Since my son joined us during this trip, I thought it would be best that he and I had our own day while my girl shared her day with friends, learning the ins and outs of ocean life at the aquarium.
So, after dropping her off with her leader, my son and I headed out and about, as it was still only 16 degrees outside and a walk through the zoo would not do with our noses turning blue!
We breakfasted on dreamy, vanilla cupcakes from Starbucks ...(Yes! This earned me some major sweet talk from my 5-year old ... "Mommy, I love spending time with you. You're awesome" and the like :) Considering our breakfasts are usually oatmeal or eggs - I figured a little splurge would be just fine - - besides, they were calling my name from the case!!" We also shopped a bit, strolled the bookstore and had lunch before heading back to the zoo.
By this time, the weather became a balmy 28 degrees! I know ... what were we thinking? Well - What was everyone else thinking - - because, when we went to park, we had to find a space!! Grant you, the entire lot was not plowed, but I was shocked at the number of cars.
The reason for the turnout must be that it is a much better experience to visit the zoo during the winter rather than the summer. This was our second winter visit, and I must say, it is - by far - my favorite time to go. The animals are much more active, you are not walking around smelling that delightful zoo stench, nor do you need to carry a pile of water bottles to prevent heat stroke. Even bird watching is more stunning among the snowy background ...
We watched a roaring match between the Siberian tiger and a male lion ...
(... that is my son's yellow head in the far right corner. This pic raises my blood pressure something awful! Thank Heavens for that glass in between!!)
How incredible is this pair?? The majesty of a male lion is breathtaking, isn't it? And, it appears that he was making eye contact with me and I didn't even realize it at the time. Yikes!!
I just find elephants adorable!! This little baby had fuzzy whiskers covering his head and chin - too cute!!
After walking through a very desolate African Savanna (gee, I wonder why?! - apparently ostriches and giraffes do not take too well to the cold & snow :), we headed over to the aquarium where my daughter was - I hope! - having a great time with the sea life :)
A sand tiger shark swimming above us!! Imagine seeing that image while swimming in the ocean!
One of my absolute favorite exhibits is the Sea Dragon ... aren't they incredible?
And, our last stop was to check on my girl ...
who may not have acquired a love for marine science during this trip, but I know that she definitely walked away with a much better understanding and respect for it all. Thank you to those who arranged this day and to the fantastic staff of educators.
All in all - - a wonderful, frosty day filled with family, friends & God's amazing animals :) What more could one ask for? Especially when the end of that day is toasted with yummy frosty treats. Yes, I shouldn't have considering the sinful cupcake, but - hey! - It was calling my name, and I'm not rude ! LOL!
Check back tomorrow for a post of more paintings - - another family tree & a home portrait created for the Cox family! :)
Our task must be to free ourselves ... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
- Albert Einstein