granddaughter Ella clutches dandelion at Eudora Farms
No matter her new flower discovery at age 2 1/2 years was actually a weed whose fluffy top took flight when she followed her Aunt Kaka’s admonition to “Make a wish, then blow.” Ella blew enthusiastically as Aunt Kaka said she wished for many more days like this one, and I totally agreed.
Everyone was in high spirits as we began our road trip mid morning to the Wildlife Safari Park at Eudora Farms in Salley, South Carolina. Ella was taken with 4 year old Collins, the granddaughter of Kaka and Kitty; exactly one year before she and Collins made a memorable trip to Riverbanks Zoo together. Collins lives in the low country area of the state so they don’t have a chance to visit often. But whenever the girls get together with their grandmothers, it’s a memory maker.
Collins was the only person festively attired for the trip which officially marked the beginning of my birthday week – I was thrilled for her magic wand but a bit disappointed when she couldn’t make my position in the middle of the second row more easily accessible.
This trip was different in many ways from the zoo trip last year at Easter. Ella now had a 3 month old baby sister named Molly who sat in her car seat with Nana a/k/a Pretty on the third row of our new pre-owned GrannyMobile made necessary by the birth of our second granddaughter in January. Aunt Kaka drove with Aunt Kitty riding shotgun in the front seats – a term we used in Texas when I was growing up there but now seems oddly offensive. Mea culpa.
After two detours for potty breaks, french fries and exotic candy purchases, we saw our first exotic animals at the park. That is, Kaka and Kitty saw them up close and personal while the rest of our group kept our windows rolled up. The woman in the window suggested we purchase four buckets of carrots when we entered the gate – those disappeared too quickly.
Aunt Kitty attracted buffaloes and longhorns much to her chagrin
(I read the animal fact sheet during the encounters
– no one paid attention)
The little girls who sat in the second row were at once fascinated and fearful when the large heads poked through the open windows looking for the carrots – the grandmother who sat between them had the same reactions. The Park designers had cleverly provided a reward for every car that survived the winding road of our make believe safari: fast food that had State Fair flavors, a petting zoo of smaller animals, a parakeet cage with food available for the birds, an antiquated large tractor, and best of all a large corn box that closely resembled a sand box capable of holding a dozen small children who needed to be set free from car seats. The corn box was total genius. Trust me on that one.
Collins and Naynay loved the petting zoo with the goats and ponies
Ella and I fed the parakeets together – more our style
We all loved the tractor
Molly took everything in – but was more concerned about her food than the food for the animals
What a difference a year makes – too much sadness, too many tragedies everywhere far away and close to home – but I will pick a dandelion for my birthday, make a wish for more days like these, and blow with as much force as my 76 years can exert.
Thanks to Kaka, Kitty and Collins for not only the road trip but the pictures they shared. Please stay tuned. Remember Ukraine.