The Inspirational Animals of My Travels

As I sit here working on a passion project of mine — which, to be fair, I’ve been working on for the better part of a year now — I realized that I’ve up until this time passed up a perfectly lovely opportunity to give thanks to all the inspirational animals I’ve come across in my travels. These animals have been so much fun to meet and learn about, and I’m so grateful to them for being a part of the learning process that is traveling.

So without further ado, please meet some of my favorite animals I’ve met on my journeys:

Shawn_the_Koala^^ This is Shawn the Koala from the Koala Park Zoo in Sydney.
He’s the animal that started my whole project idea.

Shawn_talks^^ Can’t you tell he’s just whispering amazing ideas in my direction!

Kookaburra_Bird^^ This is a replica of a Kookaburra bird in the
Museum of Natural History. They’re known for their good-natured,
hysterical laugh, which can sound a lot like a human’s.

Red_Panda^^ This is a red panda — let’s call her Jia. This photo is from the
Philadelphia Zoo, which is sort of cheating because my real
inspiration came from the red pandas at the Central Park Zoo.
This was a better photo, though.

Pigeons_London^^ These are pigeons. And while yes, these pigeons are in London,
let’s be honest — the real inspirational pigeons live right here in
good ole’ NYC.

Chasing_Pigeons^^If we’re being even more honest, my true obsession with pigeons began
when I was a toddler and my parents lost me in the Piazza San Marco
in Venice because I was chasing them. That’s why I took this
dorky photo when we were back there in 2012.

What inspires you when you travel?

Bis bald, friends!

The Philadelphia Zoo With Some Friends

Hi friends,

This past weekend I visited an old friend of mine (and her adorable almost-2-year-old son) at her home in the suburbs outside of Philly. Every single time I visit a friend’s house in the ‘burbs, I’m always struck by two things:

  1. They seem so much more grown up than I am
  2. really enjoy seeing nature out my back window!

No. 2 is the reason I kept taking photos like this of said friend’s backyard:

^^ Ahhhh, nature.
^^ Ahhhh, nature.

Anyway, between taking backyard photos we managed to do a lot of other things this past weekend, like head to the park, play a lot with the adorable Oliver, eat dinner out in Wayne and, my favorite, head over to the Philadelphia Zoo.

According to the Zoo’s site, more than 1,300 animals live there, including many rare and endangered species. The Philly Zoo was also America’s first zoo, established on March 21, 1859. It took another 15 years, though — thanks so the Civil War — for the zoo to actually open.

Here’s a bit of what we saw:

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^^ The zoo had this cool tunnel system running around above the grounds that the monkeys could wander through.
^^ The zoo had this cool tunnel system running around above the grounds that the monkeys could wander through.

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^^ This little gator guy was in this position the whole time we were in the area.
^^ This little gator guy was in this position the whole time we were in the area.

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^^ Little Sebastian, anyone ;)
^^ Little Sebastian, anyone 😉
^^ I was about to delete this photo of the Clown Fish because I had better ones, until I saw the Fish Photo Bomb.
^^ I was about to delete this photo of the Clown Fish because I had better ones, until I saw the Fish Photo Bomb.
^^ The fish tank was a serious highlight. So beautiful!
^^ The fish tank was a serious highlight. So beautiful!
^^ Rhino!
^^ Rhino!

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^^ This little guy is a Red Panda, and she'll be making an appearance in my children's book very soon!
^^ This little guy is a Red Panda, and she’ll be making an appearance in my children’s book very soon!
^^ Chillin'
^^ Chillin’
^^ This was the Momma monkey, who did have a baby strapped to her chest, although it's hard to see in this photo.
^^ This was the Momma monkey, who did have a baby strapped to her chest, although it’s hard to see in this photo.
^^ This is the dad and son. They were wrestling the whole time, which was pretty adorable.
^^ This is the dad and son. They were wrestling the whole time, which was pretty adorable.

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And in other news, Chris and I booked our flights to Denver in April with my sister and her boyfriend — we’re so excited to check it out! So far the itinerary includes Boulder and Breckinridge and Denver, with one or two other potential areas thrown in there somewhere.

Can’t wait!

P.S. I feel obliged to say that these photos were all taken with my new iPhone 5C — not too shabby!