I'm a published wedding and portrait photographer located in a small town outside of Charlottesville. In addition to capturing beautiful images, I love spending time with my family, am freakishly good at word games (Hey Wheelmobile!), love an ice cold can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, know every line to Hocus Pocus and can never pass up a Chick-fil-A waffle fry or a trip to HomeGoods.
Finishing up my birthday Natural Bridge trip was a stop by the Virginia Safari Park. If you’ve never been, go! It’s a 180-acre park with more than 1,000 animals, many of whom are free range in the strictest sense–they roam throughout the property. Visitors purchase a bucket of feed and then drive through the park, stopping along the way to feed the animals. Two tips: one, beware the camels. They will try to steal your bucket. I know this firsthand as I fought with one and managed to keep my bucket, but spill food all over the interior of my car at the same time. Two, do not feed the zebras. They want to be fed, they’ll try to be fed, but apparently they get aggressive when fed. Think of them like a big, four-legged, striped gremlin. Don’t feed them. Once you’re done with the drive through piece, park your car in the lot near the entrance and visit the petting zoo. We had to wait out a massive rainstorm to do this, but it was well worth it. They have tigers, giraffes, etc. along with two of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced–a kangaroo walk-about and a budgie aviary. You walk among the kangaroos so they’re just hopping around in front of you. Then, with the budgies, you can buy sticks and they’ll sit on them in your hand and eat. Amazing! These two experiences are worth the admission alone. I can’t wait to go back, but in the meantime, here’s a few photos from the trip.