We have had an unusually cold and snowy winter so far. After too many days of being cooped up in the house we needed to get out. This past weekend brought us back to our normal winter weather and we took the opportunity to get away for the day.
Our latest adventure took us to Columbia, South Carolina, which is an easy drive down I 77 from Charlotte, North Carolina. Our first stop was at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. You can almost picture the grizzly as cute as your childhood teddy bear.
When we got to the Elephants none were to be seen. Instead we got to experience life inside the zoo as zookeepers cleaned out their area and brought in bales of food for them. That afforded us the opportunity to see other areas of the zoo and we returned after a short time to experience the elephants eating.
The lions didn’t care that we were there. This male lion reminded us of one of our previous dogs who slept just like this at the front door. I’m pretty sure the lion won’t be as friendly up close, though.
You couldn’t get anything past the Meerkats, though. One was on the lookout while the other stayed busy digging out their home. While they are certainly somewhat used to those strange creatures who keep popping up over the railing to look at them, they are still somewhat skittish to foreign noises.
Have any of you heard of lounge lizards before? Well this lizard takes that expression to heart, or perhaps the person who came up with the term is friends with this one.
We experienced many other great things at the zoo. After the zoo, what is better than eating and shopping? There is a relatively new complex in the area, the Village at Sandhill. This is an easy 30 minute drive from the zoo to the other side of Columbia.
The village at Sandhill is built in the same tradition as a lot of new shopping centers I have seen. The stores are a bunch of shops lining streets with some residential quarters on the upper floors. There are a large variety of shops and stores to see here as well as numerous places to eat, a movie theater, grocery store, etc. Surprisingly they were quite busy so I would hate to see them in the peak of summer. All in all, though, it is a great place to unwind after a day at the zoo.