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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Florida Road Trip Day 4 - Orlando: Wild Animal Kingdom

This morning we woke up early, as we always do; me by force of a tiny human boss, and my parents just because they are morning people… clearly I missed out on this gene. Still it took us a good hour from waking up to heading out the door. Its hard to get a baby and myself ready for an entire day out, and today would be a long one. We were going to the Animal Kingdom and I was totally stoked. We were happily driving there, talking about various cool places to bird and reminiscing about cool birds we had seen together. Not more than 5 minutes after my dad and I were talking about that bald eagle we saw that one time, my dad shouts bald eagle, and proceeds to pull over. My mom and I bought thought he was joking, but sure enough, there on the side of a busy road in a very populated area landed a bald eagle snatching up a bird from the side of the road.

Thankfully both my mom and I had our cameras with us and we were able to jump out and grab several photos before it took off. TOTALLY cool that my dad spotted him and was able to pull over in time.

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After that the day was perfect. We arrived at the animal kingdom and starting making our way around the maze of things to see. I am spoiled with the San Diego Zoo being so close, and nothing can compare with that zoo, but I did find several things about the animal park that were really cool. For instance their decorating and staging of the different areas was awesome. I particularly liked the Asia area, where colorful banners fluttered in the wind and ancient ruins were the backdrop for the animals.

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One of the coolest animals we got to see today were the Large Fruit Bats or as they are sometimes called Flying Foxes. It is the largest bat in the world and they had a pretty large area for them. There were adorable little baby bats and the huge adults as well.

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I really loved the large silverback gorilla exhibit. Seeing the gorillas, monkeys and chimpanzee’s always makes me a little sad. They look to human, too intelligent to be stuck behind cages and walls. I do LOVE the zoo, I love to see the animals up close, I love to learn more about them and I believe zoos do fantastic work on conservation of species. So it is a double edged sword my love hate relationship with zoos.

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The zoos are always fascinating but I also love the random beautiful things you find just by being outside. Flowers, butterflies, that elusive Eastern Skink I have been trying to photo forever, and even a gigantic Lubber Grasshopper I spotted chilling on a leaf.

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My Little Cricket did fantastic for most of the day. It was hot sure but we were all having fun, and we made sure to give him lots of time to practice his walking. He even managed to grab a nap. AHHH the life. Finally we were getting hungry so we headed over to the famous Rainforest Café. My Little Cricket was transfixed by the singing animals. What a cool place to eat.

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Of course we made it a point to see the wild bird show. We weren’t allowed to bring in the stroller to trying to take photos while entertaining a baby wasn’t too fun. He wasn’t really into the birds too much and would much rather play with my phone. Thankfully my parents took him for a while so I could grab a few photos. We also stopped in the aviary and spent quite a bit of time hunting down all the super cool birds they had.

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We also made a point to go on the safari ride. I was super excited as I cannot wait to get to Africa. They REALLY went too far I think with making the safari ride ultra realistic, aka super bumpy. My mom held my Little Cricket so I could get some photos, but it was so bumpy it was near impossible to get any good shots. I did get one of a lion and one of giraffe, when the car stopped briefly. My neck will never be the same.

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All in all it was a fantastically fun, super hot, long day.

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