Why I’m Surprised We Didn’t Steal a Stingray

Happy August, all! It’s official, this year has been almost nonexistant. Before you know it, we’ll be drinking champaign and singing Old Lang Syne. But I digress. Last weekend, I really wanted to cross at least one item off the bucket list, so I gave Adam a shorter list of items I thought would be possible for us to tackle that weekend. He chose #243: Pet a stingray. Before we get to that, let’s back up a bit.

Last Friday night, my mom and I went to see Mama Mia! Here We Go Again. Phenomenal! Absolutely phenomenal. We laughed with joy the entire time and cried at the ending. So good! Because my mom had stayed the night, Adam and I decided to take her to the Farmer’s Market in Village Pointe, one we haven’t been to yet, on Saturday morning. A lot of the stands sold the same type of thing; cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, pretty standard garden items. So we walked around the whole thing once, then went back to our favorite stands to get exactly what we wanted. I took off with peaches and honey. My mom got blue oyster mushrooms, an array of seasoning salts, some herbs, and green onions. She told me that if I came over the next day to clean out the garage, she would cook me a fabulous dinner consisting of those items (And it was delicious).

After the Farmer’s Market, Adam and I headed for the zoo where, for $5 you can pet a stingray. Normally, I don’t like to pay extra charges at places as pricey as the zoo, but I got a membership this year, so we didn’t have to pay anything that day to get in. The building resembled a giant green house tent and had a huge above ground tank surrounded by rocks (effectively just a super fancy above ground pool). When you go in, you have to wash your hands at a station just inside the door so you don’t contaminate the stingrays’ environment.

Because it was a Saturday, the place was crowded, so we found a tiny spot near the back of the room and squeezed in. Adam was beyond excited. This was something he had been wanting to do since March when he found out it was something the zoo provided. I was excited too, but I vividly remember the day Steve Irwin died, so I was a little on edge. Immediately, Adam reached into the tank so far I thought he was going to topple in. The look of pure joy that crossed his face as that first stingray swam directly under his waiting hand was so heartwarming. As I have mentioned before, Adam reverts back to a five year old boy when he is at the zoo, so that may give you some idea as to his demeanor in that moment. Then it was my turn. I cautiously placed my hand in the tempid water as one stingray moseied on toward me. As he slid under my hand, I only manged to get him with my fingertips, but it was still thrilling. He was very slick and slimey, but not in a disgusting, repulsive way. It was actually very interesting and made me want to try it again.

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After several minutes of trying to graze every stingray that passed us, Adam decided to spend an extra $1.50 for a little sardine to feed a stingray. Beaming with new enthusiasm, we walked back over to our spot and waited until one got close enough. Then, Adam eagerly placed his hand back in the water. Immediately, every stingray in the area hurried over in the hopes of getting an extra treat. We didn’t actually see a stingray eat the sardine due to the overwhelming piling that was occuring. We did however see one stingray, that Adam has affectionately named Stewart, flop up out of the water against the side of the tank. That was an amazing moment.

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After that, we felt our stingray adventure had reached its end. We spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around the zoo. We even visited the new Grasslands exhibit, which is very clearly not completed, but has serious potential. And of course, we can’t go to the zoo without seeing Terry the seaturtle. All in all, a very exciting, and exhausting, day. We ended up going back to the zoo this past Monday for the sole purpose of petting another stingray. This time I tried to feed one, but got scared and dropped the shrimp, which promptly drifted down into the sand. Maybe someday.

Thanks for reading my latest successful crack at crossing it off. Keep your eyes open for more content coming real soon, as this past weekend was a very adventurous one. Until then, I hope you are having a great weekend and finding ways to fit in some last minute summer bucket list items. See you next time.

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