Thursday, July 8, 2010

Safari Park

By Skeeter
The Saint and I left our Georgia Garden for a long weekend in Virginia to celebrate the 4th of July with his family. We arrived to a house with all windows open which is a pure treat this time of year. We had a wonderful boat ride on the lake then slept with the windows open and got cold during the night. Yes, we got cold in July with the windows open! It was awesome to say the least.

Where the Saints parents live on the lake, they celebrate the holiday on the Saturday closest to the 4th each year. So we were able to enjoy the fireworks over the lake from the boat just out from their cove. It is always so nice to sit in the boat and watch the fireworks shoot up over the lake and reflect in the water below. No mosquitoes, heat or humidity on this most pleasant of nights.

On the 4th of July I awoke with some itching and whelps on my left wrist and back of my head. I did not think too much about it as I assumed I had picked up chiggers while sitting on the swing under a tree in the yard. As the day went on, more and more whelps appeared on my arms, neck, stomach, upper legs, etc. The bottom left side of my lip started to swell as well. I took Benadryl (compliments of the Saints sister, Thanks again) for the itching and it helped and the lip swelling stopped. Then later on in the evening the other side of the bottom lip started to swell. This is when we decided I was having a major allergic reaction to something. The Saint and I took off to Mary Washington Hospital emergency room for help. I have never experienced an emergency room before and have only heard bad things about them so we were expecting the worst. We were both pleasantly surprised as to how wonderful of an experience we had while in the hospital. We were treated well and I was given medication to stop the swelling and itch. We entered the 24 hour pharmacy as the fireworks in downtown Fredricksburg, VA started to shoot into the sky! We had our script filled and on the road in no time at all.

The next morning the swelling was less and the whelps disappearing which made me happy to say the least. We never could decide what caused this reaction to my body so the only thing we can say is, I had hives! Nothing new was eaten by me that I have never eaten before, nor anything else any different. I reckon this will always be a mystery. I am all healed but still on medication for the remainder of the week. They make me moody by keeping me awake at night but I will deal with it.

I think the Saint was really feeling sorry for me during this mess and as a treat, he took me to the Virginia Safari Park just off the Interstate in Natural Bridge while on our return to GA. We both love animals and while living in Texas, we enjoyed visiting the safari type drive-thru parks.We drove our truck right up beside some wonderful creatures. If we had been in the car, I doubt the Saint would have made this sidetrack visit. Look at the Elk cooling in the water.
This one came to the Saints window for a treat. We purchased special food to feed the animals from our windows.
Emu and the Ostrich scare me a bit so I do not feed them but the Saint gets brave enough to let them peck his hands for food.
This Pere David deer, did not care if the Saint had food or not as the scratching was so enjoyed by this gentle fella.
I was so happy to rub the Zebra that came to my window! Zebras are such beautiful animals and no two have the same stripes. They are like our finger prints, different.
We had never seen baby emu before. Look at the cute little things under the parent bird. I assume this to be daddy bird with the babies. Daddy sits on the eggs until hatching and care for the chicks for their first 18 months.
Awwww, Aren't they so cute!
I am feeding the Nilgai treats and it is so gentle when taking the food from my hand.
This Camel on the other hand, about took the entire bucket of food right out of my hands! I had to grab it quickly before I lost the bucket. The Saint was laughing at me as I was fussing at the Camel. I won but decided to not feed any more Camels after that.
This Axis deer had the most interesting antlers. Look how they resemble the vine growing by him.
The Wildebeest (Gnu) was strange looking but docile as well.
The Llama are the most fun and interesting to observe. They tried to get into the truck with us! They were a challenge to keep at bay.
The potbellied pigs were too short for us to hand feed so we had to toss food to the ground for them to nibble.
I did not like the Watusi (Ankole) getting too close to the truck. I am sure those horns can do some major damage if he decided to do so.
Awww, Look at the baby going to mommy for a sip of milk. The babies are always so darn cute.
As mommy Llama was getting snacks from a car ahead of us, baby Llama decided to get a snack as well.
No Wildlife park would be complete without a Peacock running around. Once we drove the Safari, we parked and got out of our truck and enjoyed a stroll around the Village where we saw Kangaroo, Giraffe, Flamingos, Warthogs, Tiger, Tortoise, Pygmy Goats, etc.

