I had an overwhelming desire to hug a penguin for my birthday this year, so Sam and I took off work/school yesterday and headed to the Newport Aquarium to indulge my birthday wish. We realized that while petting was clearly advertised as an option, hugging might be taking it a bit far. So we devised a plan for Sam to distract the biologist with his many erudite penguin questions while I went in for the hug. The rules were a bit stiffer than we expected. We weren't allowed to touch the penguins outside the several opportunities the biologist gave us while he held them before us on our allotted turn (and even that was just with two fingers, a far cry from a hug) But, there was no rule at all given to the penguins about touching us, and they certainly were not shy! As it turns out, our penguins were particularly fond of dark gray tights, red shoes and fringy scarves. Even apart from the penguin birthing photo above, I felt much like their protecting mother bringing them two shiny red fresh pieces of meat for dinner.
Of course we enjoyed all the other animals too. Right after Sam snapped the photo of the big sea turtle above my head, he completely ran into that pole, face first (the turtle, not Sam). I think he must have had some performance anxiety. He recovered his dignity quite admirably and swam on.
Afterward we headed over to York Street Cafe where our host just happen to seat us next to the only aquarium in the house. We ate some amazing food, said goodbye to elvis and the angel and headed home.
PS Hope you don't mind my unprofessional photos. My sentimental self posted them. My professional self had nothing to do with it.