Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Connecticut for a few days with Farmer Doc. It was mainly a work trip, as I was speaking at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association’s annual meeting about equine respiratory disease.
But we stayed for an extra day and made it a for-fun trip, too! One of the great things about heading back to the East Coast (my old stomping grounds) is that (if I can make the extra time to stay) I can always hook up with an old friend or two. This time, I got together with my best friend, Dani. We hadn’t seen each other in a year, and we hadn’t met each other’s husbands before! So it was a chance for the girls to catch up, to meet the boys, for the boys to meet, and for all of us to hang out with their adorable two-year-old.
So what did two young couples do with a two-year-old in tow in Connecticut? We went to the Mystic Aquarium!
The first thing you see is the outdoor enclosure with the beluga whales. (We taught little cutie-pie a new word, and I think “beluga” was her favorite word by the end of the day!)
After we spent quite a bit of time hanging out with the whales, and listening to the staff teach us about their behavior, we headed inside to check out some of the other fish.
There were some spectacular jellyfish.
Some very hungry looking eels.
And some angry-looking salt water fish. (Don’t worry, they didn’t all look angry.)
We got to pet the sharks, and the sting rays.
My favorite part was the penguins. We got there right at feeding time, so most of them were pretty distracted.
See that guy in the jacket? He molted (lost his feathers) early, and hasn’t grown his outer feathers back yet. The aquarium staff think that he will grow his feathers back later this spring (when it’s normally time for them to molt).
But in the meantime, he needs some way to keep warm! Penguins need their feathers for insulation, so swimming in the cold water without them isn’t safe for this little guy. He has a specially designed wet suit to keep him warm so he can still hang out with his other penguin buddies.
We also got to see the harbor seal that was rescued by the aquarium last year. She had one of her rear flippers amputated because of some damage, and has been going through rehab since last summer. She was just recently “let out” into a larger tank to play where people could see her. She sure was as cute as a button!
And, of course, I had a great time catching up with Dani! We were so preoccupied with talking and sight seeing that we completely forgot to take pictures of the people until the very last part of the day… so excuse the looks of exhaustion – you’re looking at two weary travelers here!
Ah… it’s almost like old times in college… except now there are husbands and kids. Hmm… maybe it’s not quite like college… But always a great time!
Dani Vello says
I love that picture of us! 🙂 I had such a good time with you guys, I hope we can try to get together every year or so. And yes, Beluga was quickly a favorite word. Miss you already! 🙂
Justin Cole says
Yes, more often would be good…
And more peoples involved, too :-p
Nice to see a current picture with both of you in it.