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Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three

OK, here we are with part three. On the THIRD day, we did SO MANY THINGS.

First, let me tell you a story about A. Did you know A. is a championship bike-rider person? YES! IT IS TRUE! He runs a whole bike TEAM! And rides in RACES! And has all kinds of MEDALS! That clink pleasingly when you walk past them! I’m being a little facetious, but it’s totally all true. Here’s what’s the best about this: A. is so passionate about this. It is so much fun to listen to him talk about it. I am all about people having passion about things. I think passion is what makes life interesting. And people WITH passion about something – and I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s not scary and hurtful, like murder – make me happier than happy. Do I know anything about bike racing? Nope. Have I even been ON a bike in like, twenty years? Nope. Was I totally happy to listen to A. talk about HIS love for it? Absolutely. Could have listened to it all day. Because it made his whole face light up. And that made me overjoyed. People with passion are AWESOME.

So on Saturday, A. had a big race, and when I told him “YOU WIN THAT RACE!” he could NOT win, he was in the race to make sure that another guy on his team won, and to knock other people out of the competition. “By throwing gravel at them?” I asked. “No. No gravel-throwing,” said A.

His big race meant it was me, R., and Baby CeeVee for the day! And where were we going?

THE ZOO!

Luckily, R. is a member of the zoo, so we got to go through a special MEMBERS-ONLY gate! There was no champagne. I thought there should be. Membership has its privileges, you see. But apparently, the only privilege was going through the good gate quickly for free. That’s pretty cool. I’ll take it.

You take a shuttle to get to the zoo, or you walk. It’s a long walk. We had a stroller. We took the shuttle. It was so vibratey I’m pretty sure people could use it in place of a washing machine to get afternoon giggles, seriously.

When we first walked in, immediately, there was…

A red-foot tortoise! He was very active and crawled all around. I liked that. Tortoises make me happy. As do turtles. All happy shelled animals are my favorites.

First, something for Jim!

The ravens that are the ACTUAL RAVENS that are the mascots for the Baltimore Ravens! Aw, Jim, you LOVE the Ravens! What? What’s that? You actually HATE the Ravens? Oh, sorry. Sorry about that.

Ravens are very cool and larger than you would think and they have really sharp beaks. One was eating a chick. No, really. A baby chicken. There were feet dangling out of the raven’s mouth.

Here’s the other raven. I liked the ravens. I would like one as a pet. I would set him against mine enemies.

This was an arctic fox. He was taking a little napper. He also smelled like a skunk, but I don’t think that means he was a skunk in disguise. I think it’s just a thing, like how bearcats smell like popcorn.

There was a children’s area where you could do children’s things. Also if you were an adult who has the heart of a child, I suppose. So, in honor of that…

…I of course had to conquer a giant turtle and point at him menacingly as if he’d been naughty.

Mostly I was going to take a photo of this sign and say something snarky like “Don’t you tell me what to do, SIGN,” but then I realized this rock is kind of totally a euphemistic rock, right in the middle of the children’s area. Someone’s totally aware of this, right? Like, this is totally a man-made structure. SOMEONE DID THIS ON PURPOSE.

This is a regular fox. He was also sleepy. All foxes must have gotten the memo to take a nap at the same time. FOX MEMOS! I like foxes. They seem both debonair and also crafty.

It’s kind of hard to tell, but these are INTERSPECIES FRIEND SNAKES! There are two snakes all curled up together here. One’s the redder one, and one’s the brown/cream one. They were the best of friends and possibly in love. These snakes were in a cave that was kind of scary and dark and also there were bats in there and R. did not like the bats, even though I told her that they were actually very good for us and would not really get tangled in our hair like on television and ate all the insects. I learned this from Andreas at the Central Park Zoo. That’s why it’s nice to have a sciency friend.

OK I WILL THANK YOU!

(SIDE NOTE: I actually couldn’t, because in order to be a turtle, you had to get into a very small turtle shell on the ground and put your arms and legs out the arm and leg holes, and I’m a grownup lady and would never fit in that turtle shell. “I think calling A. and asking him to help get me out of a child’s turtle shell would be a bad move, right?” I asked R. “Yes, probably,” R. said. We were both sad. Think of the photo op, right? Sigh.)

So instead, I did the next best thing. The sign told me to be a turtle, so be a turtle I would, dammit!

A zoo’s not a zoo without a cut-out thing to put your face in and pretend to be an animal that’s really for children but you do it anyway because you’re Amy. Nice job, Maryland Zoo!

These are itty-bitty baby pygmy goats. They were a little over a month old and SO WEE. Look how little! I said I wanted to pop one in my purse and bring it home and I don’t think the zookeeper approved.

Then R. and Baby CeeVee went into the petting zoo area. All that was in there was goats. Why not sheep? Confusing.

Baby CeeVee was highly interested in these goats.

SO interested! She didn’t even look at the camera! She was watching the goats instead! I think she thought they were large kitty-cats. Because she has a cat at home and that’s her reference point for furry things. Also, isn’t R. beautiful? She’s just as beautiful as she was the day I met her. I think she has a portrait of Dorian Gray in her attic.

