Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Lion Country Safari

While at the walk through part of Lion Country Safari we stopped at their cafeteria area and had lunch. Mik had a chicken sandwich, chips, and Milano cookies. The chicken sandwich was okay, but he said there was not enough chicken for the size of the bun. The bun overpowered the chicken flavor and he found it was better to just eat the chicken separate.

Smashed Pennies: Lion Country Safari

Visiting the gift shop was one of the highlights of the walk through part of Lion Country Safari. Not only because Mik got his lion here, but also because they had a penny smashing machine. Mik and I both got one with a lion head image. Mik also got one with an image of a gorilla. Around the border of both designs it says Lion Country Safari 1967-1997, West Palm Beach, FL.

Day 71: Lion Country Safari

On July 29, 2009, before our final game of the trip we visited the Lion Country Safari attraction because it was right next to the KOA we were staying at and tickets for it were included with our campground stay. It turned out to be a pretty fun thing to do, although I never would have done it if they tickets had not come with our stay at the KOA. It is not as good as an actual African safari, which both Dad and I have done before, but was a cool thing for Mik who has never been to Africa and only done the much inferior safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The main reason it is better than Disney is that it actually feels like it is large enough to be a natural habitat, although the rather frequent fences make it not the same as the animals in the wild of Africa.

We started with the walk-through safari part, which is sort of a little amusement park/zoo. There are a few animals to see area the walk through park, but it more like seeing them in a zoo than the more in the wild feel of the safari. They have a few rides, but we only went on the carousel. Dad and I also played about half the mini golf course before the humidity got to us. Even Mik could have tried a few holes if he had wanted because they had four wheelchair accessible holes. We did not spend much time at the walk through part because of the Florida humidity. There really was not much of interest either unless you actually wanted to feed the animals.

The drive through safari was the highlight of Lion Country Safari. It is not as good as a real African Safari, but it is still fun. They even have a CD that you can pop in to the car radio and listen to as you enter the different habitat areas, so you can learn about the different animals you are seeing as you go. The first time through I forgot to get my zoom lense out of the bag in the back of the car, but I did have my video camera and below is a video I put together of some of the okay to good footage I got on the Lion Country Safari.

Mik did not want to go around a second time and I really wanted to go around with my zoom lense. Since the campground was right there outside the park we dropped Mik off back at the Kabin. Dad and I then drove the safari loop again. It was worth doing again not just to use my zoom lense to get some better photos, but also because some of the animals, especially the monkeys were more active this time around.

Overall the Lion Country Safari was enjoyable, but I honestly never would have done it and still would not do it for the actual cost of admission because the walk through part was not worth it and the $18 per person is not worth it just for the drive through part. I am glad, though, that we did use our tickets that came with our campground reservation, as it was still fun to do.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 76: Final Sunset of Trip

Tonight I have enjoyed the beautiful sunset as we left New Mexico and entered Arizona. The photo does not really capture it well. It had a nice pink color around it.

Day 76: Back in Arizona

We just entered Arizona. We are almost home as today brings our awesome summer trip to an end. I still have 14 posts to get up about the past week, but the Internet has not worked at all on the drive today. I do have them all written though, so probably get them up by tomorrow night. I also have some wrap style post ideas.

Mik is excited we are not going to get home too late, so he can play in his room right away. I am sort of sad for the adventure to come to an end, but it will be nice to be back in Tucson away from the dreadful humidity. I cannot saying will be nice to be home because my mom and her friend worked on my house while I was gone and I have to wait until they can both be there for me to see it for the first time tomorrow. Thus I get the torture of being so near my house tonight and one of the main things I miss, my reliable fast internet, and not being able to go there until tomorrow. I guess one more night is not much after being on the road since May 21.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Tampa Bay Rays

We got the Rays sticker at the team shop before the game and Dad put it on the car in the parking lot before we got in line to go inside Tropicana Field. Since it was the last one for the American League side I took photos of him putting it on. The Rays sticker has the diamond Rays logo with a baseball in the background. The American League side filled up quite well with the stickers for the league’s 14 teams.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Accessibility Review: Tropicana Field

Parking at Tropicana Field is pretty easy and it sure is plentiful with it all around the park. The handicap spots were easy to locate sort of near the main entrance to the park. The nice thing is that they really enforce that the spots are legally being used. They had police actually checking everyone’s license plates and placards. For the placards in particular they were doing a lot of checking ids to match them up, I guess, but since Mik is still a minor they did not ask for an id just made sure he was in the car since we were using his placard.

Getting into Tropicana Field got quite crowded in the little plaza between bag check and the actual doors to the ballpark. We ended up in a line that was on the far edge that was supposed to be only for season ticket holders, however, they did not announce that until the crowd got ridiculous and there was no way we could have navigated to the back of the growing longer other lines with the wheelchair. Note we were also around to the side of the building in line and you cannot tell it is labeled for Season Ticket Holders until you get around to almost the entrance. Anyways they did not say anything about us trying to get in and it was not actually an issue, but technically they can enforce the policy if they feel like it (they do not ever seem to, though, even with it being a crowded Yankees game), so it might just be better to not end up stuck in the farthest right line.

We entered the park on the level that at many parks where they have their inaccessible to the public tunnels. Basically you are under all the stands and at field level. Thus to get to any section at all you have to go up an elevator or escalator. The elevator was not too hard to find and because the escalators were literally also right there only those that needed it seemed to use it. After the game it did take forever for it to finally arrive, but there were at least ushers outside of it making sure only those that needed it ended up on it.

The view from our seats in section 321 was good. The only obstruction was the bars to the right of the section, which slightly got in the way of seeing the home plate area if you did not look at the right angle. It was at least something I could deal with. The accessible row is at least raised a good enough amount about the row in front that those standing up did not get in the way. Only thing Mik did not like was that they did not have any cup holders, although the other regular rows also did not have cup holders, so at least he did not feel discriminated against.

Overall Tropicana Field is not too bad of an indoor park even though it is a dome. The accessible seating is at least the best of the domes. It is not perfect, but it is among the better ballpark set ups. Mik really does not like not having a cup holder, but at least the view was good if you were not on the end next to the bar hand rails for those going to rows in front.