Sunday, September 12, 2010

Follow the Beaver

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 43?.....meh.

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

All, in all it was a fantastic birthday experience which was made perfect simply by the fact that I got to spend it with my Lukas and Mrs. LIAYF. Perhaps 43 will be a pretty good year after all. 

It certainly got off to a beastly start. In a good way.


Juli said...

I've ridden a camel before, they can get a bit stubborn. Now, elephants, that's where the fun is, and no matter how much you weigh, you don't have to worry about breaking their backs. :) Glad you had fun and crossed one off the list. Happy 43. -J

Anonymous said...

At least the camel didn't spit on you. Hear that can be pretty nasty!

Beta Dad said...

I'm a quarter of the way through 43, and it's really no big deal. I'm pretty sure it's the addition of two kids in the last 14 months that has made me creakier and wrinklier--not the years.

Happy birthday!

BloggerFather said...

My wife got me a zoo subscription for my birthday. Our wives are cool. (Happy Birthday!)

SciFi Dad said...

Happy Birthday.

I christen this post, "trolling for weird google hits":

- "go down on me"
- "beaver"
- "walrus privates"


Ed said...

So that's why camels spit.

Captain Dumbass said...

Happy belated. Beaver on a leash. Not something you see everyday.

Playstead said...

Seeing a beaver on a lease was a trip. Sounds like you had a great b-day.

Didactic Pirate said...

I'm thinking about how much effort it took Lukas to not run to you and spoil the camel surprise. Pretty impressive. My daughter would've spilled it, for sure.

And again: Happy birthday, bud.

Keith Wilcox said...

Well, it might not be halfway to 90, but it's halfway to 86, a subprime number! Yay! :-) No, I've never seen a beaver on a leash -- that would be worth the price of admission right there. Camels piss me off as I once got slobbered on by one. Sounds like you had a good time -- Sorry though about Lukas's split lip.

Slamdunk said...

Happy belated birthday and, as many of your readers, I have not been around camels either.

Anonymous said...

A very happy, albeit belated, birthday.

Mrs. M said...

Oh, what a memorable day. You are not soon to forget when you turned 43. Happy Birthday.

Papa K said...

Glad you had a good birthday man. Happy Birthday

Whit said...

Happy Birthday, you old, old man.

Rachael said...

Happy Birthday! I love that zoo, and the fact that you might run into a beaver on a leash is just one of the reasons!

If I Could Escape . . . said...

Is that the Point Defiance Zoo? If so, I've been there. My own Seattle dad took me there many a time. Anyhoo, glad you had a good birthday.

PS I don't like odd numbered birthdays either. Is that a Virgo thing?

Lady Mama said...

That is awesome and very original. Happy belated birthday!

DGB said...

Happy birthday!

Diplo_Daddy said...

Yep, this is on our "list of things to do", for sure. Even my sister, visiting from the USA, mentioned this. I'll bookmark your post!