and aunt.  Sure love these guys!


I think this one is my favorite, look at that giant tongue!


They also have a petting zoo to walk around after the ride.  While many of the animals weren’t out since it’s winter, there were still some roaming around waiting to be fed!


I liked the reflection in this picture . . .

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We had such a blast!  It was sure chilly outside brrrr but the sun was shining!

After we got home, my mom and I took her little doggy Shadow for a quick walk.  My mom recently adopted Shadow after she was hit by a car on the highway.  Her right leg eventually had to be amputated, but she is doing really well now.  She is such a sweetheart!


I was surprised at how well she does, and the other 3 legs make up for it :)


For dinner we headed out again for some good southern BBQ mmm that is something that I don’t indulge in very often.  It’s fun to immerse yourself in different cuisines when visiting a city.  There is nothing that I enjoy more than trying and visiting local favorites that make a city unique.  I try to avoid national chains as much as possible to support local restaurants when traveling.


We always try to make a stop at a restaurant called Lancasters.  It’s a great place to go to for some lip-smackin’ southern BBQ.  The inside has a ton of knick-knack items and racing memorabilia all over the walls and there’s even a real bus you can sit in!


IMG_6700My mom ordered sweet tea.  Have you heard of this before?  Normally when you order iced tea in the west, it’s always unsweet tea. 

If you order iced tea in the south, it is always sa-weeat tea (with an accent). 

Chris usually orders unsweet tea and he was so surprised the first time he got the sweet stuff and about gagged!  I had a sip of it and this stuff is sweeet!  It has something near 60g of carbs for a large serving!!  Yikes!


Every table gets a basket of hush puppies.  Oh my gosh, these are addicting!  I forced myself to only have two of these little bites of fried doughy goodness.



For dinner I ordered the salt and pepper catfish combo with pulled pork, corn on the cob and baked beans.  I had one catfish filet, 1/2 the pork, 1/2 the corn and all the beans.  I also had one of the ribs.  Everything was delicious! The ribs were so tender and fell right off the bone mmm


IMG_6722To continue the indulgence of local favorites, there is a great ice cream shop called Bruster’s that Chris and I wanted to make a stop at.  gah!  this stuff is so good! 


I had the small cup with peppermint stick and chocolate peanut butter buckeye.  I was so glad I only got the small!  I’ve never heard of a buckeye candy before, but I am a freak when it comes to anything with peanut butter and chocolate.  What’s not to love?  The peppermint had real chunks of peppermint candy and there were swirls of peanut butter all throughout the buckeye flavor.  pure. heaven.


ha, love the marketing on the napkin.  treat yourself.  Yes, that is sure what I’ve been doing lately, but why does food always have to be considered a way to treat  yourself?  Especially with the holiday season it’s easy to get caught up in all the indulgence, or we try to avoid the temptation at all costs and make ourselves feel guilty if we don’t work off that extra bite of pumpkin pie.  Sometimes we don’t want to, and because of personal beliefs cannot eat the food that a host has prepared, but we don’t want to make them feel bad if we don’t eat their food.  I’m sure there are many other situations you have experienced also.  I’ve come to realize for me it’s important to not dwell on all the eating too much, enjoy the moments with family, friends and the food of the holidays for all that it is in the best way for my wellbeing.   

Food is really what brings us together as a family, defines a region and sustains our bodies to keep us going and healthy.  I know that I have indulged in wonderful food and have relaxed probably a bit too much, but you know what, I’m enjoying it in moderation and am not going to worry about it for this moment in time :)

What are your thoughts on the holiday-food conundrum?



Chow and Chatter said...

oh I should Jasmine there

Anonymous said...

i LOVE seeing bbq on the blog world :)
great pics!
love the giraffes..those are such pretty animals to me!

Lara (Thinspired) said...

Beautiful photos! Did you get a new camera since I visited your blog last? They look great!
Sorry I have been a horrible commenter/reader...the holidays really got the best of me! I hope you are well and had a lovely holiday!

Gina said...

Holiday food has gotten way out of hand, in my opinion. Holidays are no longer about family and friends, and Jesus and love, it's about food and gifts. The commercials sometimes make me sick. Either way, I'm still ok with the fact that food is what brings us all together, but focusing on food is a whole other story.

Thanks for your response to my question, I can't wait to hear what you learn!

Glad you had a good time at the southern safari. That poor dog with 3 legs. I can't believe she can walk so well, good for her!

And, I LOVE Brewster'S!!

MelindaRD said...

The animal park looks cool. I do a safari when i go to Florida sometimes. Last night I got stuck in some 20 cows on the road and said to Ryan that i felt like I was driving through an animal preserve. Then one almost peed on my car and I thought I have got to get out of this before I get stinky and stampeded. I am glad your adventure was a tad safer than mine!

Looks like you guys had some great BBQ and other goodies. Glad you are having fun.

Emily said...

Lazy 5 looks so cool! You got some great pictures.

I also love supporting local restaurants on vacation. They seem more friendly than big chains to me. :-)

I agree with your thoughts on holiday food. I think stressing out about the food is equal to letting it rule you, which is not something I want to do. I'd much rather enjoy food!

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I love all the animal pictures! Beautiful!

And the bbq looks delicious!

I think sharing a meal with friends and family is great. It truly does bring people together. I try to make the experience about the people, sharing stories, having a good time and not as much about the food. This year I made a lot less food and a lot less traditional food during the holidays, yet everyone still enjoyed themselves.

I'm a big believer of eating the food of a region that I'm visiting and experimenting. There is just something about eating local food that connects you with a region/country.

*Naomi* said...

thats right girl! treat yourself. SUre, I love to eat healthy and do most of the time, but there are certain instances and get togethers where I don't let the food control me. I eat what I like and enjoy it and don't let myself get upset if I indulged. You work so hard and deserve to enjoy some indulgences once in a while! your food looks DELICIOUS! those fried dough balls...mmmm and the ice cream?! well lets just say its about 15 degrees out and I am still craving some ice cream :)

local restaurants are the best! they tend to use the local ingredients and catered to YOU....love it :)