Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Turtleback Zoo

It was gorgeous out, and Sal and I refused to spend the day inside, even though our original plans had been to spend all day in bed watching movies. It was just way too nice out to stay in all day. We wanted to soak up as much sun as we could, especially on my days off, because I don't see the sunlight during my workday, except from a window. Sal suggested we go to the driving range, but even I knew that would only last as long as the bucket of golf balls. It at least gave us a place to be outside and talk about where we could go and what we could do for the rest of the day.

So we swung and hit a few golf balls, but before long Sal had a great idea and suggested we head to The Turtleback Zoo. Now mind I hadn't been to this zoo in YEARS, probably since I was in elementary school on a class trip! I was hesitant because I didn't know how far away it was; however, my reluctance didn't last long! Before I knew it, we were on our way, parking, and walking into the zoo! Anyone looking for an inexpensive date? GO TO THE ZOO, especially a local one!

It was completely transformed, but I guess that's what donations and over ten years does to a place! Immediately, I saw a sign for the penguins, and like a little child, I ran to see them. There were a few, but most of them were hiding from the sun. I swear, if I could have a pet penguin I would. We walked around the zoo, stopping at each animals home, and admiring the way they sat there, the way they interacted with one another, and the way they reacted to our presence. It was incredible to be able to see them, while not exactly in their natural habitat, in a habitat that would help them live longer and healthier, keeping them protected, some of them from extinction. 

Sal and I couldn't get over how new and beautiful everything looked. They even built a new touch tank, and of course, anything that has fish, especially fish you can touch, Sal is all for it. That was when Sal turned into a child, and threw his hands into the tank of stingrays, touching one after another. I'm not sure why, but stingrays still scare me, despite their stingers being taken out. This little girl across the tank showed no fear and almost went as far as jumping in with the stingrays! Thankfully her parents stopped her. The one thing that hasn't changed though, that I can still remember quite well, were the prairie dogs. Yes I know they're most likely not the same ones, but their habitat didn't change at all! We were still able to crawl into tunnels to get a closer look, and while I'm sure I fit a lot better when I was younger, that didn't stop me this time! I made sure to get up close and personal with them! 

When we reached the birds, I have to admit I wasn't excited, nor was I excited when Sal found out we could feed the birds using a stick with bird seed on it, but when I walked through the door, I was in awe. The color surrounding us was beyond incredible, the birds were talking and flying around, and I was speechless. Sal held out the bird seed stick and we watched and waited for a bird to land. When one did, I swear it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Eventually Sal bought another feeding stick, so that we could both feed birds, and I soon let go of the fact that we had paid $2 each to feed birds. I'm still not convinced on having birds in our house when were older though. I'd rather see them in zoos and in trees in my backyard. 

The otter was another awesome animal, swimming with strong strokes in the water, putting on a show just for Sal and I! When the zoo was closing, even though I made sure we had seen every animal, I didn't want to leave! We had such a great time walking around, exercising without even realizing it, and seeing such unique animals, especially those known for living in NJ! I would definitely go back again, as I'm sure Sal would agree! It seems like day trips decided on last minute seem to work out well for us! 

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