Let’s just be honest for a moment. It’s been a tough week. With the recent tragedies in Boston and now West, Texas, I think we can all use something cute to get our heads and hearts into a brighter space. And what better way is there than watching this adorable sloth and her best kitten friend (Daisy) have a snuggle session? So take a deep breath, prepare to get your smile on and know that there are still so many wonderful things in this crazy world of ours.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend Tricia Woolfenden-Boot and her amazing family – and all the hugs to come.
It’s Friday, and I for one am ready for the weekend. But until the last few hours of the work week fade into oblivion, here’s a little gator action from the Florida Aquarium. This, ladies and gentleman, is one alligator who knows how to wile away the hours like a pro. Anyone want to go for a swim?
It’s Always Friday in Here
Is there anything quite so surreal and dreamy as a leafy sea dragon? There are a lot of under the sea creatures that can be accurately described as cute or beautiful or graceful, but there is a truly exquisite artistic quality to the anatomy of leafy sea dragons that just confounds the imagination. Like it shouldn’t be real, but isn’t the world just so much better because it is? And while I have been lucky enough to see these mesmerizing sea creatures in person before, this is by far the largest leafy sea dragon I’ve ever seen close up. I mean, how can you look at this guy and not audibly gasp? Nature is wonderous.
Photo taken at the Florida Aquarium. Check out my other Florida Aquarium adventures.
Who doesn’t love an otter? They are adorable and rascally and exuberant all at the same time. We’ve definitely had a few wonderful otter posts in the past, and again and yet again. So in the fine tradition of Look Out! The Cute! Otter adoration, here is the latest installment in our ongoing collection of otter family portraits, a superbly stately otter who resides at the Florida Aquarium. All he needs is a monocle and a shelf of library books and this guy is ready to introduce the newest episode of Masterpiece Theater.
On Tonight’s Episode of Downton Abbey…Lady Mary Runs Away with an Amphibian!
I know, so cheesy but this gorgeous owl (like most owls) knows how to give good face. It’s all in the eyes, and this guy looks like he’s ready to school you on the art of posing. Amazingly enough, this beautiful Great Horned Owl lives at the Florida Aquarium. There’s actually a really cool Aviary/Mangrove Fish section that features a bunch of ducks and moorhens and roseate spoonbills and this super cool owl friend.
There were also a few cute turtles like this little guy soaking up some sun.
I was so happy about the Penguin Encounter I wasn’t even prepared for how cool the rest of the aquarium is. Stay tuned for even more adorable animal pics our adventure to the Florida Aquarium.
In what can only be described as the best possible thing to ever happen, I have made contact with a real life penguin. Kaleb and I drove up to Tampa over the weekend and went to the Florida Aquarium and purchased the Penguin Backstage Pass and we met, touched and cuddled with a real life penguin — actually, we got to hang out in a room full of penguins and got to pet and interact with a few of them. I KNOW, it’s like I dreamed it into being! After all these years of talking about going to Cape Town and hoping for some weird universe where I could find myself in actual proximity to a real life penguin without a sheet of glass between us, it actually happened.
And you know what? They are super soft!
I thought the feathers were gonna feel sort of slick and maybe even a little oily (they did feel sleeker once they were wet — yes I also got a pet a penguin while it was splashing around in a kiddie pool — I CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP). It was surreal and wonderful and the excessive cap locks tell you just how serious I am. But yeah, super soft like short-haired puppy. Who knew? But enough of all this rambling on, I know what you came here for. Check out my amazing penguin encounter:
Penguins Love Swimming in Kiddie Pools
Penguins Waiting for a Snack
Kaleb, Me & Shelly our new Penguin Friend
Soft Feathers that Melt Your Heart
Cliff the penguin going for a swim at Florida Aquarium
We had such a fun time learning more about the penguins and watching them get all excited when you pet them. The cute little guys we met were really socialized so they LOVED all the attention and cuddles from everyone (the group was thankfully super small, just 8 of us total). If anyone finds themselves in the Tampa Bay Area I would highly suggest going to the Aquarium. In addition to these amazing penguins, they had a lot of really cool exhibits and I’ll be posting some new cute animal pics in the days to come. Need a little more cute to make your day complete? Ok, I live to serve:
Another successful mating season has gone by for my adopted penguin Pablo, who you may recall lives on Magdalena Island off the coast of Chile. I always look forward to my Pablo updates, but of course pictures of my new penguin grandbabies are an especially wonderful treat. Look at the fuzz on these little guys! Have you ever seen more adorable penguin chicks? I’m sure everyone says that about their grandkids, but it’s hard to argue when you look at those sweet little faces.
Baby Penguins from Magdalena Island, Chile
These aren’t my first penguin grandbabies, but they are a very welcome and very adorable addition to the family. Pablo’s adoption is through Seabirds.org, which is a great organization that does a lot of important penguin research and conversation efforts in Chile and Argentina. You can adopt your own Penguin friend through Seabirds or buy an adoption as a gift for the penguin appreciator in your life. Pablo’s adoption was actually an anniversary present from Kaleb about 5 or so years ago, and we renew the adoption every year as part of our anniversary celebrations. Pretty sweet, I know. I told you it’s a good gift.