I love animals of all shapes and sizes...always have. I love the furry ones, the scaly ones, and sometimes even the slimy ones. I even like certain bugs as long as they aren't nibbling on me and leaving me with HUGE welts or hives. You would think that I would enjoy places like the zoo and the aquarium...most of the time I do but the aquariums always seem to disappoint. I guess I'm just expecting too much. I want to see a tank full of ferocious sharks, creatures that are bigger then me, and maybe even creatures I've never heard of before.
The boys have been begging to go to the New England Aquarium in Boston. We left the house early for the lengthy drive and tried to follow the GPS through all the one way streets and crazy exits. We became dizzy circling around the parking garage in search of a spot to rest our weary car. When we arrived, iPod's were safely hidden away from peeping eyes, snacks were tucked away in purse compartments, and little bodies bounced like Tigger in anticipation.
When you walk towards the front glass doors of this aquarium, you are greeted by eager worker bees who want to offer pictures, iMax tickets, or booklets. After smiling and working our way through the maze, we were finally into the building. A cool breeze was a welcomed greeting after the sticky mess outside. Crowds of people were gathered along an edge towards the middle of the room. The boys and I inched through mass of people until we were able to find the perfect spot.
What we found were monstrous rocks that housed several different types of birds in tuxedos. T began to jump up and down as he recited facts he had read in his books. J tried his best to climb up to the railing...in hopes of cooling off in the pool with these fascinating creatures. I was expecting a wave of stench since my previous experience with penguins were always the same...but it wasn't bad at all. I stopped for a moment to take in the scene.
My eyes scanned from one edge of the pool to the other. I saw penguins with yellow patches of feathers and some with red flags coming our their ears. Some were gracefully gliding through the water like Olympians. While others launched themselves off of cliffs like daredevils in a competition to win the heart of the closest female. The care providers were scrubbing at rocks and sharing facts about the different breeds. I watched as a cyclone of penguins circled around these humans in search of something to nibble on. I just couldn't get enough of these flightless creatures. Then my eye was drawn to one in particular.
This little guy had me chuckling until my sides began to hurt. My brain knew that he was grooming himself but I couldn't help but think that he had a terrible itch. My dog is blowing her coat right now. HUGE chunks of white fluff are scattered around my floor like bunny tails. When Sasha gets an itchy hair, she'll tug - gnaw- and pull until it is gone. That was exactly what this little guy was doing. He would throw his head high into the sky, shake his body from beak to toe, and then start gnawing at his flipper. The feathers parted like the Red Sea as the sharp beak worked it's way to the root of the problem. This process was repeated a few times until the itch subsided. Then he threw his head back one last time, and gracefully flew through the sky as he descended into the watery depths below.
The boys decided that they had enough of the penguins and began to circle towards the fish. I pulled my eyes away from my zebra suited friends and was thankful that we made the trip to see our local aquarium.