When I was a little boy I wanted to be a zookeeper. I loved animals and wanted to be around them all the time. We had a neighbor who had a menagerie of sorts, raccoons, foxes, peacocks, farm animals. I used to go with my sisters, cousins and friends to "tour" his farm. Maybe this is where I got the idea of being a zookeeper from.
Then in third grade my class took a field trip to Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago. Suddenly I was open to either working in either a zoo or an aquarium. I was star struck by the harbor seals, the beluga whales and the diver who fed the fish and sea turtle in the giant center aquarium. Since I have been a dad I have been taking my kids to zoos and aquariums across the country. Now that we are literally crisscrossing the continent and we have our special zoo membership card, we plan on getting in as many zoos and aquariums as our interest levels will allow. For the most part all of our family loves them, so we should be in good shape.
Yesterday we had an exceptional experience at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Using our membership card we got a hefty discount, and the crowd was quite sparse on this December afternoon. We saw three other families and few of the retired set there. They have several shows and demonstrations to go to so we took full advantage of these. We went to a bird show where to our surprise our little shy guy David volunteered to go up on stage and got to pet an anteater (at a bird show?). He even won a Whataburger gift certificate!
We got to see a bunch of cool looking sea turtles up close, we think they thought we were going to feed them, some amazing looking jellyfish, a show-off macaw and a big shark. We also got to pet stingrays who were very active. So active that poor Brendan got nearly soaked by one splashing him. Now this was crazy enough, but then he got splashed a second time later on! Later on little David got picked again to play a game with a diver feeding some fish! He's come a long way from the little guy they weren't sure was going to live he was so badly abused. We were so proud of our David and he was pretty proud of himself!
We finished the day up watching the otter play and wrestle and then making a stop at Whataburger to redeem that certificate!!