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We Leave For An African Safari on Wednesday!

On Wednesday, should all the stars align, my family and I will be boarding a plane DESTINATION AFRICA!

I don’t really believe it. It seems impossible that after 24 hours of travel we’ll be standing in the Southern hemisphere on a foreign continent where we’ll actively pursue African elephants and lions on safari. I’ve never wanted to go on an African safari because I have a nervous bladder when there are creatures nearby who want to eat or gore me.

This cheetah wanted to eat me, but I outran her. Because I have athletic prowess. Like Jackass, don’t try this at home.

On my first vacation with Henry he took me into the swamps in the bayous of Louisiana. I spent the entire swamp tour terrified a crocodile was going to devour me and peeing almost continuously.

I should’ve been hooked up to a catheter, because our tour guide had to keep pulling over and leaving me onshore so I could squat behind deserted corrugated shacks where the cast of Deliverance probably lived waiting to make me “Squeal like a piggy” if I didn’t pee quick.

Also, there were thousands of prehistoric-looking, many-legged bugs that were as big as my hand humping each other on the ground as far as the eye could see. But I digress.

Africa. Why am I going somewhere to actively run toward wildlife rather than running away? Here’s why …


I know. They’re annoyingly gorgeous. I forgive them. Mostly.
Photo by: Lori Dorman

That’s my friend Jamie Lynne Grumet and her family. Jamie is known to many as the breastfeeding Time cover mom.

She is known to me as Lucille Ball because she’s always getting me into shenanigans. (Which I suppose means I’m Ethel. But, Hot Ethel. Jamie, that’s what you’re going to call me for the next few weeks. Hot Ethel!).

Jamie has more energy than her two little boys. She is philanthropically all over Africa, working on clean water projects, maternal health care and the orphan crisis. Yes, she’s beautiful and daring, another set of traits I must forgive her for.

So Jamie has gotten me to step outside of my comfort zone and Henry is thrilled to be going on safari. Apparently this is something that he’s always wanted to do.

(I should mention that he won’t be the one constantly squatting in bushes peeing while lions congregate to discuss how to divvy up my limbs – my breast meat being the most succulent.)

So for the next two weeks I’m going to be blogging about packing for Africa, entertaining kids on a 24-hour travel day to Africa and what it’s really like to be on safari in Africa when you are neurotic. Wish me luck!

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African safari


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  1. Lisa L. Flowers
    Lisa L. Flowers 8 February, 2013, 09:44

    Going to Africa and particularly going on a safari are on my Life List! You are going to have such a great time. I can’t wait to see pictures!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2013, 14:08

      Hi Lisa — so many people are saying that. I really have no idea what to expect and I have a tendency to be a bit morbid.

      Reply this comment
  2. Haralee
    Haralee 8 February, 2013, 10:23

    Good Luck. Maybe you will sweat a lot and pee less?

    Reply this comment
  3. Carpool Goddess
    Carpool Goddess 8 February, 2013, 10:51

    Sounds amazing! I’d love to take my family to Africa. Have fun and I want to see photos, but not of the peeing kind 😉

    Reply this comment
  4. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    Cheryl @ Mommypants 8 February, 2013, 11:05

    SO jealous! Not about the 24 hour plane ride though. I’d rather be gored by a rhino. Wait…

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2013, 14:09

      I know it is going to be one long motherfracking flight. I plan to be mildly inebriated for some of it. Poor Henry can’t drink.

      Reply this comment
  5. Donna Highfill
    Donna Highfill 8 February, 2013, 11:06

    I remember going to Lion Country Safari the week it opened, when you drove through in your car and there were no ditches between you and the animals. My mom got 21 pictures of the dashboard. I admire your courage – have a blast!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2013, 14:10

      I remember the Lion Country Safari. True story. We drove through there and my mom had her window open when a camel moseyed over, stuck his head in the window and bit her on the right boob. Camels can be such dicks!

      Reply this comment
  6. Anne Louise Bannon
    Anne Louise Bannon 8 February, 2013, 11:48

    If it’s any help, lions and almost all big cats mostly hunt by night. 😉

    Reply this comment
  7. Amy
    Amy 8 February, 2013, 15:50

    How fun! Just read your Blogher article on girls in abusive relationships – thank you. My oldest daughter is just entering high school and I pray daily that we make it through this period relatively unscathed…have a great trip!

    Reply this comment
  8. Linda Thomas Anderson
    Linda Thomas Anderson 9 February, 2013, 05:36

    What an opportunity of a lifetime! Isn’t this just what blogging is all about? I’m looking forward to reading your adventures, even those that include peeing!

    Reply this comment
  9. Sharon Greenthal (@sharongreenthal)
    Sharon Greenthal (@sharongreenthal) 9 February, 2013, 07:50

    So.Freaking.Jealous. Have the best time!

    Reply this comment
  10. Punky Coletta
    Punky Coletta 9 February, 2013, 09:04

    Have a great time! Oh, and I recently discovered this little contraption that helps women pee in the wild, but I can’t remember where I saw it or I would share the link. Men have it so much easier with the peeing!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 February, 2013, 12:29

      Hi Punky — Okay, now I’m off to google the pee contraption device. I should’ve thought of inventing that.

      Reply this comment
  11. Janie Emaus
    Janie Emaus 9 February, 2013, 09:57

    I’m jealous, too! Have a great time.

    Reply this comment
  12. Bonnie
    Bonnie 9 February, 2013, 10:15

    This sounds amazing! Just remember that once you step out of the jeep, the animals consider you prey. Learn to pee in the jeep. Must pee in the jeep. Love the jeep.

    Reply this comment
  13. Jeannine
    Jeannine 9 February, 2013, 17:53

    Jamie has that influence on people – I was so close to going to Ethiopia in March and I am sure I will go someday soon – what an amazing opportunity – I can’t wait to hear about Lucy and Hot Ethel!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 10 February, 2013, 12:52

      Hi Jeannine — I was almost on that plane to Ethiopia too. Apparently there was some sort of governmental disturbance while Jamie was there and they had to push their flights two days. I don’t think it was a coup. Hmm.

      Reply this comment
  14. Lady Jennie
    Lady Jennie 10 February, 2013, 10:31

    Safaris are fun! (pee breaks aside)

    You will have FUN!!!!!

    Reply this comment

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