We set aside our winter break to visit one of my favorite NC friends, Ruhi. Our trips usually solely involve family (we fit plenty of that in, too!), so we needed a trip dedicated to friends. She is a teacher so a big ol’ holiday break worked out nicely!

She and I have kept in touch and we all enjoy seeing her adventures via Instagram (we actually pass the phone around when she posts anything). Surprisingly, it wasn’t weird seeing her after SIXTEEN! years.

She treated us to several days of activities – starting with a drive through the Lazy 5 Ranch!

* You can see when we took two and a half-year-old Mae back here.

Mae’s favorite’s were the llamas. So much so, they are now a favorite alongside her most beloved animals – the panda and the horse and the cat.

The deer! They were so timid. Definitely the sweetest of all the animals.

The ostriches? They seemed a bit entitled. But very very pretty.

Our first impression of the buffalos was – docile. They had a real devil-may-care look about them.

Not the case. They got real beggy real quick.

They grossed us out the most but evened the disgust out with the production of the most laughter. Sure, it was nervous laughter, but I think every giggle counts.

This was my favorite bird ^ They had many lovely birds.

So many rainbows showed up for this photo!

In reality, there was a lot of “Stand here. Hmmm, maybe stand on this step. No, Honey, the cactus won’t poke you, scoot on back.” and so on. Ha.

I am so very glad my girls finally met Ruhi – or as Mae and Rae call her, ‘that girl on your phone that goes on adventures.’

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