|Ever seen a Beaver on a Leash?|
Today's my birthday. Like most birthdays in your 40's, I wasn't too excited at the prospect. After all, there is nothing at all special about turning 43. 40? That's a milestone. 42 is the meaning of everything. 44 looks cool because there are two 4's. Even 45 is better, because it's halfway to 90.
But wait. There actually was something special about turning 43. Of course, spending the day with my lovely wife and amazing son was terrific...but I get to do that every day. Yes, I'm lucky that way.
No, today Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas collaborated to give me something, shall we say, outside the box. It took everything trick in the book to keep Lukas from spilling the beans to me, but in the end Mrs. LIAYF was able to keep the trip to a local zoo secret.
Once there I was treated to a Camel ride. How cool is that? I am actually this moment adding it to my Bucket list, just so I can cross it off. Done, and Done. The only problem was that when I sat on him it didn't seem to agree with him in the least.
I was actually going on the camel ride with Lukas, but as I climbed aboard the grumpy beast decided to sit. The sudden lurch forward and down forced Lukas's face into the saddle bar that he was holding, splitting his lip and making him cry.
|Not seeing any Rodeo Clowns|
Once the trainers finally convinced Dumas to get up, Mrs. LIAYF pulled Lukas off and the camel immediately dropped down again. By then a crowd had formed to witness the drama. After a couple of more minutes of convincing, Dumas once again rose to his feet shaking me violently from side to side. But I remained in the saddle. I felt a bit like Luke Perry in 8 seconds. I should have thrown my arm up and behind me for dramatic effect.
With that, the crowd cheered (okay, maybe I imagined that part) and I then rode my camel around its track, all the while smiling at the bystanders like a float queen on New Year's Day. Yes, It was memorable.
But oh no, the fun didn't end there. Not at all. We still had a zoo and aquarium to explore. It wasn't too long after the camel ride that we turned a corner to see two zoo keepers walking a Beaver through the grounds on a leash. "Follow the Beaver" I called as Lukas and his mother came over and we all got an up close view of the furry, over sized, wood chomping rodent. (Yes, a beaver is really a rodent. I do my research here.)
Other highlight of the day included:
An up close look at a Walrus' privates, as it swam right next to our faces which were only separated by several inches of solid glass.
Lukas seeing that a Giant Pacific Octopus' favorite toy was a Mr. Potato Head. (Nope it wasn't Darth Tater but I bet it would love one for Christmas)
Lukas seeing the sharks, and also seeing that the Sea Otter's had a Little Tikes climbing cube just like his. Though they probably get more use out of it than we do.
The Jelly fish exhibit. However, I must say it was rather disappointing that there wasn't an accompanying Peanut Butter fish exhibit. Did I mention that this was around lunch time?
|Lukas feeds a Budgie out of his hand|