Bennett was in absolute Heaven. He got the iPad all to himself for the 22 combined hours of the trip. He'd ask how many hours we'd be in the car that day and then cheer when I told him!
First we went down to Memphis and stayed for 3 nights with my parents. I kept thinking how lucky my boys were; all 4 of their grandparents under one roof for 3 days! We went back to Shelby Farms park so John & Judie could see the cool playground, we went to church with them on Sunday, the 3 women got to do a little shopping together (so many great shops around Memphis, including a Pottery Barn/West Elm outlet! My hubby's so glad about that, let me tell you. [major sarcasm intended]), and no visit with my parents would be complete without lots of yummy food involved.
We went to a fun restaurant called Humdinger's. My parents have a card from the manager that lets pastors in the area get 50% off their bill every time they go. Such an awesome idea.
Bennett loving his grilled shrimp kids meal:
Dawson watching Tangled at Nonny & Grandad's. The only 3 things he'll currently sit and watch: King Kong, Elmo and Tangled. (Notice his plastic King Kong watching with him):
A very rare sight--Dawson won't even nap on the 10 hour trip to TN. This was on the second leg-the 6 hours from Memphis to Bentonville after he was totally sleep deprived from the previous 3 nights of staying up late and getting up early.
Jon's Aunt & Uncle listed a couple things we could all do together while in Bentonville. One of them was a drive-through wildlife safari. We all thought that sounded like fun so we decided to give it a try. Boy were we all blown away. It was literally one of the coolest experiences of our entire lives. Big John said it was even better than a safari he'd been on in Africa!! It was $10 per adult and worth far more than that. There were so many different animals there and a lot of them came right up to the van (click on the pics to see them larger). There were bigger ones like lions and tigers and bears (ha!) in cages but you could still see them fine from the car and they were all way more active than the animals I've ever seen at a zoo.
Dawson was saying something hilarious in a high voice here. I think he wanted to feed them:
A cute little hippo just a few feet from our van:
The emus were by far the most curious and there were several of them there:
So amazing to be this close to a zebra!! There were also huge camels that came right up to the car but my camera was full and I didn't get a pic. We figured out that if you started to crack your window, they'd hear the noise and come right up to the car but it made Jon's Aunt Judy so nervous :)
A petting zoo area:
This was probably my favorite. I was just giddy being this close to the kangaroos. They were pretty skiddish and would hop away but if you moved really slowly, you could get close enough to pet them. They're as soft as a bunny.
This peacock was so beautiful-half regular, half albino:
Checking out the sloth:
This little monkey was the best part. He would stick his hands out of the cage and clap really fast to get your attention. And eventually we figured out that he'd grab onto your finger if you held it out to him!! I'm sad I didn't have room on the camera for video. I just kept saying the rest of the day, "I petted a kangaroo and held a monkey's hand today!!"
There was also a huge chimp outside and typing this out won't do it justice but it was so funny I have to try to describe it. We were watching him for a while. He had a water bowl outside the bars and would reach his hands through, lift his bowl up and take a drink through the bars. Then he'd climb up to the top and starting swinging, pushing off the bars with his feet for momentum. He was really going fast and all of a sudden on the forward swing (towards us), he spit a mouthful of water at us! We were behind a fence about 10 feet from his cage and he managed to hit Jon and Dawson! It was hilarious. We all screamed (or probably just me) and jumped back. He'd had the water in his mouth for at least a minute. Then we watched him repeat the whole thing again, drink water, climb up, start swinging and spit water at us. We were ready for it the second time but it was so funny. Ever since then Dawson keeps saying, "King Kong spit on us!" If you're ever traveling anywhere near there (or even within a few hours), it would be so worth going out of your way to stop. Seriously, way better than any zoo you'll ever go to. It was a great end to our trip! http://www.wildwildernessdrivethroughsafari.com/