Safari West Birthday

Here’s a bunch of us gathered to celebrate our friend.

As I mentioned in my last post, my friend Margaret invited a group of her friends to Santa Rosa to visit her for her 60th birthday. The main event was that she and her man had reserved two tents for us on the grounds of an African wildlife park called Safari West. We showed up Friday night, stayed the night, then had a tour in the morning.

I spotted a giraffe from the deck out front. There will be many more animals in my next post.
This is what the inside of the tents looks like. Note the bunk bed!
They have bathrooms!
Margaret, the birthday girl, stands at the door of our “tent.” OK, yeah, we were not really roughing it.

Everyone arrived on time and we met in the parking lot. We were divided into two tents and two company Jeeps met us to help us drive us and our luggage up the hill to our lodging. Then we settled in and unpacked all the champagne. There was a lot of champagne. That was our price of admission. Margaret and her beau Allen covered all the rest. ❤

Dinner was scheduled for 8 pm, so we had lots of time to chat and get to know each other. I had helped Margaret put together a snack tray beforehand (you can see the hard boiled eggs from our egg-decorating earlier that I mentioned in my last blog post!), and another person brought snacks too. I was disappointed to realize that I had not thought to dress in theme, but most of the others did, arriving in animal spotted prints and even animal ears. Ah well, next time! We chatted till it got dark.

We had a nice big deck to gather on. From the coats, you can tell it was chilly.

At dinner time, we trekked on down the hill to the main building where we were served a great meal with all the other campers there for the night. In exchange for food, we had to listen to two presentations, which were both pretty cool. The first one was about ecological conservation efforts by one of the Safari West employees, and the other was an educational talk about sloths, and we were introduced to the sloth model, Dash, during the talk.

While we waited for dinner, we autographed a personalized bottle of champagne for Margaret.
Safari West supports global ecology work.
Dash modeled sloth behavior for us.
Our educator demonstrated that sloths can actually be dangerous to humans if you don’t look out for their claws.
The place was set up for us to make our own S’mores after we ate.

When we were all stuffed, and done meeting Dash, who let us pet him, we hiked back up the hill to our tents and settled in for round two of gabbing. This time indoors because it was getting very cold outside and the tents had little space heaters that slightly warmed the air.

Eventually we all had to settle down and go to sleep because we would be going on a tour of the park the next morning. I was on the top of the bunk bed, which was heaped with blankets so I did not spend the night cold.

Me on the left, with Margaret and friends.

14 thoughts on “Safari West Birthday

  1. That looks like the best time ever. But I’m going to crawl under my covers now because I got cold seeing you all in jackets outside. It’s snowing here again! Happy St. Patrick’s day, BTW. Sloths look so sweet but don’t let one feel threatened. I think all my birthdays have been minimalist to sedate. Our excitement was going to New Ren bookstore and Papa Haydn’s for dessert. Once or twice we did a beach trip later since mine falls on an expensive holiday weekend. But I’m looking forward to having another. Cross your fingers. 😉 Love and hugs.

    1. At your high elevation, I know winter is a force to be reckoned with. I hope the weather warms up soon for you. It’s so nice when you don’t have to look at snow anymore. New Rennaissance is an excellent birthday choice! ❤ I've never been to Papa Haydn's but I've seen your photos of the desserts. One of these days I'll find a way to come see you. Hugs and love

  2. I looked up Safari West and immediately found it on Google Maps. I’m pretty sure it didn’t exist when I was living in Berkeley (a long time ago).

    1. I believe this. It seems like it could be a new idea for an animal park. There are giant penned areas and the animals roam free. For most of the park, humans are not allowed out there unsupervised, which is good for the animals. Back in your Berkeley days Californians were probably not as attuned to zoo animal welfare. I remember a zoo in Colorado Springs when I was stationed there in 1990. There were tiny, concrete cube pens for all the animals. It broke my heart. This type of enclosure feels better, though I know some would still argue that it is not good enough if animals are penned at all.

    1. It was a super idea and I feel pretty special to have been invited. I do like some of my wildlife photos, though the conditions were SO BAD for photography, ha ha. I guess that makes it like a game. A challenge, as it were.

  3. I’ve always enjoyed Santa Rosa, Crystal. Sonoma County was a favorite go-to place dating all the way back to the 60s when I used to recruit for Peace Corps at Sonoma State College just south of there. What a wonderful, whacked out campus it was at the time. It wasn’t productive for Peace Cork but it sure was fun. Peggy and I bought our first Pleasure Way RV there in the late 90s.

    Looks like a clamping experience plus wildlife. Some fun

    Peggy on heading off to South and East Africa in October and November for our own wildlife safari.!

    1. You’re going for the REAL THING, Curt. I’m super excited for you and Peggy. Your photos are gonna be out of this world. I’m thinking though, you are having so many adventures this year that you may not catch up on your blogging till 2024. Your Peace Cork typo gave me a good laugh. I think that was probably your nickname back then. Person 1: “who should we send out to Sonoma State this weekend?” Person 2: “Send the Peace Cork! You know that guy…” ha ha 🙂 Oh yes, we were glamping and it was perfect. I have no shame, heh heh.

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