Monday, June 20, 2011

Lions and tigers and bears...

June isn't over, and we've already had some new and great experiences that I am so excited to share!

First off, on a whim we decided to go to this year's Corpsman Ball. We had talked about going one year just for the experience, just not this year. However, after some talking into, we thought 'why not this year?!' on the day of the ball! Nothing like last minute!

It was a great decision made on a beautiful night!

General Love was a great speaker.

The girls got all dressed up...

...and the guys did too!

My favorite corpsman!

Check out those medals!

Our newly newlywed buddies!

Great times with great friends!

The first hour started off with cocktails (and juice) and fried finger foods, some of which were amazing! I had this fried pepper stuffed with cheese thing. It was goodness. And, ok, I had two. Once it official started, the Colorguard did their thing. Followed by the guest speaker, General Love (sweet name!) and a slide show celebrating our faves- corpsman! The Commanding Officer of the hospital here in Naples said a few words of course, and then the meals began. It was a typical four course meal of Italian deliciousness! The first dish was a meat platter with several cured hams with mozzarella di bufalo (best mozzarella. Ever.). The second was noodles with a tomato base sauce. Third was steak and potatoes. And finally fruit with whipped cream.

I think he likes whipped cream. Actually, I know he does, because that wasn't his!
Caught red handed Stephen!

We really enjoyed ourselves and will definitely go again!

Next on the schedule of new events... Zoo Safari. Or as I like to call it- "Zoofari," I feel like that has a better ring to it, hah!

We decided that we wanted to do more traveling when we returned from the states, and the Zoo Safari in Bari is one place that we could do in a day and that we've been wanting to do for a while. Bari is located on the opposite coast as us, on the Mediterranean side of Italy.

Let's go!

I was so excited to go until we were about half way there, and then I realize I was quite nervous. The thought of feeding non-domesticated animals made me a little uneasy. I know this might seem petty, but that number I pulled on my finger a few months back (when I sliced it) really has turned me into a scaredy-cat when it comes to my hands!

But, I'm not one to back out of an adventure... And an adventure it was! Probably one of my favorites- funny how that works!
But onto the good stuff- those animals were not afraid to come close- and pretty much into our car!
Crazy fearless animals!

At first, out of fear, I would drop the food when they came too close to me, but once I watched the guys do it, I let down my guard. That's probably why you start out with the deer... smart thinking Zoofari people!

Just as I was getting comfortable- Oh, hello lions...
It was really neat to be that close to them, but I must admit, I was watching my back closely- after a picture of course...

We all agreed tigers were so pretty, and they look so clean and pet-able! Key word being look!
I loved that there was a tiger in the tree... again, pet-able looking...

It was really neat to see so many ostriches! They are kind of creepy looking- yet intriguing.
Now that I think about it, I don't think I've seen a live donkey since the Messiah Easter drama days...

When we first drove up to the monkeys they were no where to be found, and then all of the sudden a bunch came running at us. It was actually a little alarming. James rolled up his window because he was afraid one was going to jump in!
Eventually, we loosened up and fed them, and they turned out to be quite cute!
They would pick up the food with their little hands, sniff it and then either eat it or toss it. So cute!

BTW- animals have the right of way...
This too was a little frightening and too close for comfort!

Sweet elephants!

And our new found favorite animal!
Can we keep him?!

They were so lovable...
and hungry!
It's like they use their tongues in places of hands. They would wrap their tongues around the food. It was really neat. Their tongues, though a little slimy, were tough and grip-y.

Giraffe kisses!
(I think he misses his wife a little too much!)

More animals I've never seen in person. Too cool!

Next up- zebras and camels.
As beautiful as zebras are, we decided that they are kind of... different. One came to us but the rest just stood around, mostly just staring.
I wanted to take this one home with me! Gorgeous!

After the safari part, we parked our car and went in the zoo/theme park part. Inside we saw several more animals (gorillas, birds, reptiles...) and rode the monkey train where they come up to the cage and you can feed them. Unfortunately, we completely (and disappointingly) forgot to bring them their fave- peanuts! Or anything to eat for that matter. I felt bad. I think our presence teased them! Oops!

There were also some rides which gave the day some extra fun.

Finally, after walking the park, we decided it was time to eat lunch!

We found a cute little restaurant on the water.

...on the beautifully blue Mediterranean water!
Che bello!

We walked on the beach a little bit before finally heading home for the day.
Oh, and the drive was beautiful too!
I now understand why, as a kid, we always drew mountains as basically just a shadowy outline in the background, because sometimes, it simply looks just like that...
You'll have to excuse me, I grew up in a flat area, haha!

And for your viewing pleasure:

Buona Vacanza!


1 comment:

  1. That "zoofari" thing looks really neat!

    You guys look so sweet...handsome...lovely in your pictures at the corpsman ball. We miss your beautiful smiles here in Maryland, but I am thrilled that you are making lifelong memories in Italy.

    We love you both.