It’s my Party and I’ll get Mauled if I want to
Recently, I turned 30 and last weekend we celebrated with my family. Given that you only turn 30 once and, as all of my family live elsewhere, it was a whole weekend of celebrating for myself and my youngest brother, who was 18 last Tuesday.
It all started Saturday with balloons, party food, face painting, party bags, a cute little guest book we filled with Polaroid photos of those attending, lots of laughter and fun.
As the food disappeared (it does that quite quickly with three ‘young adult’ males around), chatter gave way to James cooking a delicious roast while Grandpa, Uncle Caleb and Kahlei did some singing and dancing (in Kahlie’s case). It was a concert complete with alluring scents.
Uncle Caleb even got his first birthday cake made by mum. Josh and I used to get the most amazing cakes. You know the Woman’s Day Birthday Cake Book? We would pick one out of that and she would slave over it and make the most perfect cake. My favourite was the fancy-pants castle she made me complete with ivy on the towers. But, when I was turning 10, mum was pregnant with Ethan and the cake making turned into a meltdown which resulted in no more home made cakes, so it was a special occasion for him.
I just want to know where’s my cake making skills? I have to outsource to James as he does it 100% better!
Once we devoured the gorgeous lamb roast and the kids were in bed, we played cards well into the morning, which is one of my favourite things we do when we get together.
The next day we dragged our tired selves up to spend the day at the zoo. We so love our little local zoo that we wanted to share it with everyone. It was all very lovely, we were listening to the talks and watching the animals and, mostly, spending time together, UNTIL my oldest friend (we went to kindy together) arrived with her fiance.
I went to meet her and she says to me “I hope it’s alright, but I’ve organised for you to feed a Tiger.” Even though doing exactly that was on my wish list, I had a bit of a freak out. I had left my family and had no idea where they all where and it wasn’t very long until ‘the feeding’. So, I went with Jess to sign some paperwork. The lady we were speaking to says “Sign this in case you get mauled.” (I am sure there were more words, but they are the ones that stood out to me) and all I could this was ‘this crazy woman has come to celebrate my birthday and is feeding me to a tiger’.
You could say I had a momentary freak out full of some quite unrealistic fears. Even so, I signed my life away and tried to enjoy watching the other animals while we killed time.
Thankfully, when the time rolled around, the keeper we were to go with, Clive, was friendly and gave us the back story on the tiger we were about to meet, Kinwah. Clive hand raised Kinwah and they share a gorgeous bond. Clive made Jess and I feel comfortable and gave us lots of information about Kinwah, his life as the tiger’s ‘parental figure’ and about tigers in general. By the time the 120kg Kinwah made his way to us, I was completely relaxed and simply enjoying watching him.
The whole experience was absolutely amazing. Patting, feeding and talking to a tiger, not something I ever really thought I would do. I get a buzz every time I remember it or look at photos. If you ever get the chance, do it! I know you’re all on the edge of your seats, desperate to know if I was mauled during my tiger encounter. I was not. Collective sigh of relief. I had even come unintentionally prepared by bringing Superman to the zoo, thankfully I didn’t need his help, I’m not sure how reliable he is – even if he is super cute.
It was a wonderful, gorgeous, surprising birthday weekend and I am starting to think 30 might not be so bad after all, you know, once I kick this head cold I’ve had since everyone left.
How did you spend your long weekend?
If you could have an encounter with an animal, what would you choose?
Linking up for #ibot