Monday, September 12, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!

September is going to be one of the busiest and most stressful months for Nick and I. We are both crazy busy with work, so much so that he is having to work overtime all this month and cannot come home until Friday night each week. He is usually home Thursday night, so this means one more night a week that I am by myself. Not fun, but at least the month is flying by.

We decided last weekend that we needed to take full advantage of each day that we have together right now so we took a trip down to the G.W. Exotic Animal Farm in Wynnewood, OK. This huge facility is about 50 miles south of Norman so it was perfect for a short day trip. We opted for the guided tour, which promised up close and personal time with a variety of wild animals. They weren't kidding! We saw lots of lions and tigers, and even saw a few ligers, which are massive!

In addition to the large number of big cats, the facility had also rescued lots of other exotic animals. They had everything from bears, to alligators (which came from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch), with wolves and mini horses in between! It was so fun to walk around and here stories about the animals, although many stories were sadly about how they were rescued from inhumane conditions.

After the tour, we gathered in an enclosed area while the guides brought in several animals for us to pet. We played with two twelve week old tigers, two wolf cubs (one of which was named Scout!), a baby lemur, and a giant yellow snake. I was a little scared of the snake but I did manage to touch it once before recoiling in fear.

A Much Needed Escape

Nicholas and I are both blessed with having some of the best friends in the world. We realize this and are forever grateful for this, especially when our best friends have a cabin tucked away in Colorado and invite us to spend a week with them fly fishing, reading, drinking, and relaxing. We spent the first week in August (one of the hottest weeks of the year in both Texas and Oklahoma) enjoying beautiful weather and awesome company with Lacie and Matt at their cabin outside of Creede, CO. Lacie's dad and grandfather built this cabin years and years ago alongside the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.

This was honestly one of the most fun weeks I have ever had. We woke up to beer biscuits (a Matt Bullard specialty) and coffee with baileys every morning and then settled into our plan for the day. Most days were spent reading on the porch, drinking a bloody mary of course, with Lacie while the boys fished in the Rio Grande. Nicholas had never been fly fishing before, but managed to catch a pretty good sized fish his first day.

One day we traveled to Lake City, on the other side of the continental divide, to rent a jeep and drive up extremely scary mountain passes. The scenery was absolutely beautiful! We took way too many pictures to post, but trust me when I say that neither Texas nor Oklahoma have anything on these mountains! There was, however, one particular part of the trip that was truly death defying. We were near the top of a pass, on a road designed to fit one car, when another jeep came around the bend headed straight toward us. There was absolutely no where to go to let them pass so Matt inched his way up the side of the mountain. We were honestly at a 45 degree angle on top of a mountain. I sat behind Matt on the drivers side and was looking straight down as these jeeps attempted to pass us with no room to spare. Had their wheels been inches further, they would have tumbled down the mountain - no lie! I definitely needed a beer after that! Thanks to Matt's superb driving skills, we all made it down the mountain alive.

My absolute favorite memory from this trip was sitting on the porch late one night after dinner, curled up with a blanket and a cocktail, and playing the question game under the stars for hours. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends! We all had a great time, and cannot wait to go back for years to come.