GOATS GOATS EVERYWHERE GOATS! You could not feed the goats. Probably if you did, there would be a feeding frenzy and the goats would swarm you.

Out of the children’s area, into the Africa area. Where there was…

A TERRIFYING BUZZARD THING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT IS MADE OF PLASTIC IT IS SO SCARY.

These things were the worst, seriously.

There was supposed to be a tortoise exhibit, but instead, we had this.

TEMPORARILY CLOSED! This is worrisome. I’m really going to hope this means they’re either updating the exhibit or the tortoises are somewhere breeding, not that the tortoises died.

As I was taking this photo, a man dropped his phone into the rhino enclosure and was going to go over the wall to get it but he was convinced to ask for help instead so two zoo employees went over the wall for it. I kind of wanted to see a rhino cellphone stampede that resulted in the rhino taking selfies with the phone he won fair and square in one-on-one combat, but was denied.

Also, the rhino couldn’t be bothered. He was too busy eating all the things and showing us his bum.

Then there was an awesome bird sanctuary thing in the middle of the Africa area. It was cool in there and so pretty and the birds made awesome sounds and it was all shadowy and they’d just been fed so they were nomming on all the fish.

I tried a million times to get a photo of the spoonbill, who was ridiculously funny. He’s the one at the bottom of the photo looking at us. He was very funny scooping up fish from the water with his big old spoon of a bill.

This was a pretty African duck. I am a sucker for ducks even though when we were in New York Andreas told me that ducks were actually kind of evil. But look at his pretty red head!

This duck was separated from all of his friends so he was making the best peeping call and then a duck from all the way across the enclosure was returning it and when I made the call back at him he looked at me like we were besties. I ALSO wanted to pop this duck in my purse. I feel like that’s an internal struggle I deal with every time I’m at the zoo. I want to bring everyone home with me.

These were the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil ducks, all in a row. One was on one leg and all balancey. Hee!

ZEBRAS! Aw, hi, zebras! They did not want to be photographed. They hated the paparazzi.

Then one came out for his photo op! Hi, little guy, you’re all famous now!

SCARY OSTRICH! Ostriches scare the crap out of me. Because they’re so huge and also because one pecked my dad’s BFF at the drive-through zoo in Canada when I was little and we all kind of shrieked.

I couldn’t get a good photo of this thing. It had a scary beak, and like a dent in the front of his beak like he got in a car wreck? He looked like a mistake of nature, and therefore I loved him.

OMG YES PLEASE WHERE DO I SIGN UP FOR THIS HONOR?

Do you think Dumbcat would like a cheetah-friend?

Especially one as sleepy-purry as this one?

This was the sleepy cheetah’s girlfriend. She was also sleepy, but she was on the lookout for prowlers.

She could only stay alert for so long. Then she nodded off, too. It was sleepytime at the zoo.

Next was the monkey house. You know how sometimes people say things smell like a monkey house? Um. Yeah. There’s a reason they say that. WHOO!

I am not a fan of monkeys, especially ones that look like creepy old men. These were kind of cool because they’d just had a baby so every once and a while, a baby monkey would pop its head up and it was very small and almost (I SAID ALMOST!) cute. I couldn’t get a photo of it. Too small.

Tiny yellow frog! The tank was all, “THESE ARE TOTALLY ALMOST EXTINCT!” but there were like fifteen of them in the tank. Maybe they’re almost extinct because you guys have them ALL!

Happy fast lemur-things! This is the best photo I could get because they were zipping all over the place. There was ALSO a lemur-thing baby! It was TOTALLY adorable and was riding its mom’s back and we were so scared it would fall off because its mom was leaping around all fast, but it was clingy!

This is not the best photo, but it’s the mom and the baby lemur-thing. As you can see, I’m VERY scientific with the names of things.

We saved my favorite things for last.

GIRAFFES!

I was totally the giraffe whisperer. This one watched me the whole time. It TOTALLY wanted me to take it home. There were three giraffes and I gave them all names. I think this one was Raoul.

I love giraffes. I totally bought a giraffe necklace at the gift shop and have already worn it and I love it.

Elephants! They were far away but so pretty. One was getting a bath and most were just standing around doing elephant-things.

Elephant butt!

Prairie dogs! They made us laugh. They freaked out about EVERYTHING and then would all disappear into their holes and then slowly peep at each other and pop their heads back up. They were cheerful.

Finally…what’s last? Any guesses?

PENGUINS!!!

The penguins were just hanging out. Some were swimming. Some were waiting for fish at the little fish-door. They were very laid-back penguins. And they were OUTDOOR penguins! Not behind glass! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen outdoor penguins!

This penguin was way high up on the rocks and didn’t seem to know how to get down. I made a penguin-voice for him. “Guys? Hey, guys? A little help? Guys? Can anyone even HEAR me?”

Swimming penguins!

Waiting at the food-door penguin!

Just hanging-out penguin!

We might have spent an inordinate amount of time with the penguins.

Then it was time to go home! We had more plans that evening, and we had to see how A. did in his race, and also, did he throw gravel at the competition? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

I was PLANNING on telling you about the rest of the day here, but it’s already half an hour past bedtime and I’m kind of exhausted, so soft-core porn will have to wait until tomorrow. Oh, whoops. Spoiler-alert, I guess.