We enjoyed our little side trip and it took my mind off my ills. Thanks to my Saint for bringing up my spirits with this SAFARI PARK VISIT, In the Garden...

Note: Has anyone ever had hives before? It still boggles my mind as to what caused this to happen to me. My father had it once and it remains a mystery with him as well....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden


  1. I just got over a bout with hives--the ONLY thing I could think of was the delicious blueberry bread we bought at a market. I'm stumped-it's the only thing it could be. Anyways , I didn't go to the doctor, I just took Benadryl for 4 days and it went away.
    Glad you're okay. And LOVED the safari park pictures.

  2. I am glad your hives are gone and your pictures are very cute, especially the babes. The trip seems good compensation for a trip to the ER.

  3. Hives or SOMEthing! A couple of times! I never went for meds but every morning woke up to swollen eye, disfigurement, and redness of the face--one one side, if I remember correctly.

    Next time, I'll ask my husband to take me on such a lovely outing as YOU enjoyed :)

  4. Nope, can't say as though I've had hives but I'm sure it would be no fun. Bummer on getting it. Amazing the emergency room was so nice. Usually you wait hours and hours. Cool on the safari. That must've been quite the experience. The deer getting scratched is too cute!

    On my way to Summer Celebration. Everyone have a great day!

  5. Sorry about the hives. Glad you got meds for it.

    Your animal adventure looks like great fun.

  6. Skeeter, didn't you have a recent episode with bees stinging you? Your immune system is probably still on high alert and reacted wildly to something that ordinarily wouldn't bother you. I'm glad you're feeling better, and that safari trip was just the ticket to a quick recovery. Cheers to the Saint!

  7. What a neat place! My kids would love it. I'm sorry to hear about your reaction. I've never had that happen before.

  8. Skeeter, so sorry that you had to experience that awful rash. I agree with walk2write.
    I had a friend that suddenly developed a bad case of hives, turned out she was allergic to shell fish of which she never had a problem with before.
    That was a very nice side trip. Loved the pics of the animals. Thanks to The Saint for being so thoughtful. He is a Saint.

  9. Skeeter, I agree with everyone about the bee stings. The hives are downright uncomfortable especialy on the face and head. I'm glad the hospital was good to you.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us! I've never been on a safari ride, it looks to be so much fun! Love the zebra!

  10. That safari park looks awesome--the baby emus are so sweet indeed. Are you on steroids? I sometimes have bizarre allergic reactions that doctors don't know what they are, but they don't sound nearly as bad as yours!

  11. I loved seeing those animals. Looks like they have a few from several continents.

  12. Good morning all. We need rain in Georgia! I am dragging the hose around the gardens and setting the water sprinkler around as well. I wish I had a underground system at times such as this...

    Sue, I am sorry you had to deal with this as well. I had fresh blueberries as well but had them after the whelping had started so I don’t think it was them. I don’t normally eat fresh blueberries and had wondered if they were the culprit but don’t think so…

    Les, Thanks, the Safari trip was much nicer then the ER visit for sure! The baby animals always put a smile on our face. They are so darn cute and innocent at such a young age. But all those animals seem to be pretty innocent and loved by people…

    Rebecca, I assume the lovely outing you talk about is the Safari and not a trip to the ER. LOL… Your condition sounds more like Bells-palsy then hives. Check out this website for more on that. My dad and my niece have both had this in the past as well….

    Tina, Be glad you never had it. We were thinking poison ivy, chiggers or something like that at first but not so. We were so shocked as to how efficient the ER was especially considering it was a Sunday and Holiday to boot! I have not been to many hospitals in my life but this was a top notch facility in my book. It did not have that icky hospital scent either, lol… Enjoy your outing and stay cool today!

    Cameron, Thanks and yes, the animal adventure was awesome! That would take one mind off of any mishaps for sure. I picked up a copy of Southern Living and enjoyed reading about your gardens! How excited I am for you girl…

    W2W, I did mention the bee stings to them but they did not seem to be of concern to them. They just said if it were a reaction to bee stings or food, I would have had a reaction within an hour or so. Not later on but I do think they may have lessen my immune system to something else though…

    Dave, thanks and yes, the kids would really enjoy a drive thru safari! When in Texas, my nephew came to visit us one summer and we took him to one. He had a ball at his young 8 yeas of age. He still talks about that trip today as a 29 year old. It leaves an impression on the mind for sure…

