Thursday, September 6, 2007

A bit of a zoo

Playing catch up with everything we've seen and done over the past week seems like an impossible task. Our trip was absolutely fantastic.

Paring down the hundreds of photos I took into might be even harder. The fact that I even have any to share is somewhat of a miracle because my camera broke with three days left of our trip. Fortunately, I was determined and managed to cajole a few more out of it by removing and replacing the battery for every single shot. It was a complete pain in the ass, but I wasn't about to have a pictureless babymoon. I'd rather have a tailless dog. ... Oh, wait. I already do.

To make the images more digestible, I'll break them down into neat little bite-sized pieces. Today I'll post pictures of our first day in Omaha. I'm not sure what I expected to see when I got off the plane, but I'm pretty sure I had envisioned an old man in a worn flannel shirt playing a banjo while rolling around a piece of straw in his mouth. And lots and lots of corn fields.

So, it probably goes without saying that I was surprised to find a bustling metropolis after making our way out of the unassuming airport. There were people! And stores! And traffic lights!

My friend Timberly had recommended going to the zoo, and even though I had been up for nearly 24 hours other than the fitful sleep I managed to get on two brief plane rides, I was determined to go. Jerry and I found our way to the hotel, mowed down the free chocolate chip cookies we got at check-in, took showers and hailed a cab.

Our driver seconded Timberly's recommendation by saying that the Omaha zoo is among the top 10 zoos in the country. And although we were dead on our feet, we didn't regret the decision to forgo a nap.

Afterward we met Timberly, her family, her husband-to-be, his family and everyone else who had flown in early for dinner. Then I think my legs somehow went into automatic pilot mode and steered me back to the hotel. I collapsed on the bed and was drooling on the 16 pillows I claimed before Jerry could even turn the lights out.

The first exhibit we went in was a giant desert dome. It had beautiful birds
and plants with details of which part of the globe they are typically found.
Sometimes they were hard to spot. This South African bird was quite large.

Of course everything with legs reminded us of Toby. Especially these
crazy things. I wish I could remember what they were called, but they
look like miniature deer. They also hail from Africa. So cute.

The meerkats were by far my favorite desert-dweller. I think
the dinner truck was right behind us. Can you tell?

Underneath the desert dome was an amazing nocturnal exhibit with
tons of bat caves and a huge bayou with beavers and an albino alligator.
Photo-taking was a little difficult in this area, but it was spectacular.

Jerry's favorite was the penguin exhibit in the aquarium. There were
all different kinds. We probably sat there for almost 20 minutes just
watching them zip through the water and have stand-offs on land.

The jungle building was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was
a two-tiered dirt path that wound around waterfalls and gigantic trees.
There were little secret lookouts and animals at every turn. Parrots,
monkeys, hippos, butterflies ... but this guy was one of our favorites.

I could make a hippopotamus joke, but I won't.

Jerry on a rope ladder that crossed a waterfall.

This was my favorite moment of the entire day. It was quite a hike to
get to the gorilla exhibit from the giraffes, but I was so glad we found it.
This mammoth male and I just sort of sat and checked each other out
for a few minutes. Everything about him was magnificent. The dirty glass
does him no justice. I felt so humbled by him for some reason.


julie said...

YAY!!! Pictures!!! (yeah, I'm a dork.)

julie said...

Bahaha!! I've seen Jerry's shirt so damn many times in my life. That's too funny seeing that on him in the Omaha zoo.

Ashley said...

Ooh! I want to go to the Memphis Zoo now. I want to plan a day trip now.

Tiffany said...

Love the gorilla one :-)

Ray said...

What a beautiful zoo & beautiful pictures. And I missed that BELLY of yours! LOL! Glad you're back.

Take care, Kelly.

Ray said...

P.S. That shot with you and the gorilla is great. There's a special exhibit like that where I live, & it's just crazy being close to a gorilla like that. Their eyes are so human and the things that they do are so human- like that it's scary. Not that I believe in that evolution theory BULL but still it's amazing.

omaha gal said...

i live in omaha and i am so glad you enjoyed our zoo. sometimes i am amazed how much our city has to offer. i am glad you enjoyed your time here.

chelsea said...

Aww I love penguins! I don't think I've ever been to that zoo, and a lot of my fam is from the area.

The Greers said...

I LOVE the Omaha zoo...we went a couple months ago and I was in awe at the whole thing!!
I loved the Polar bears when I went..but I'm a 35mm girl...I haven't gotten any of my stuff developed yet! Lazy of me!
When you get a second..go check out my new page here on blogspot would ya??

Anonymous said...

I love the henry doorly zoo! (I live an hour away from Omaha). I hate that rope bridge though.

Emilee said...

The zoo looks great! If you ever get the chance, you should also go see the San Diego zoo. It's amazing. And the gorilla picture is awesome! Looks like you had a good time! :]

the plainsman said...

That Omaha Zoo does look extra special. Just think, you and your daughter are going to have many wonderful times there in future years, too, and you will get to see it in a new way, through her eyes as well.

Maybe that gorilla was just staring at your midsection just like everybody else you posted about previously! Their DNA is practically the same as ours, so who can tell what they are thinking about!