If anyone had told us that on our 19th wedding anniversary that we'd be spending it in the Knoxville, Tennessee Zoo, I would have shaken my head no way.
Gary was having a bagel craving, and there are no bagels to be found in Pigeon Forge, so we decided to drive to Knoxville, about 30 minutes away to a Panera. He checked the internet, said there were a couple around there and out the door we went. Fortunately I am the navigator, so I had all my maps and brochures with me. I found a Panera listing in a Knoxville brochure, checked the address against the map, and we got there easily. (One of these days we will get a GPS) We enjoyed a beautiful outside breakfast watching people in their Easter finery walk by.
Then what? Well, the Zoo was a free event according to our Park Perks pamphlet, so we went to the Zoo. Found it no problem, parked and saved $40.00 (minus five for parking). Yippee. So you guessed it - lots of zoo pictures coming up.
It was Easter in the Zoo for the animals, too. The elephants, Edie and Jana got their own easter boxes to open. Jana stepped on hers to open it,
but Edie used her trunk to delicately remove the lid.
The trainers put goodies at the bottom, but covered them with lots of dead tree twigs. The elephants weren't going to deal with that so they threw their boxes around until the goodies were available.
The Blue Monkeys received plastic easter eggs with popcorn and sunflower seeds inside. The keeper hid them around their enclosure, and then let them out to find them. TJ opened a bunch of them before Shelly even finished her lunch and came out.
I love giraffes,
and the big cats (sleeping in the shade).
Rhinos and albino aligators go back to the dinosaur age.
This cute little guy is a Red Panda, a real relative of the panda family, not bears like pandas. Huh?
Birds are beautiful and these roseate spoonbills,
and white faced whistler ducks are no exception.
The Andean condors were huge, but unless I put Gary next to one, it was hard to get a shot through the fence of just how big these two were. A twelve foot wingspan - whoa!
Most everyone's favorite cuties were the meerkats which just loved to play or pose for their pictures. This one gave me three different profiles, practically asking me which one I thought was the best.
These next pictures are X-rated. Two star tortises are having a good time.
Zebras are beautiful animals, too bad they are not rideable,
but camels are, and people were riding them. Here's a dromedary, too, being led out for some treats.
There is a two-toed sloth in this picture, but I can't tell which end is up or down.
Of course, there were human animals, too...
We came home and Gary grilled a steak for our anniversary dinner. We spent dinner time remembering the early days of our relationship and the subsequent wonderful 19 years. For you who don't know how we met, it is a funny sweet story. I moved with my two children from Toronto, Canada to Raleigh, NC in 1991 just before school started. My daughter, Michelle, was 14 entering high school. She met a friend, Mandy, whose parents were divorced, too. Well, they thought it would be funny if they introduced Gary and me to each other. I won't go into all the details, but nobody was more surprised than Michelle and Mandy when we hit it off and Gary asked me to marry him, which I did exactly 19 years ago today. It's the best thing these girls ever did for us.
The question asked often is: Would we have married earlier if we had met eachother when we were young? Who knows? All I know is that I'm glad it happened as soon as it did! Ah, true love.
Hope you had as wonderful an Easter day as we did, too!