    Lola, I will live for sure form this but not a bit wiser as we don’t know why it happen to me. I don’t think it was anything I ate as I had a hamburger, hotdog, slaw, deviled eggs, chips, brownie and ice cream. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. Plus if it were a food allergy, they usually cause the throat to swell and I did not have any throat swelling at all. It is just a darn mystery I reckon. One I will think about often but may never know the answer to. I just hope it does not happen again…

    Dawn, Oh girl, they were down right crazy with itching. I thought I was going to go crazy scratching myself and on the panty line, ouch that was scary as I was not sure where the next whelp was going to pop up! LOL. Madame and the Babe would have enjoyed the Safari ride. They are the best fun while in the comfort of your auto. But watch out for those greedy critters that try to get into the car with you…

    Monica, Yes, I am on Prednisone for the week. So far, I have no body swelling or food cravings from the meds but the insomnia is driving me crazy. I find this so crazy to deal with as I have no idea how to keep from this happening again. How often have you gotten hives? I do think maybe the bee stings made my body vulnerable to something out there…

  13. Marnie, 180 acres of critters from around the world! So much fun to see them up close and personal such as this...

  14. Sorry to hear about your case of the hives Skeeter. Hope you are feeling better now. I've experienced that only once in my life, generic laundry soap was the culprit in my case. I'm glad you had a wonderful time at the Safari Park, I've never been, have to do that sometime since I live in VA. ;)

  15. I and a bunch of people got hives when I was 10 or 12 years old. They said it was caused from something in a lake I had been swimming in.

    AWESOME, AWESOME side trip. To be able to see those normally wild animals and have the eating out of your hand and touch them is just awesome. When Terri-Lynn and I took her girls to FL, we went on a safari ride in the back of a big truck at Bush Gardens. We did not see as many different animals as you did, not did they eat out of our hands except for the camels. They were pushy and stinky and wanted to lap us with their big tounge. Thanks so much for sharing that awesome side trip!!!

  16. Sounds like a fun trip! I remember being surprised when we moved to Iowa and it only cooled down a couple of degrees at night. Here in Spokane, it goes down 20 degrees on many nights. Very refreshing, glad you got to enjoy that on a hot weekend.

  17. It amazes me how quickly weeds can grow and with no rain! I have been out in the yard pulling weeds and watering most of the day Yikes, I hate weeds....

    Raquel, I was wondering if it could be the laundry detergent as I had been using a bit more then normal as our clothes were so dirty from the yard work and not foaming in the washing machine. That may be it so I washed everything I had recently worn and rewashed clean things in the closet as well. I was washing a lot yesterday...

    Jean, I have heard of getting infections from lake water. This was a strange thing but all is better now. I just hope whatever it was, it never happens again. The Safari was so much fun. It brought back so many memories of us doing them often while in Texas. They are so much fun and so exciting. Yes, the Camel was a stinker and pushy as well. I put him in his place though, hee hee...

    VW, wow 20 degrees lower at night would be wonderful this time of year! It was so nice to sleep with the windows open and to breath the fresh lake air. That coolness must be a summer treat up north. Only 3 more months for us to deal with the night heat, lol…

  18. Hi Tina,

    I am sorry about your bout with hives. They are strange and I think it can be hard to determine what caused them. I love your description of your 4th of July celebration. I cannot wait until it gets cold at night again.

    The baby animals are just adorable :-)

  19. Many thanks for this fantastic post. The photos are marvellous and it sounds like you had a fab time.

    Greetings from London.

  20. I'm glad you're feeling better, Skeeter. I've never had hives, but they do sound pretty miserable. I thought hives could also be caused by stress, but your trip to Virginia sounded anything but stressful. Oh, I would love to be able to sleep with the windows open right now!

    Enjoyed all the photos of the animals; I've never seen baby emus before. The Saint was a sweetie for making this side trip for you.

  21. Hi Skeeter, i am glad you are feeling better. That wonderful tour was helpful to me as well, because i have not seen most of them in real life. I only saw a llama once in Turkey. BTW, i have not been diligent in blogging and reading blogs these pase few weeks, so i was not able to follow-up if you were able to read my message about receiving the gourd seed package. I actually have been sending and re-sending the private emails, but i assume you did not receive them because you did not reply. So i will reapeat my message of gratitude here. I appreciate it so much. My best regards also to your husband.