My, oh my. Where to begin? We hit Stanley Park with a vengeance, and had a wonderful, amazing day. We went to the aquarium’s Super Saturday event, which is a one-hour early admission for members only, but means a very early start to our day. We arrived just as they were opening their doors.
I gave Cameron a few options once we were in, and let him choose which to start with. His starting choice? The baby belugas! Just a few days ago the Vancouver Aquarium announced that Aurora had given birth, and so there was a new baby beluga. Instead of wasting our time in the line to the underwater gallery, we stayed outside and above, and I don’t think we missed much. I have to say, she’s adorable. Boisterous! Excited! She seemed interested in playing with her mother, and curious about the creatures she could see on land. Cameron was boisterous and excited too, pretty much beside himself. “BABY! BELUGA! Mommy, there’s the baby, do you see it? Do you?” We watched the two young ones (Tiqa is a year old) playing together, how the new one will venture far from her mother when playing, but return in a snap when called, or when Tiqa gets too rough.
As you might have noticed, I haven’t indicated a name for the new baby. They still haven’t named her. On the way home, much later, I asked Cameron what he thought they should name her while we waited at the bus loop. The word “loop” or “Lupe” had come up a few times in the day (bus loop, film loop, lupine flowers, lupe means wolf). “Loopy,” he answered, firmly, and got laughs from others around. I’ll send in the suggestion, spelled “Lupi.”
When Cameron was growing restless, we headed off on our second mission of the morning. They often have special events on these Saturdays; this time they promised that a veterinarian would be on-hand to examine stuffed animals for the kids, so Cameron brought Bunny, who he said didn’t feel well and was having troubles breathing. Gee, what a surprise! But when it was his turn to have the “vet” (they were honorary vets-for-the-day they said) look at his troubled stuffie, Cameron became quite shy, and would not say much. The “vet” put on a marvelous wee show for him, checking out Bunny’s ears, limbs, eyes, nose. She checked his reflexes, took his temperature, and listened to his heart for a bit. Bunny safely back in his arms, with an A-OK certificate of health, Cameron gave his favourite a big hug. He then took Bunny to a play animal care clinic area, and repeated the examination in more detail, including an “x ray” and weighing him. I guess he wanted a second opinion!
Then it was off for a sandwich while watching the whales again, and some free exploring. He wasn’t too impressed by the dolphins, but was enthusiastic about seeing the sea anemones and sea stars. We found a large sea urchin, and noticed that it has tube feet like the sea stars do (go figure, they’re closely related), but scattered all over its body amongst the spines. A rare treat was that the giant pacific octopus was out of her den, and smushed up in a corner of her tank. I’d thought they’d moved her out, it’d been so long since I’d seen her. So, Cameron got to see her long legs with suckers, saw how she breathed, and saw her eyes. We saw bats eating fruit, and giggled at the one that was burrowed belly-deep in papaya, wings limp and hanging over the fruit’s edges, slurping away. The sloths were out of their usual corners, and in the trees, one quite close to the ground to eat. Butterflies flittered about. Cameron was excited to see the sharks and sea turtle too. All through the morning we discussed what many of the creatures we saw might eat, and how. He didn’t believe me when I showed him a sea star’s mouth.
It was nearly noon before we left. The aquarium was filling up with people, though still nowhere near as bad as I’d expected. Cameron was hitting that state of exhaustion where his motions were unpredictable and random-seeming, unable to really walk straight, and getting a little goofy. He needed some quiet time. I carried a teary-eyed, sleepy-sweet little boy out, into the park, to have a small rest and something to eat before we decided what to do next.
… and you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to find out what else we did on our Tourist Park Adventure Overload Day.