the petting zoo adventure of summer ’06

We got lost on the way there, which was easy to do in Fayetteville, NC. We didn’t know our way around very well, and most of the roads seemed to be of the dirt and windy variety. This combo almost always guaranteed that we’d be late for wherever we were heading. This was also a time before iPhones and instant access to Google maps, and the Pilot’s car GPS was now dangling by a string. Somehow, after a few little detours while blasting Rascal Flatts, we finally made it there.

At least we thought we’d made it. We were supposed to be at a large petting zoo of some sort, but it looked like a normal North Carolina house, surrounded by lush trees, grass and open land. As we drove up the dirt driveway, a man walked out the door to greet us, wearing a flannel shirt, baseball cap and worn jeans.

“Are y’all here for the crawdads? They’re out back.”

“Um, no thank you… we’re here for the petting zoo?”

“Oh, you’re here for the zoo! That’ll be $6- I’ll getcha some bread.”

He went back inside the house with our cash as the Pilot and I exchanged “bread?” questioning glances. When the man returned, he was carrying two large buckets filled with torn pieces of white sandwich bread.

“Just be careful while you’re driving around. Oh, and be careful of your arms- don’t stick them too far into the fence while you’re feeding them.”


He continued to give us directions to drive around the ranch, but my mind was already spinning. I felt like we were in Jurassic Park…

minus the scary dinosaurs, obviously

plus zoo animals,

in the middle of notsurequitewhere, North Carolina.

Turns out, that’s exactly what it was.


We drove the Pilot’s Jeep around the property, and stopped at each exhibit. The farm/ranch consisted of animals separated from us by (get this) a chain-link fence.


Of course, you have to wonder how in the heck they got some of these animals (HOW?!), but it was quite a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


My favorite: the goats, of course.


I’ve always loved goats.


The lesson of the story: this is the kinda thing that happens I request a random adventure on a lazy Sunday afternoon 😉


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  1. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on January 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I like this flashback post. 🙂 It’s fun to see what you were up to pre-blog boom.

  2. Jannine Murray on January 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing this cute post:) Ive been feeling nostalgic recently with this new years as well. Great blog!

  3. Molly@This Life Is Sparkling on January 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    This cracks me up. On “Toddlers and Tiaras” this week they went to a petting zoo so similar to this where they were driving down a dirt road and animals came up to their car window for pieces of bread. It sounds scary! But also a little fun 😉

  4. Sara Lake on January 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    This is a very random post, but cute pics. How do they get the animals there? I think it’s a teleporter, like on Star Trek.

    Yup, probably that.

  5. Bek @ Crave on January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, that would scare the heck out of me hahha.

  6. Jennifer on January 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I enjoyed Flashback Friday too. 🙂

    I love how you made the best of your time in Fayetteville/Valdosta. Even though it wasn’t paradise you still made it work and even found some little local adventures along the way.

  7. April on January 18, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Gina, was this Jambbas Ranch? I’m from Fayetteville and I grew up going there!

    • Alycia on January 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thats what I thinking too! I love Jambbas, went there on field trips for school all the time!

      • kayleigh on January 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

        I was also thinking this was Jambbas! Love that place, so off the beaten path.

  8. Alison on January 19, 2013 at 12:03 am

    hi Gina! Im a reader who lives in Raleigh, NC. Fayetteville can provide quite the adventure! glad you made it out alive! 🙂

  9. Gina @HealthLoveandChocolate on January 19, 2013 at 12:47 am

    This is such a funny/cute post! I would be totally put off the moment I heard the word crawdads haha.

  10. Leah Russ on January 19, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I live in NC and would love to go here!! Can you tell me the name of this place?

    • April on January 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Jambbas Ranch I believe. If it’s not, Jambbas Ranch is just like the place Gina visited.

      • Fitnessista on January 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        yep, thats the place 🙂

  11. Lucie@FitSwissChick on January 19, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Love the pics! And I am a fan of goats too. They seem so kind.

  12. Madison on January 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Flashback Friday! I love it and reading about your adventures 🙂

  13. Alycia on January 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I’m originally from a town about 15 minutes from Fayetteville, and I’m pretty sure I know what zoo you were at! 🙂 You’re right though, the regular roads turn in to dirt roads and all of a sudden you think you’re in some backcountry movie. Love that zoo though! We used to go on field trips there for school every couple of years.

  14. Sarah @ MarvelousDarling on January 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Goats are my favorite, too! The square pupils are a little freaky but they’re so inquisitive.

  15. Samantha on January 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

    If you ever get into Sequim WA you might like this one:

    Sounds a little similar, although many of the animals are coming up to your car…which is something else with the Bison. Kind of interesting history too since the origins were in animals trained for Disney movies.

    I don’t like the large cat/coyote enclosures however. Maybe it has gotten better, but I find it depressing.


  16. Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin on January 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    This is so funny!! I love taking random day trips/adventures, especially when it turns out different than you expected. I love the throwback of you and Tom before Liv 🙂

  17. @pluvk on January 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    If you love goats, you would love my neighborhood. They are EVERYWHERE!

  18. laura on January 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    can’t believe this but I know right where that is! My hubs and I are stationed at bragg!

  19. Jess on January 20, 2013 at 3:08 am

    How fun! Looks like a blast!

  20. Kristen on January 21, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Fayette-NAM is quite a place!

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