Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Road Side Attractions

In 1991 my three-days-new husband and I took a rented Chevy Corsica down Highway 101 with $1,000 to our name.  It took months to save that grand but that was our Disneyland-or-Bust budget.  So when we stopped at this wildlife park off 101 and the admission said $5 each, we scoffed and walked away.

Then we paid $50 each to get into Disneyland.

Crimany now that $5 each didn't sound so bad.  On the drive back home, we decided to, again, take Highway 101 and stop at the Wildlife Park.

Forking over our $10 we had no idea what to expect.

It certainly wasn't getting to hold baby snow leopards.  And baby Bengal tigers.  And baby Russian Lynx's.

Me in 1991 holding the Baby Lynx.
Also circa 1991, with the baby tiger.

We went back in 1992 and then there was a 21 year gap between visits.  On our Highway 101 Road trip the Wildlife Park was our destination from the beginning.  We wanted to share our experience with our 14 year old.  

She didn't believe any of it even with proof of pictures.

The parked still looked the same, but had some updates.  This time we went armed with three cameras, knowing what to expect.  It didn't disappoint.

Bobcat playing with a straw.
photos courtesy JC Imagery

photos courtesy JC Imagery

photos courtesy JC Imagery

This guy loved Kira and climbed all over her.photos courtesy JC Imagery

Seriously, rubbing a baby bear's tummy.photos courtesy JC Imagery

Who knew that you could scratch a bear's tummy and it's hind leg would
air-scratch just like a dogs?
photos courtesy JC Imagery

photos courtesy JC Imagery

Bottom line:  sometimes handing over a few dollars for a dorky roadside attraction can be the best part of your trip.  Sure, we loved Disneyland, but that was expected.  It wasn't Disneyland that was our destination 21 years later.  

Go figure.

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