OH! Also, there was a squished-penny machine at the gift shop, but the selections weren’t stellar. It was all, “check out other squished penny machines around the zoo!” but I had not seen any! So I got an eagle. Which wasn’t even a thing that was AT the zoo. BUT, on the way to the car, there was a squished penny in the parking lot! And it was a LION! Which WAS a thing at the zoo, only they were hiding (R. is convinced the lions are an urban legend; she has never once seen them out when she’s been there, and she’s been there a LOT.) So it was like it fell from the sky! Just for me! Aw, providence smiled on me!

Happy Thursday, people of the blog. Tomorrow: soft-core porn and more literary adventures, this time with FOOD!

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

35 responses to “Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three

  • mfennvt

    I should ask my friends who work at the zoo about the lions. This sounds like a conspiracy in the making.

    Like

  • sj

    Aw, this sounds like the BEST DAY!

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  • Ashley Austrew

    I’m so jealous you saw elephants! Our zoo is undergoing a renovation on the pachyderm…section? right now. So no elephants for us :-/

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    • lucysfootball

      I haven’t seen elephants in so long! Probably since…oh, I don’t know, I was a kid, I think! And now I am jealous you have a zoo, and you can go anytime! *pout*

      Like

  • cm

    Aww, love the pictures of R and CV, and all the animals. Sounds like a fun day. Then again, how could it not be a fun day when you were at the zoo?!

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    • lucysfootball

      We had so much fun! You and I (and maybe C.?) should take a road trip to a zoo someday. Maybe the Binghamton one again, or a whole new one we haven’t been to yet? I am ALWAYS up for a zoo-trip!

      Like

  • becomingcliche

    Foxes do smell quite a bit like skunks. Once you’ve been around a fox for a while, you start to notice the difference. And then you can be all snooty at a dinner party and say “This wine doesn’t smell like a skunk, it is totally fox.”

    If it was below 70 degrees, the tortoises may have been off-exhibit because it was too cold. Or if they were predicting colder weather. It can be a total pain in the bum to have to put the tortoises back up after they’ve gone on exhibit.

    Our zoo used to offer goat food. And then the goats learned to jump up on people. Very ouchy. Now we just brush them.

    And R looks a bit like you, too. You could steal her, also.

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    • lucysfootball

      I was so sad about no tortoises! I wanted to take many photos of them for you! The only one we saw was the one at the entrance. Sigh. It was supposed to get cooler in the days ahead, so that might have been it.

      Eek, no goats jumping. Good plan. But there were brushes! There was a big bin of brushes!

      Hee, I don’t think I could steal R. Her husband might have something to say about that. They’re pretty damn adorable together, I have to say.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Oh oh! So many things to say! But stuck at work so I won’t be able to comment until tonight.

    Like

  • Heather

    Giraffes are my favorite, too!!!

    That buzzard-thing looks like a Skeksi from The Dark Crystal! *shudders*

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Ravens are very cool. And very intelligent. Odin supposedly had two pet ravens that acted as his informers, flying all across Midgård reporting back to Valhalla.

    Ravens are one of the species I want to have as pets one day. They can even learn to talk human, and are more clever than chimpanzees. Plus they look fabulous in their all black feathers. Very Goth.

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Bats are also very cool. Not very intelligent though. Not like ravens. But you’re right: they won’t get tangled in your hair, since they’re very good at flying. Better than most birds.

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    That’s not a buzzard, it’s a vulture. And a real one at that, not the false vultures from the New World. You can tell from its predatory beak. But I’ve already told you this once before, as you no doubt can recollect: https://lucysfootball.com/2013/02/01/true-adventures-with-wildlife-zomg/

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    • lucysfootball

      I’m sure the sign told me what it was, but there were so many animals I didn’t even try to take notes. That’s why I called it a buzzard-thing, because I wasn’t sure what it was. So that’s a PROPER vulture, huh? Well, proper vultures are terrifying, Andreas. Utterly terrifying.

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Spoonbill are pretty funny-looking, this is true. But they don’t really live on fish. Instead they use their spoonbill to sway side-to-side in the muddy water and as soon as something touches the inside of their beak, the slam it shut and eat it. Their diet consists mostly of shrimp, tadpoles and the odd aquatic insect larvae.

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  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Ostriches are great! Their necks are covered in soft feathers that feels sort of like the wool of a sheep. They’re pretty stupid though, and you could eat one without much moral anguish. Also, they’re very tasty, which helps.

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  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Those are platyrrhini monkeys, i.e. New World monkeys. I don’t care much for platyrrhinis. They look a bit stupid with their side-facing nostrils and dichromate eyes. Their prehensile tails are rather splendid, though.

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  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Giraffes are very awesome. When they run, it looks like they run in slow-motion. It’s surreal.

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    • lucysfootball

      They were so pretty. We couldn’t get too close – I’ve been at zoos where you could get closer – but we could see them well, and I just love watching them. They’re one of my favorite zoo animals.

      Like

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