...to the states she has visited. On July 8th, we hopped a plane to visit the Wisers in Rodger, Arkansas. Andrew is one of Adam's friends from college, and since he was a part of our first day, he has become a close friend of mine. Andrew and Dru were expecting their first child while we were visiting. Shepard, their son, has since been born and he is a handsome hunk of baby love. While we were there, we had great time visiting some of western Arkansas's attractions. One of our favorite ventures was to the Gentry Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari. The mix/number of animals on this "farm" will blow your mind. There is a massive petting zoo with goats, cows, pigs, kangaroo, and about any other "petting" animal you can imagine.
The animals have been known to nibble clothing and try to escape. In fact, Andrew and Adam had to corral some renegade goats while we were there. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the Gentry Safari.
This pig was massive. Kenly wasn't even slightly intimidated by this monster.
Most of the kangaroos stayed out of petting distance, but this critter wanted a little loving from Adam.
I loved the kangaroo babies.
Kenly even got to ride a lion while we were there.
They had two babies tigers that we were allowed to pet. The strength of these tigers was intense.
After we spent some time in the petting zoo, we decided to go on the drive through safari. We were able to see water buffalo, zebra, peacocks, emu, ostrich, antelope, deer, fox, wolves, leopards, lions, bobcats, tigers, alligators, camels, and hippos from the comfort of the car. Kenly was beside herself with excitement.
On occasion we had to stop and wait for a camel or a water buffalo to decide to move from the roadway. This camel came within an arm length of the car. If we had put the window down, we could stroked his matted, fly-covered fur. Adam even took a few close-ups of his slime covered teeth.
We also went to a theater performance that culminated Dru's drama camp. I was worried about taking Kenly to a performance because she can't sit still or keep quiet...she's 23 months old. What can I expect? Dru told me that noise and movement would be fine. Dru made being 9 months pregnant look easy.
Kenly loved the performance. She danced on the floor in front of my seat and between every set she eagerly asked, "They be back? They sing again? After the performance, we were able to let Kenly get on the stage and dance. She loved the loud music and the spotlight.
Kenly enjoyed hanging out with the Wisers' three dogs--Phoebe, Boon-du, and Kobie.
We also took off to explore Eureka Springs, AR. This mountain town is filled with the artsy vibe of Asheville, NC. I enjoyed wandering through some stores with Dru and Andrew while Adam entertained Kenly for awhile.
The rare family photo--even this one isn't complete because Chance isn't in it.
On the way home we stopped at the Buss Stop for a giant ice cream come. The largest cone is over a foot of soft serve ice cream. Kenly, Adam, and I shared one cone. Kenly was in hog heaven.
Andrew and Dru also took us to the coolest bowling alley that had a massive arcade with plenty of Kenly-sized rides.
Kenly was angelic on all four of the flights we had to take. For the most part, she behaved well while we were with the Wisers. On occasion she did bang on the piano before 8:0oAM, but overall, she listened and enjoyed her visit, especially since they had a pool. It's hard to believe that Kenly has already been to Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Arkansas, and Florida all before the age of two. She has also driven through Virginia and Washington, DC. We hope she'll grow up with the travel bug because her daddy and I are infected in a serious sort of way.
We enjoyed our visit with the Wisers, and we are thrilled that Shepard has joined his loving, wonderful family. He is truly blessed.