As you learned in my last post, my parents came for a visit in early April to hang out with Bimmer. (HERE) One thing I have been wanting to do ever since Bimmer was born was take the trip to Hollywild. You may remember years ago that Puff and I went there for a holiday light display and a mutant cow tried to stick its head through my car window. (HERE) I had low expectations of the actual animal park, since I had heard it was all kinda sketch. But Bimmer loves animals and we were looking for a major wow-factor to a day out with Mamaw & Papaw.
It was amazing! Yes, it was a little run down and there were no pretty paved pathways or glorious enclosures. But Bimmer loved it... and so did the rest of us! I wouldn't recommend going in the middle of summer, since I assume it stinks and would be bloody hot with little trees. And their bathrooms were gross enough without the stench of not being climate controlled in the middle of August. And you could probably stand to pack a lunch if you plan to be there awhile (we were there 4 hours) because nachos and hot dogs are your only choices from the snack shop. But with all that being said... I soooooo recommend it!!!
I was pretty confident Bimmer would want nothing to do with any animal feeding or touching. Just a few weeks back, we were walking down the street and she got excited about a golden retriever. Yet freaked out when it got close enough for her to pet. I figured if an emu or buffalo got within throwing distance, she would have a nervous breakdown. But that's the thing with kids... they surprise you. We climbed on board the rickety old gutted school bus and took our "safari" out into a giant field full of wandering animals.
When it stopped and we became swarmed by the herd, I even was a bit nervous. Bimmer held back and stood in the center of the vehicle with me, where they couldn't touch her. She watched and I snapped photos. Mamaw let the cows slobber all over her hand. Puff gave the buffalo stale english muffins to munch. The longer we were there, the more Bimmer warmed to the idea. And she decided she wanted to give it a try. I swelled with motherly pride at her taking that big step! Such a brave little girl!
Please note that I did not partake in feeding any animals... unless you count flinging the piece of bread out the bus window as far as humanly possible so that I wouldn't risk any actual animal contact.
One of the highlights of the day was getting to see a "show" (I use that term loosely) where they had three baby bears. Bimmer has loved looking at the photos since we've been home and gets excited and yells "baby bear!"
I was surprised at the variety of animals they had... .camels, leopard, baboon, tigers, and lions. All of them in enclosures that looked, well, short of passing any type of safety requirements.
We spent a total of about four hours at the place. Bimmer was soaking up every second and loved it so much. If it weren't such a far drive, I would consider going back quite frequently. I think maybe we'll save the next trip for their holiday lights. Bimmer will be 2 1/2 years old and I'm certain she will love it. Although probably not as much as she loved getting to feed and see all those awesome animals!