Monday, September 19, 2011

Sam's Birthday Surprise

This year for his birthday, Bonnie and Kim had a special surprise for their Dad: The Great Penguin Encounter at the Salt Lake Aquarium! Since Sam had had so much fun feeding and petting baby bears a few years ago, they figured that little penguins would be just as fun. Since Penguins like cold, we were first equipped with some warm coats, and since penguins also are not potty-trained, we added some rubber shoes. We got some lengthy lecture about "don't touch, keep your hands to yourself". But we could do everything else.... but we needed to stay sitting down, and we couldn't walk around..... but we could still do everything else. What they really meant with everything else was, we were allowed to look, hear and smell, speak, take pictures (but only above bench-level), breathe and think. Wow! so many options! (Esspecially when we had primarily come to rub those cute penguin bellies and scratch them behind their ears and tickle them under their chins... so much for that. But it was still fun to watch them waddle around and bow to each other (a courtship ritual, a little odd, when they started bowing to the trainer) and yell at each other.

As soon as the door was opened, a whole bunch came in to check us out. During the 30 minutes we were in there, they freely waddeled in and out, taking a swim now and then and playing in the ice cubes the trainer had supplied.

This little guy proved why it was wise to wear those rubber shoes... he missed Sam by only a few inches.

There is Sam, very obediently keeping his hands to himself, but you can see how much we would just love to tousel their little feathers.

this one found an ice cube that he is offering to my bench neighbor

So, as we exited thru the gift shop, Sam found one he could love and hug and rub, and he had to come home with us. He named him Samson, after the biggest and fattest of the little bunch, the one who sometimes gets taken out and put in a room to himself at feeding time, because he is such a pig, that he won't let the other penguins have any of the fish, he wants them all!

After the Penguins, it was Party time at our house, here are some of our remarkable party guests:

Dacia and Baby Anna, Marti and Gwenny with an amazing, adorable new haircut, Andrew, Aaron and Jen,

Ellie and Anna, and of course Joe and Anya, but those two were busy elsewhere. Of course we served Ham, which was a joint effort, Sam picked it out, I stuck it in the oven, Marti perfected it with an amazing glaze and Andrew expertly carved it, then everybody pronounced it excellent.

Sam's next favorite occupation: cuddeling grandbabies. There were several cute ones available (we only have cute ones, by the way) so he was quite content. This little Andersen is gettin cuter by the minute. He is always so content. (Anna arrived screaming bloody murder, whereas Andersen was snoozing and then woke up smiling)

Time to unwrap some presents.

Then Marti presented her Dad with the most fabulous chocolate birthday cake ever! Yummmm

To round out the evening, Sam decided to get a start on taking our yard from looking like this:

to looking like this:

It took 60+ bags of bark mulch and took us most of the next day, but we think it was well worth the effort.

So come visit soon and see for yourself!

1 comment:

princess jen said...

The yard looks beautiful!! Also, I think the encounter was LAME! You're supposed to get to touch the animals :) Heck, if you can be trusted to touch bears, you can touch penguins, right?! I do think Sam was really funny with Samson though when he put it out of reach of the grandkids!!