I’ve grown to be very lethargic after the shooting in Orlando, lacking the patience to sit and write for more than five minutes, neglecting the blog in the process. A lot of my time has been devoted to scanning headlines on Twitter. Ever since this senseless act of violence struck our community, I’ve become even more aware of the state of the world and it has left me wrestling with my thoughts…
But I haven’t been completely useless.
I traveled to New Orleans for IPW 2016.
My job teamed up with the Barenaked Ladies for a kick-ass closing luncheon at the trade show.
I’ve danced for a cause. #KeepDancingOrlando
And I’ve gone to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival preview.
All this to say that I’m still here and I promise I won’t go away for long periods of time again (just kidding, I’m going on vacation soon… #emptypromises)
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were faced with a unique situation: an entire Saturday, with absolutely zero plans. If you’ve ever had the rare chance to glimpse into my planner, you would have noticed that this almost never, ever happens. So we grabbed our bathing suits, a couple of beers (reason #1 as to why I’m gaining weight) and headed out towards Brevard County to see what the region had to offer.
Our first stop was the Brevard Zoo. The last time I went to a zoo, I still lived in Puerto Rico and I have no real recollection of it. Does Animal Kingdom count? By that logic then I’ve recently been to a zoo and I’ve also been to England and Morocco. Thanks, Disney!
The prices are $17.95 for adults and $13.95 for children ages 3-11. If you’re a lucky Florida Hospitality Industry Association member like I am, check the website for discounts.
The zoo is home to over 165 different species of animals from chinchillas to meerkats to the Chilean flamingo and you’ll see these creatures in one of the six sections of the zoo: Paws on Play, Wild Florida, Caribbean Trail, Expedition Africa, La Selva and Australasia.
Inside Australasia, you’ll find a free-flight aviary and encounter colorful lorikeets and friendly cockatiels. Nectar cups and seed sticks are available for purchase inside the aviary for $1 each and your experience will not be complete until a tiny bird attempts to rip the skin off of your finger. Jokes! That only happened to me because nature has a thing against me. It was a really neat experience having the birds land on my arms and make their way up to my shoulders, searching for something to eat.
Expedition Africa was by far my favorite section of the zoo. I found myself on the giraffe platform, wanting to spend all my cash on treats for the 17-foot giant staring at me in the eye. For $2 I fed this big guy a few treats and he happily gobbled them down, sticking his gray tongue out for more!
But the real reason why Expedition Africa was my favorite section of the zoo was the Nyami Nyami Kayak Tour. For $9.95 you can go on a guided kayaking tour and see zebras, giraffes and lemurs or you can go on your own self-guided adventure in Wild Florida and see alligators, otters and turtles. As someone who spends a lot of time at the Paddling Center staring down alligators, you can imagine I was jumping at the chance of taking a giraffe selfie (#giralfie?) instead of seeing more gators.
It had been raining a lot when we went so we couldn’t do the complete tour, but it was still an unbelievable, one-of-a-kind memory I’ll always remember! I loved the way the giraffes curiously walked up to the shore and stared at us. We were not allowed to get too close though, but it is probably for the best as giraffes can kick any direction and its kick can not only kill a lion, but actually decapitate it. No thanks!
After spending the first half of the day sweating our way around every exhibit, we headed out to the beach to cool off and enjoy the great weather. Florida is a real gem, am I right?
Sorry you had to endure my rambling. This was way too long! How have you been?