roar and snore: sleeping over at the zoo

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 meet sita! a tortoise who was such a ham and loved the camera.

meet sita! a tortoise who was such a ham and loved the camera.

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this is jayme,

one of the animal trainers! he told me he was going to give me the "money shot" at the count of three and i must say.. he did not disappoint! this was after he scared me SO bad haha. such a fun guy!

 we got to meet + touch a spiny echidna! he felt just like a plastic hairbrush.

we got to meet + touch a spiny echidna! he felt just like a plastic hairbrush.

all of the animals come out at night - so magical :)

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 the lions' info board! don't feed Ernest any cardboard ;)

the lions' info board! don't feed Ernest any cardboard ;)

 love a 6am wakeup call! just kidding.. i was up at about 4:30!

love a 6am wakeup call! just kidding.. i was up at about 4:30!

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met the cutest porcupine during the morning tour ❤️ she eats with more grace than i do (not that this should surprise anyone).

 no zoom! all of the wallabies came SO close.

no zoom! all of the wallabies came SO close.

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sorry for the photo overload.. kind of ;) all of these photos are from this weekend when we spent the night at the san diego safari park as part of the roar and snore safari! my friend morgan and i had done this for a school field trip back in 3rd grade but i don't remember a single thing from it so we decided to go again.

you guys, it is SO worth it and you must go. pictures don't do it justice!

basically, you check into the park at 4pm on Friday and immediately get to meet an animal - we met Sita the tortoise, who was super friendly. then we broke off into smaller groups (i would say there were maybe 100 total people there, but groups were around 20 each) and toured the park as we made our way to our campsite, which overlooks the African Plains exhibit. we did not share a tent with anyone, even though there were just two of us and it could have fit 5. they fed us a catered dinner and then we went on the next tours - seeing the elephants and meeting a spiny echidna! Jayme was the trainer who showed us the animals. he was so funny (at one point he scared me so bad- just one of those "boo!" moments) and shared fun facts about the echidna. 

we went back to our campsite for a little s'mores snack, and then off to another late night tour - we got to go back through the lions facility and learn about how they are cared for - the safari park is all about keeping animals in as natural of environments as possible (no tight cages!). we did get to see one of the prides sleeping, since they keep both prides separate for safety measures. i kid you not, we were about 5 feet from them! they are so ginormous in person, it was crazy.

afterwards, we all went to sleep in our tents around 11:30. the wake up call was scheduled for 6:15, but i woke up early so i was able to catch the sunrise and see the animals up close. what is so great about the roar and snore is that you get to see the animals when they are most active (late night and early morning). 

that morning, we took a tram ride all around the park, and you would never guess that such a big facility is tucked away in escondido! next, we met a porcupine (i am forgetting her name, i feel so bad) who was SO insanely cute. i wanted to take her home! ahh.

finally, we got to enjoy the rest of the day exploring on our own. so of course we hit the new Walkabout Australia exhibit - the wallabies are free to roam wherever, and at one point they were just inches from us. it was absolutely nuts. it is a can't miss exhibit the next time you are at the safari park! we finished the day looking at the tiger trail - the misters and sunshine created this super dreamy affect that was just perfect.

if you are ever in san diego, you must book the roar and snore safari! it is beyond worth it and such a once in a lifetime experience.. unless you go twice, which i am already planning on doing again ❤️ ha. and since the safari park is a non-profit focused on saving and helping animals, you know that it benefits a good cause too ❤️❤️