Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

Dan has been a planning a day at the zoo for us. Tuesday is "two-for-one" day so we decided it would be the perfect day. Not to mention, the weather was expected to be beautiful. Dan got back from his early morning class and we packed up for our day long trip to Birmingham. I brought a pillow and blanket so I could take a nap in the car. Dan spent the drive up with Feist while I slept my little heart away. Next thing I knew, we were at Kohls! We bought a bread maker at a reject type store where products that get returned/are dysfunctional or unwanted for whatever reason. It didn't quite work, so we looked up where it was from and Kohls it was. We took it in, took them it wasn't working, and lo and behold... before we knew it we had a beautiful, brand new bread machine in our possession.

We are soo excited to make bread with our own wheat that we will grind into flour ourselves! How delectable and wholesome?!

We stopped by Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get a new down comforter (ours is a little battle-worn/unusable from the little tornado, we have been using a little blanket since and decided with the coming winter months it was time to splurge). We even upgraded to a king-size. Yay!

It was then time for the BIRMINGHAM ZOO! We had the most wonderful time! I was a little apprehensive as I usually get depressed from the animals being in captivity, but they seemed happy for the most part. Dan convinced me the zoo is helping the endangered species by having them mate and then once they mate they let them go and bring in new critters (I'm almost sure this whole story isn't true but I choose to believe it). At least I know they are advocates for the animals. Dan has been soo excited to go to the zoo for weeks at least. We saw the most amazing, marvelous, and hilariously entertaining animals.

humongous among us
Just to name a few... we saw an African Pancake Tortoise, an Alligator Snapping Turtle, an American Alligator, flamingos, a bald eagle, monkeys, orangatans, gorillas, lemurs, owls, a giant anteater, zebras, Reticulated Giraffes, Southern White Rhinos, a tiger, swans, an otter, an anaconda, ostriches, a kimono dragon, a red panda, kangaroos, hogs... (I could go on...)

they were hilarious just cleaning and grooming each other to no end

There were a few highlight encounters where the animals really went above and beyond to make our visit great...

Sealion exhibit- they just swim back and forth in the water, just gliding around and having a ball. They did some tricks for us and were so smart. We loved them (not to mention taking a little break on the bench while we watched!)

Lion encounter- There is a royal family at the zoo. Daddy lion, Mommy lion, and three little cubs that are 18 weeks old. They were the most precious and fun to see. We got to see the zoo workers feed them and were no more than six feet away! They fed them raw meat and then to keep the Daddy lion occupied while the cubs were still eating, they would spray goats milk in its mouth. What a treat! He was so majestic and strong. We learned that mother lions in the wild do not introduce their babies to the father until 8 weeks and 12 weeks at the zoo because the father can be dangerous to the cubs. The mother is always there by the cubs side protecting them and making sure they get along with Daddy. It was so amazing to see a whole family of lions so close!

you go mama
Lorikeet aviary- They have a bunch of lorikeets that are so very friendly. You can buy a little tin with food in it and then will come up to you and sit on your hand and eat. We, of course, did not feel we needed to spend $1.50 on that so we just went right on in. They love to fly from side to side and zoom so fast right by you (and probably at your face if you don't duck). They are so colorful and fun. I sat down on the bench for a minute and one of them came right up to me on the bench. He kept inching his way over and then started nibbling on my jeans and shirt! It was so great. He started on one side and worked his way all the way around, nibbling away and getting his fill on me and my purse. After a few minutes I got a little nervous and thought maybe he was enjoying himself a little too much, but we certainly had a special bond.

BFF's

Elephant- The elephant was so beautiful and breathtaking! We were really close too and got to get a really good look at him for a few minutes. As soon as we came over he walked right over by us and stayed for a while. He was standing about ten feet away from us and he was turned around so his backside was facing us. My deep thoughts began and I said, "What if he passed gas right now?!" Literally before I could finish my sentence he passed some serious gas, right on command. He knew. We about died. It. was. the. FUNNIEST!!!!

i'm in love

Lastly but certainly not least...

THE LLAMA- We were walking through the barn where they have the barn animals. Dan loved it because he could pet and play with them (my allergies would not allow). We were about to the end and there was Mr. Llama, so tall and funny. He was eating. Dan stood at the gate, just looking at him and the llama stared right back. They would not break eye contact. Dan started making kissy noises at it; he thought they were friends. After a couple minutes of this uninterrupted eye contact, the llama had had enough and he viciously SPIT at Dan's face! And he has good aim. Got him right in the forehead. A little bit of half-way chewed food, a little bit of spit. It was the worst. And best. He must have felt threatened. Dan felt somewhat violated and a little sad that his friend seemed to be having different feelings. Grouchy old guy!


We loved the zoo. It was so much fun. After the zoo we went to Full Moon Barbeque. We were both utterly famished: headaches, grouchy, tired... nothing some food couldn't fix. I got a grilled cheese sandwich and a loaded baked potato and Dan got a BBQ chicken sandwich. We were much happier. :) We then spent a wonderful evening in the temple. What a wonderful place to go to feel the Spirit, serve, and put life in perspective. We are never happier than when we go to the temple together.

On our hour drive home we discussed our hopes and dreams and plans... and boyyy are they great. :)

Could our day have gotten any better? I think not.