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After our first Zoofari experience last year, Patrick and I had a game plan for the event this year. We knew we wanted to do as many of the activities as possible and try not to be as distracted this year by all of the delicious food {and the carousel}.

That plan went out the window as soon as we walked into the zoo.


Because we were lost.

Do you know how many times I have been to Riverbanks Zoo during the daytime and at night? Do you know how well I know where everything is in that place?

I haven't been since last year's Lights at the Zoo in December and since then, they have begun construction in several areas of the zoo including the main entrance. It threw me off right from the beginning that we came in by the gorillas instead of at the front. I was completely backwards from the get go and I never really figured things out until we reached the area where they held the auction.

Y'all. It's so weird being lost in a place that you know.

{disclaimer: we were provided maps at the beginning of the night. Did we ever consult it? No. That probably would have helped out just a little bit...}

Anyway, aside from that, Zoofari was as amazing as ever.

The only behind the scene thing we got to do ended up being more fun than I thought it would be. Who knew that watching penguins could be so entertaining? I liked seeing that they all had their own little unique personalities.

{caught someone sneaking off to hang out with the penguins}

The food was outstanding.

{Moroccan Pizza}

{Lamb Sliders}

{... forgot what this was, but I believe bacon was involved in the description?}

{ditto to this drink, except instead of involving bacon, I believe it had cinnamon tequila?}

I made friends at one station where they were serving "Bunny Chow". That's a ciabatta roll stuffed with braised beef, pablono pepper, and maytag blue cheese served with a white wine, butter & garlic dipping sauce. Doesn't sound like something I would eat, does it? I picked around the pepper and blue cheese the first time but the second time around, I convinced them to put together one that just had the beef and sauce.


My mom and Patrick believed that the best food was in the Safari Camp {auction area} where they were serving Bison Short Ribs and African Collards with black eyed peas. I won't tell you how many of the African Collards my mom ate, but I will tell you that I ate the bison short ribs and they were good. Plus now I can say that I've had bison.

We snuck away just before the auction began so that I could go ride the carousel.

Don't ask why. I love the carousel.

The auction ended up being my favorite part of the night. I love seeing the different items/experiences that the zoo has put together for people to bid on and I love seeing which ones end up going for the most.

Want to know the one that ended up going for the most at $5,100?

Yeah. It was the Gator Gala. You might think it's crazy to spend that much to hang out with a gator but I totally understand it.

I wanted to bid $100 on the Party with the Penguins {just for fun} but the bidding on that one started at $500. What? Well alright then.

We had another great time at Zoofari this year and I am already anxiously awaiting next year's event. I'm hoping that maybe we can work in the Wine Tasting and Brew at the Zoo next year because these types of events are way too much fun to only go to once a year. Patrick & I have been trying to go to Brew for five years now and something always comes up to prevent it {a wedding, a beach trip, another beach trip, another wedding, a going away party} so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 2015!

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