Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Visit Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. I drove up with my pastor's kids to meet them for the day and then I took off on my own. Yes, on my own. I have to tell you, I have actually enjoyed going to places like this and doing it on my own. I can walk as fast as I want, stop at the animals I want to see, skip the ones I'm not as enamored with, and linger longer at the ones I was fascinated with.

First, the parking is free! We were able to get a super close parking spot even though the zoo had been open for almost 3 hours. The cost for my ticket was $17.95. Not a bad price for all of the animals you get to see.

Visitors start off in the Forest Passage. I caught a small glimpse of a sleeping Canadian Lynx as well as the Amur Tiger. The Tigers were in the shade napping. Smart Tigers. lol Getting to the zoo in the middle of a hot June day means you should expect some animals to be snoozing in a shady spot. I also was able to spy a Komodo dragon and was surprised at how large it was.

From the Forest Passage you can go to the right and head towards Kids Kingdom or the left to the African Savannah. I went left. The flamingos caught my eye. They are such an incredibly beautiful bird! Also saw a black rhino trying to snack of shrubs through its enclosure. Silly Rhino! Caught a glimpse of a couple sleeping African Lions. I was able to grab pictures of other Savannah animals, but sadly most of them were at poor angles. Can't win 'em all, eh?

The elephants were fantastic to watch and I probably spent the most time watching them. They were at the watering hole grabbing some water and one was giving herself a dirt bath. So fun to watch. As I went around the corner to get another view of them, I saw a person standing next to an elephant. I figured it was part of their Wild Experience. As I turned to see them face forward, there was a line of people to stand next to it! 🤯 Visitors had the opportunity to stand next to the matriarch of the elephant herd for $10. Up to 10 people could do it. I walked past it, but then I knew I'd probably never have the chance to get up close and personal with one ever again so I went back. It was cash only so I had to borrow it from our pastor. HA!

I was actually glad I was so far ahead of them because I knew that I'd probably be so overwhelmed by the experience I'd start crying. Turns out, I got a text they were heading that way to do it as well! CRUD! They got there just in time... honestly! Sure enough, as I started walking over to her I started tearing up and I told her handler that I was going to cry. He said, "It won't be the first time." As I was standing next to her, she turned a bit to me and nudged me with her trunk! I wanted to hug her and not let go. I was shocked at how rough her trunk was and she had the longest random hairs sticking out from it. So in awe of God's handiwork in creating this majestic beast. I wanted to spend a LOT more time with her. I could've used at least another hour. heh heh heh

As I was leaving the Savannah I was able to see the Masai Giraffe and Grant's Zebra eating. Those I was able to get a great photo of. Right next to this area was the Tropical Forest. The lemurs cracked me up. You'll see in the photo below why I had to laugh. This is how I like to relax. hahahaha I didn't grab photos of the other primates, but shared videos on my Instagram Stories. You can find them in my Highlights.

My next stop was at The Islands which also spills over to the Jungle Odyssey. This was all outdoor. First was the Philippine Crocodile. It was having a great time keeping cool swimming around its tank. And there were the cutest baby clouded leopards! It was hard to get photos of them because of the glare on the glass, but they were sweet to see sleeping. The anteaters and capybara were fun to see together. One of the capybara was sitting in the mud. I'm telling you, it was stinking hot on Saturday.

The PPG Aquarium and Water's Edge are right next to each other and walking inside the aquarium was so cool and relaxing. Anyone else hypnotized by watching the sharks swim around? I kind of zipped my way through the aquarium. I paused at the jellyfish to watch them swim around and loved seeing the stingrays super close was incredible. They're such an interesting species. I actually touched 2 at the Stingray Touch Tunnel. They feel slimy and I could feel the spine of one. It was SO cool! At the Water's Edge we got to see the Sea Otters being fed and that was delightful. That was a fun video to grab.

My last stop was at the Kids Kingdom. Sadly I didn't realize the Worlds of Discovery was just past Kids Kingdom. No idea how I missed it, but next time, right? I wasn't sure if I should go into Kids Kingdom since I was kidless for the day, but as soon as I saw the sign about alpacas I was going to knock the kids out of my way to get to them. Ha! This was definitely kid heaven. There's even a mini log ride! The alpaca were in an enclosure so that when you walked around them, the only way you were allowed to touch/pet them was if they came to the border of their area. I mean, they were literally right there for the petting. As long as you didn't leave the path, you could pet them. I was able to pet the butt of one as it was eating. lol You get what you get and don't throw a fit.

It was really a great day. I was there for about 3 hours. If I'd have gone with little kids it would've easily been a full day. There are plenty of places to eat or grab snacks. I ate before I went in so I don't know how much anything costs. One expense I absolutely want to have next time is the Wild Encounter. You can pick an animal on their specific list to spend about a half hour with. Each encounter is different. The current cost is $60. How incredible would that be? To get up close to an animal with a small group.

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I would highly suggest you take a day out at the zoo. It's a fabulous way to spend the day and I'm looking forward to when I can take the whole family there since none of the guys have experienced it.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.