A Surprise Trip to the Zoo

It was Friday – the day we drive back home to Michigan from Indiana. Kyle would be back in the hotel by noon and I would be waiting for him in the room with all our suitcases packed and ready. I thought it was just an ordinary four-hour trip again, but lo and behold! Kyle got something up his black leather jacket sleeve!

As the view from the window ranged from the luxurious subdivisions to the scary ghettos to the tall buildings, I didn’t realize until we were entering the parking lot that Kyle had taken me to the Indianapolis Zoo! All along he made me think that we got lost looking for I-69 (equivalent to a superhighway in Manila) and that he was never interested to go to the zoo. He rightfully deserves an Oscar for this. 🙂

Outside the Zoo was already an exhilirating experience for us. All these iconic places in Indianapolis are clumped together, making us want to step down from our car and walk our way around them. There is the 60,000-seater Lucas Oil Stadium where the Super Bowl was held this year, the Indiana State Museum, White River State Park and the NCAA Hall of Champions (Kyle was in awe of this, of course).

Landmarks Around the Zoo

The Zoo is organized into four biomes: Oceans, Deserts, Plains and Forests. The first place we visited was the Oceans because I was excited to see the famous Dolphin Dome.

Oceans – with the sharks, sealions, walruses, dolphins, and other sea creatures

Kyle displayed his fearlessness by touching the baby sharks in the Shark Touch Pool. The staff told us to touch only the body but not the head and tail. It was safe but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. 😦

House of Penguins

The Dolphin Dome

This was the great, big Dolphin Dome. It was tempting to just stay inside and watch for dolphins to swim into view. Lots of people were actually doing so. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the luxury of time so we didn’t get a chance to see the dolphins up close or watch the dolphin show.

Every biome has a souvenir pennies machine. Just insert two 25-cent coins and a penny – and voila! You get a priceless dolphin coin!

After the Oceans, we couldn’t ignore our grumbling stomachs anymore, so we headed straight to the Cafe on the Commons. There were other food outlets but this is the only one open all-year round.

Pizza and Cheese Sticks at the Cafe on the Commons

Our next stop was the Deserts where the temperature was like noontime in Singapore. Most of the animal inhabitants had chameleon features so it was a pleasurable thrill to catch them with our eyes.

Deserts – with the tortoises, meerkats, lizards, snakes and more

In the Snake Pit

A python can open its mouth as wide as that!

I think the most captivating habitat of them all is the Plains. Giraffes, lions and elephants may be the usual suspects in any zoo but they are, in our opinion, the animals that complete a trip to the zoo. It’s also noteworthy that the Zoo has wider-than-normal enclosures for the animals to run around.

Plains – with the giraffes, lions, wild dogs, hippos and more

Those three lions gave me the creeps. I didn’t use any zoom when I took that picture – they were really just three feet away from us. They stared right back at us while walking restlessly back and forth the metal fence. They looked so ready to pounce – am I weird if I say that their fur looked so inviting to rub? I don’t think Simba here would appreciate it though. Brrr!

The Amazing Cheetah

I’ve seen cheetahs in Singapore before but not in broad daylight and not as awake as these ones. Okay, time for some fun facts. Did you know that cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world? It can go from 0 to 113 kilometers in a few seconds! However, there’s a downside! They tire out in a matter of minutes and stop running. I guess the best way to elude them is to tire them out – if you get to keep yourself alive while they are chasing you!

I just realized I didn’t take pictures of the Forests. It has gibbons, bats and Alaskan brown bears. Too bad I didn’t see those bears. We were too excited to see the tigers we missed them!

Oh well, it was still a great and beautiful day. Sunny and not too cold – just perfect for a trip to the zoo. Thanks, Kyle, for taking me there even though you had a hard time driving home. This was truly one heck of a surprise!


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