Today was quite the day! Quin's watch told him we walked over 5 miles! We started the day at the Safari Park. Holy cow, this place is amazing! It's also so beautiful!
Here we are on a safari. Ewan loves animals and was SO darling! He waved Ni Hao to every animal and knew all the sounds they make. Smarty pants! He also knew their Chinese names...well, I'm assuming that's what he was saying!
This safari was unlike the one in San Diego and Disney World in several ways.
For one thing, there were more animals than either of those parks have. (Both in variety and sheer number of each variety.)
For another thing, you can get WAY closer to the animals.
Here's an employee throwing food to a black bear to make it put on a show.
All of the animals are wide awake and alert because they keep throwing food to them! Not sure how healthy it is for the animals, but I have to say that as a spectator, it was fabulous!
Look how many tigers!
And even several white tigers!
Ni Hao, rhinos!
The biggest difference in the parks, however, is that not only are there park-sanctioned safari rides, but you can also just drive your car through!!! And people were getting out of their cars to take pictures, and there were no fences in many places! Craziness!
^This is by the hippopotamus. You know, the animal that kills more humans per year than any other? Don't worry about it, they were just taking a picture. Yikes!
Lions! Oodles and oodles of lions!
Can you see them all in the background? SO many!
The predators did not have fences in front of them, but there was a big, deep mote. The African part of the safari had no fences and the animals were free to roam. Even in the road.
These giraffes were right in the road and were actually really close to us! Pretty cool!
I did not have a telephoto lens on the camera. We were genuinely close-up!
After the safari, we saw this "Animal Kindergarten" section. Baby monkeys of all kinds! CUTE!
and baby zebras!
We saw this tiger mascot kind of thing, and Ewan was super excited to say Ni Hao. Too cute!
Next we made the best decision ever and bought him in ice cream cone. This kept him entertained for seriously a good hour!
These giraffes were so great, and you could buy leaves to feed them! I would have done it, but, um, look at the crowd. No thanks.
ALL of these people are trying to get to feed the giraffes. Oy!
Next was an Australian section. Here was a wallaby.
And koalas! I have never seen these in person, and they're so dang cute!
All through the park, Ewan kept pointing to the picture of the pandas. When we finally got to the panda section, he was giddy!
We forced Geh Geh to get in the picture. See how excited he is?
Large bamboo lined the walk into the pandas. The whole park was beautiful!
I'm convinced pandas are the cutest animals on earth.
I mean, come on!!
This boy sure loves his pandas!
Food-on-a-stick kept these guys on their toes. Literally.
This guy was hanging out getting a good back scratch.
Look how many elephants! We got there just in time for a show! They were marching back and forth!
Ewan's second favorite animal has to be the elephant. His elephant sound is fantastic. We'll have to film it!
Ewan really wanted a stuffed panda bear, and he was so sweet with it!
Here he is petting it so softly and lovingly.
So proud of his new friend!
The elephants started spraying the crowd, and Jie Jie and Geh Geh wanted in on the action.
Wet with elephant spray. Gross, but awesome at the same time!
We had a great time at the safari park! We got home, and I put Ewan down for a nap while the big kids and Quin went back to the Island. This is our friend, Peter. He's the one who owns the shop where we've purchased so much both trips. He's a hoot and we love him!
This is his sweet wife. They work so hard!
After naps and the island, we headed to pizza with two other families. One of the families is here for their fourth or fifth time adopting. They know their way around the place and it was SO fun to have them be our tour guide tonight! After pizza they took us down the back alleys home.
This guy made some noodles to show us how it's done. WOW!!
The three Chinese boys checking it out.
Here's a video of it. (I think you can only see the videos I post on a computer, not a mobile device...)
We then headed across the street to a park. The parks in China are unreal. Ginormous and perfectly manicured.
This building is on the water. Not sure what it is, but it's so pretty!
Ewan insisted to be carried. We tried to put him in the stroller with his buddy, but he wasn't interested in that plan apparently!
Our own Tarzan swinging from the tree. I'm sure this isn't allowed, and Geh Geh was quickly told to knock it off.
Ewan has to be just like his big brother, though, so here he is doing his own version of swinging on the vines.
There were a lot of people running in the park for exercise. Every time someone ran past, Ewan would run after them. Luckily our friend's son was able to convince him to turn around and run back to us!
More forbidden climbing, more copying Geh Geh.
A view of the lake. So gorgeous!
My personal favorite section of the park was the badminton courts. They were full to the brim, and if people wanted to play and couldn't get a court, they'd just play in the middle of the path!
Here is exercise equipment. Again, full!
Pretty soon we heard music and turned around to see two rows of power walkers with people joining onto the back like a Conga line! I had to laugh and gawk!
There they go!
And what would a Chinese park be without ping pong tables...
...and stray cats?
We had such a great day! Ewan was such a good boy and really, truly enjoyed himself! He was exhausted by bedtime and fell asleep within two seconds of his head hitting the pillow. Holding his beloved new panda, of course.