So, we've covered four states, two days, mountains and now onto the part where not so much driving is involved. Note: this has taken me roughly 2 days to write (sheer lack of laziness on my part).
Thursday (the 30th) morning dad suggested that we go to either the zoo or the museum in Evansville on Friday (his day off). I hadn't been to either since I was about ten. Both places were sources of great amusement and a lot of time spent when I was little and I figured that Lily would have as much as I did, especially since lately I've noticed her becoming more and more like I was when I was little (incredibly outgoing and loving to run around). We decided that if the day ended up nice, we would go to the zoo and if it rained we would head to the museum.
Friday started out cloudy and a bit cool. So cool, in fact, that I decided to wear long sleeves. While there were rain clouds on the horizon, we decided to go ahead and chance the zoo so we had some lunch and off we went.
The first thing at the zoo was the reptile house, birds, nocturnal animals and the hippo and rhino. Lily had never seen a hippo or a rhinoceros other than on the TV and was impressed by their size. I was amazed at how smooth the hippo was (despite the rolls of fat)! I had seen hippos before, but had never been so close! Lily was more impressed with the rhino. At first, I couldn't really tell if the rhino was real. It honestly looked like an animatronic creature, something out of a B grade horror movie! Again, I had never seen one close up. From far away it almost looked like the Triceratops on Jurassic Park. Lily thought it looked like a dinosaur too and spent fifteen minutes watching it scratch it's back on the fence door going to the outside. We probably would have stayed longer, but Lily heard some people talking about tigers and Lily's absolute favorite animal are (currently) tigers.
There were two tigers in to separate habitats. One of them, Kashka, sat staring off into the distance, looking incredibly regal. This tiger was awesome! I could have sat there staring at her all day just wondering what she was thinking, but Lily quickly got bored. She did, however, think it was cool when Kashka yawned and we saw her huge teeth. The yawn was followed by a low roar as if to say "Excuse me, please don't look at me while I yawn." We then moved on to a special children's area called The Enchanted Forest.
In the Enchanted Forest area they had these monkeys, whose name escapes me, that for some reason reminded me of Casey. You be the judge on this one. I think it was the goatee that did it. We later came back to the exhibit because they were being fed carrots through the cage by two of the zoo keepers.
Next to the monkeys they had an exhibit of a member of the raccoon family whose species name was something like cotli? Cotlimundi? I'm not sure, but it was a member of the raccoon family (sorry gang, not enough time to research this right now). I thought they looked suspiciously like the R.O.U.S.' (Rodent Of Unusual Size) from the movie "Princess Bride." One of the zoo keepers kind of laughed and agreed and she promptly told the other zoo keeper who said "I never thought of it like that before, but ya know what? You're right! They do kinda look like ROUS'!" I snapped a quick pig before Lily dragged us away to see her new favorite animal... The otter.
The otter display was really neat! Unfortunately, they were a bit too fast for me to get a decent picture. They had a tunnel (built for people under 5' tall, but I went in anyway) that you could crawl into and sit and the otters would swim up to you and you would see them doing flips and twists and just having a fun old time in their aquatic habitat. They would climb up on the land and dive off this rock and into the water and swim up to the tunnel and go over the tunnel to the other side and dive and twist and flip! It was just so much fun! It really made you wish you were an otter!
The highlight of the trip for me was the giraffes. Yeah, I thought the other animals were interesting, but I got as close to the giraffe as a cat sitting on your lap. There was another family that was looking at the giraffes and one of the giraffes was eating the grass off the top of the wall. The dad grabbed some leaves from a nearby tree and started feeding the giraffe! While I'm probably thinking that wasn't the best idea digestively speaking, at the time I was like "Oh my gosh! That's freakin' awesome!" The dad offered Lily a couple of the leaves, but she was on the afraid side, so I took them trying to show her that it was okay. She still didn't want to feed the giraffe, so I was like "How often do you get to feed a giraffe?" So, I held out the leaf and slurp! The giraffe licked it right out of my hand! The tongue was slimy and gross and it was by far the coolest experience I have ever had involving an animal. I was even able to pet the giraffe! It's fur was a bit on the course side, but kind of soft at the same time. It's tongue was slimy but it's lips were soft like a horses' lips. It was definitely neat.
After that, we saw a few small monkeys and a peacock that had his tail fanned out. Then headed off to back to Dad's. Saturday we spent the day being lazy on Dad's sailboat. There was no wind so we didn't get to sail any (although we did chug around the lake and test his depth meter reader). By the time we got back to dad's house I had a nasty sunburn that kept getting more red as the evening progressed and prompted a trip to the local Walmart for some aloe vera.
Sunday (April 2) we drove home. I had never been so happy to be home! I didn't care about it being cold or rainy, I was just glad to be home and see Casey. I got the same stupid grin on my face that I would get whenever I was coming home from college to see Casey. I actually think it did us some good to be apart a bit. That whole heart growing fonder bit. We're definitely planning a trip down south, though, just the two of us. Dad said that we could use the boat whenever we wanted, so we're definitely going to take advantage of that.
Next: Home improvement projects! My attempt to plant stuff!