Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Disney World Pics Of The Day--Day 7

Those of you who have been following our Disney World journey will have noted that there was no day 6. That is because on the sixth day, Kat rested. Actually, we switched our plans and decided to spend that day at Magic Kingdom, and we found that any blogging we did would end up being mostly a laundry list of comparisons between the Land and the World. We didn't think a California/Florida theme-off would make for particularly interesting reading, so we decided to get a good night's sleep instead. Today, however, we headed back to the Animal Kingdom. The two days we spent there have turned out to be the most photographic and wonderful days of our vacation. (Although, the days at Epcot made it a pretty close contest.) Once again, we'll head straight into the photos and tell you what we saw.

It's the end of our trip, so we really needed to catch some Zzz's. (No groaning allowed.)

Cute little baby elephants at play--of course, little is a relative term.

These acrobats were amazing. They just exuded energy. We saw the same troupe at Disney's California Adventure several years ago, and I don't think these guys have aged a day. It must be all that exercise!!

Here's a Black and White Colobus Monkey. These guys have no opposable thumbs, and use their tails--which can be up to three feet long--to swing from branch to branch.

Check out these chompers. This is a Nile Crocodile, which has 1,200 psi of jaw-crunching capacity. We thought it best to stay out of his way, and suggest you do the same.

The big guy's an Okapi. The little guy is a Yellow-backed Dyker. That about sums up our total Okapi-Dyker knowledge fund. Aren't you impressed?

"Now where did I lay those eggs?"

"Mmmm, those eggs were delicious."
(Trivia moment: Our trusty guide informed us that the open mouth of a hippo is not a yawn, but a sign of aggression.)

These cute tender animals are ring-tailed lemurs.

"I just love that Tiki Room, don't you?"
(Actually, we did really enjoy the Tiki Room. They've updated the show recently, which it desperately needed, and updated the sound as well. I swore twenty years ago that I'd never go in again, but I'm glad I changed my mind.)

"How come cows get cuds and antelope don't? I want a cud. What is a cud, anyway? Oh, wait a minute!! Wikipedia says antelope do have a cud, and it's a good thing too--otherwise we couldn't digest all that grass we eat. Well, okay then--I better get chewing."

"Rhino-schmino. I'm HIP!"

"Sure, I look tender and juicy, but you're gonna have to make it past the horns."

Warthog self-esteem: "My mom thinks I'm cute."

(If you want a better caption you're going to have to come up with it yourself. We're getting rummy.)

This is the first in a series of gorilla shots. We've entitled this one "King of the Planet of the Apes." This big guy--all 550 pounds of him--is the dominant male in the troop of bachelor gorillas that all live together at Animal Kingdom. They have a very definite pecking order, and when we were there we saw some really interesting behavior, including chest beating and blanket stealing. (They have enough blankets to go around, but all of them want the blue blanket for some reason, and the boss man here made a big show of parading around with the coveted blue treasure.
Here he is again with the blue blanky. We call this one "Linus." If you look closely at the side of his head, you'll see a wound he received last week when one of the slightly smaller males decided to challenge him. The guide we talked to said the fight didn't get horribly heated, because, really, all these guys have to fight over is blankets, but if they introduced a female into the mix things would get both dangerous and interesting. Needless to say, they are not planning on bringing in a female anytime soon.

This is the oldest bachelor in the pad. He's about 25. He may look aggressive here, but he's only having a really big yawn. He's the smallest gorilla in the mix, at only about 425 pounds (poor little thing) and he doesn't like to get too involved with the more aggressive younger males. He stayed off to the side the whole time we watched, and occasionally gave a "please don't hurt me" cower.

Here's our champion again, triumphantly toting the blue blanky. We had to throw in this picture just so you could see how much arm he has. Astounding aren't they?

Here's our last photo. This is a golden-breasted starling. We decided to put this picture at the end because we wanted to end our trip journal with a cute little birdy instead of a big mean gorilla.

We did other things throughout the day besides finding photo ops. We went on rides. (The Dinosaur one is great, but the Safari is the best.) We saw a parade. (We couldn't help but see the parade. We were trying to get back to the safari ride, and had to wait for the parade to pass by before we could cross the street. We were a captive audience.) We took a train to the veterinary station and saw a tortoise get a checkup. All of these were diverting, interesting, and educational. If we had to pick the best non-animal-related amusement of the day, however, it would have to be Finding Nemo The Musical. Loads of fun, and very creative in its production techniques. The only thing we both thought was a little weak about the show was that some of the songs seemed a little contrived, mostly when they tried to convey in words something that got conveyed in longer, more visual and less expository ways in the original movie, but that was our only less-than-flattering critique. Other than that small quibble, it was fine family fun, and an excellent way to pass forty minutes of our precious Animal Kingdom time.

Well, that about wraps things up from Florida. Tomorrow we'll be heading home. We have a few hours to fill before our shuttle picks us up, and we hope to spend them taking pictures (shocking, I know) on the Boardwalk near Epcot. There were some beautiful hotels that we only got to glimpse the other evening and we'd love to see them in the daytime, and snap a few final pics. If we get any good ones, I'll probably post them after we get back home--and get some rest--we've got a long flight ahead of us. We've been primed for the trip home by the restaurant where we ate dinner tonight. We ate at Artist Point, in the Wilderness Lodge. It's a stunning, lakeside hotel, modelled after one of the lodges you would find in Yellowstone National Park, or other points West. It got us in the mood to see our beautiful Pacific Northwest again, and since it's been so cold here for most of our visit (it barely made it above 50 degrees yesterday, and we actually had to buy me gloves), we're already focused on getting back on the ski slopes. I'm looking forward to checking in on the rest of the world, too, and seeing what I missed while we've been playing here in Orlando. I hope you enjoyed our photographic adventure together. Ked and I certainly did. See you in a couple days.