Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Break: Day 4 (Lions, Tigers, and Pancakes oh my!)

Seeing as my mother is pestering me about old news, I will have to back fill later. Yesterday was a great day. I went to the zoo. I love the zoo.

But first I went to a famous bagel shop in Squirrel Hill, The Bagel Factory. It reminds me of a very successful mom and pop shop (but much larger than mom and pop). I have been in there twice now, one of the ladies behind the counter knows me (might be the mohawk...). I decided to try a prepared treat this time:
Mmmmm... Bacon.
After a great breakfast, I headed to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium.
 I was reminded how much I love the zoo. And Pittsburgh has a decent Zoo (it is no San Diego, or Berlin). It should also be noted, that it is still winter-ish here... there is still snow on the ground, thus there were a number of exhibits that were closed (or like the bears, still hibernating). I can't wait to come back in the summer.

First off was the Snow Leopard, which was super exciting. This requires explaining a little story. The Zoo's property is bifurcated by a major thoroughfare 'One Wild Place.' This road connects Highland Park and the North Side. I have friends in Highland Park (Sam) and I have friends on the North Side (Gwyn and Tracey), thus I have driven this 'One Wild Place' a number of times, specifically with Gwyn. From the road you can see in to the Zoo, and every time we drive past, there is a great amount of excitement about this Snow Leopard (because you can see its enclosure). I never really did understand this, as I didn't know the dimentions of the part, and did not know where to be looking while driving past at 35 mph. But being on the ground, and walking around... I understand. And now, I know exactly where to look to see this awesome cat.
We bonded...
Right next to the Leopard is the Tiger enclosure, there were 3 not-quite-young-but-not-quite-mature tiger cubs (as Jackie put it, Teenager Tigers). With this youth, they were super playful, and super curious. But moving on to the big pachyderms: 
Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself looking at animals?
Mama and baby!
I talked to him for a while, he liked me.
After being outside for a while, I got to head to the monkey house. You all know how much I love monkeys. Thus I was very excited. For the record, I still really do love monkeys, and if they ever find (or create I guess) a monkey that would be able to be domesticated, I would get one on the spot. Sadly the monkey house was not that cool. It could have been because all of the monkeys were sleepy, and not moving, but it just seemed lacking. There were some primates that were active:
Of course right next to the window.
Yes, I did get to see some orangutans getting a little fresh. I don't know what was more amusing the actual act of nature occurring in front of us, or the comments from the crowd.

After the monkey house, I got to go in to the Aquarium. I think this was recently upgraded, it was a super nice building, and a really cool space.

I seem to have quite a few people in my life who hold penguins in a special place in their heart. So for all of you (Auntie Donna, Bill, Gwyn, Skanda) I made sure to spend extra time with the penguins.
Kind of reminded me of Batman
Proof I was there.
One of the tanks was huge! It was large enough that there was a viewing platform on the second floor, and on the first. I approached from the second level and was a little interested in a submersible robot that was hanging out in the tank:
Then I saw that you could control it! OH MY GOODNESS! YOU CAN DRIVE A ROBOT AROUND A AQUARIUM TANK! I LOVE THIS PLACE! That was about how excited I got... sorry about the caps... I had to keep my time to a minimum, there were little kids all over the place.
That is a picture from inside the tank, of me controlling the robot!!
Then out to the Otters (who were really playful) and the Polar Bears!

That is right, watching Polar Bears from a tube underneath their exhibit.

It was a great time! I really enjoyed the trip! There were a ton of little kids though (I guess that is normal for a Zoo) and there were plenty of 'Mommy, What is wrong with they guys hair?' I am already stoked to go back.

As you all should know, The day before Ash Wednesday is Pancake Day! You should all know this because of how excited I got about it last year. I direct you here, if you don't know what I am talking about. So as a fundraiser the ShadySide youth (who I have been working with for the past 3 months) put on a giant Pancake dinner! It was a lot of fun! The leaders ended up doing most of the work, but it was fun to serve. I think the most anyone ate was Mike, with 7 or 8 plates (that is 4 ish pancakes a plate and 2 ish sausages). It was impressive. There was also King's Cake! Something that I had only heard of before! I wore my Pirate apron, thanks Kirsten!
Our awesome Center Pieces.
A Giant King's Cake!
After cleaning up all of the festivities, I headed over to Gwyn's place for a little viewing of 'Catfish' a rather interesting documentary/story of social networking. I don't know if I liked it, but it was certainly worth watching. It is a hard movie to watch (it deals with some hard social interactions).

Other than my throat and nose feeling like the gulf coast last year, It was a great day! Sneak peak: Day 5 off to the Science Center!

oh! and if you want to see more pictures of my spring break go here!


  1. Awesome update!!!! Love the commentary on the parts of the zoo!!! Thanks :-)

  2. I'm sorry but I think I see a penguin that seems to be jealous of your hairdo... look again at the pic of you and the penguins, see the one on the right? yeah I'm right.

    If you are having fun with the submersibles then just disregard the commotion that is happening around you, stay focused, complete the mission. Be one with the sub.



  3. Thanks for spending time with my friends!! I miss getting to visit them in Orlando! I am sorry ... you can not tell me that you can watch them hop in the water and play around without smiling!! :)