Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Day at the Ranch

In less than two weeks we will officially become residents of another state so as a send off to ourselves, we have been trying to visit places in and around Charlotte that we will miss once we are gone. Today we took a trip to Lazy 5 Ranch in Piedmont, NC just north of Charlotte.

This ranch is an incredible experience where you can see and interact with many different animals from around the world. You drive your car through the ranch (only the animals are allowed to walk around) and the animals come up to your car (and sometimes try to get in) to eat from the buckets of feed that you purchase at the gate. You are not allowed to feed them anything other than the purchased feed, which means that you can't feed them your children no matter how bad they are behaving.

We took my van through the park so I folded down one of the seats for the kids to sit on the floor and we left the sliding doors open. At times, this allowed the animals to come a little too close for comfort.

The first animal we came upon was an aggressive, large beady-eyed Emu who wanted to go home with us. Or at least hitch a ride. He poked his head in as far as he could without actually crawling into the car. Shrieking at the top of their lungs, the kids scrambled across the back seat and into the trunk area where they remained until we started moving again. I think Emu's must be deaf or really dumb otherwise that thing would have been scared out of it's mind from all the noise.

After that experience, the kids were a little scared. It took them a little bit to build up the nerve to feed the other animals.

We spotted pot bellied pigs (and piglets) whose bellies drug the ground. They were caked with mud and smelled really bad. They didn't come up to the car but welcomed any feed that you would throw to them. The reindeer were a bit skittish and if you moved suddenly, they ran. But once the kids learned to be completely still, they would come up to the van to be fed.

The llamas were very friendly and would let you pet them but they also liked to eat and didn't want you to leave. They are actually very strange looking creatures with huge bottom teeth that stick out of their mouth.

We had one small deer who put his front feet up on the running board of the van and ate from Haley's feed bucket. He must have been hungry because we finally had to push him gently off of the van so that we could move along because we had a traffic jam going on behind us.

There were two giraffes who were in a caged area but you could drive up and if you hung out of the car window, they would reach over the fence with their long necks and eat feed from the bucket.

We spotted water buffalo, impalas, warthogs, ostriches (or ostronoceros as Harrison said), zebras, long horned cows, a rhinoceros and many more animals that we couldn't identify. One of the cows stuck his head in my van and slobbered on the seat. Yuck! I guess I'll be getting that cleaned.

After our tour through the ranch in our van, we got out and walked through the grounds where they have exotic birds from all over the world. They also had a tortoise and a hare. Neither one was moving very fast today. I think the heat was a bit much for them. We spotted a cute prairie dog who enjoyed playing hide and seek. They had three ring-tailed lemurs (and as Harrison noted they were just like Zooboomafoo).

And of course the day wouldn't have been complete without a Harrison moment or two. As we were walking through the petting area, Holden was feeding the goats very nicely. I looked over and Harrison was trying to poke them with his light saber. And thankfully I caught it on film so that one day I can show him what a handful he really was.

We ended our day by sitting in the rockers on the porch of the country store and eating popsicles and watching the peacocks strut across the farm.


Tricia said...

Oh that seems like a wonderful place to visit! I need to put that on my list of places to visit in the US! Lovin' your blog Becky!!!

Becky Woods said...

Thanks! And it is very fun! They even have wagon rides where you are even closer to the animals.