Trent gave me a membership to the North Carolina Zoo for Christmas. It’s the largest natural habitat zoo in the nation and such a beautiful place. We haven’t been in 4 years so I have really been looking forward to going. One of the highlights this year is the “new & improved” rhino and elephant area. In the past we could only view them from a distance. I was in awe during a trip to the Nashville Zoo in 2005 when we could get so close to the elephants.
This morning the zoo had a special 8am opening for members and we could see the new exhibit space: Watani Grasslands Reserve. Here’s a photo I took from within the exhibit. In the righthand side you can see where one of the observation areas is located.
For a bit of perspective, I took this next photo from the same location – a full 180° from the previous view. The building in the photo is the African Pavilion. There is an observation area at the rear of it (far right) – that is one of the old areas to view the elephants. Quite a difference.
As large as the NC Zoo is, you probably need 8 hours to really enjoy it all and not feel rushed. We had only planned to spend about 4 hours since our membership allows us free visits for a full 12 months. This worked perfectly as the forecasts of 20% chance of rain were wrong. The rain came early on and poured! We ducked into the sea lion and polar bear exhibits to keep dry. After about an hour of dodging the rain, it was obvious it wouldn’t clear up anytime soon so we ventured on northward to visit with my dad & his wife for the afternoon. Of course, the rain stopped before we got there. Hopefully our next visit will be a bit sunnier. 🙂
Regarding yesterday’s post about the eye pillow and yoga – I had questions in the comment section about what the connection was. Trent & I enjoy taking a gentle style yoga class that ends with corpse pose or savasana. During this time you lay completely still on your back mentally scanning for tense spots throughout your body. Slowly relaxing those areas. Releasing the tension. Focusing entirely on your body & how it feels. An eye pillow can come in handy to block out light and place a small amount of relaxing pressure on the eyes & sinuses. Also, I’ve found mine to be handy during migraines for the same reasons.