No, Otto didn't get the blue ribbon. There were three categories: hottest, most unique, and best overall. I think he was going for best overall, but was beat out by a chicken chili. He said the winning chili was very tasty, and deserving of the win. Although he didn't win the chili contest, he did have a lot of Cool Whip pies thrown his way. People had to pay $5 a pie to chuck at him. Apparently he raised quite a bit of money for the United Way!
Saturday was a gorgeous day, and we packed a picnic lunch and headed for the zoo. At the Houston Zoo you generally hear ambulances and medical helicopters because it's right next to all the hospitals. At the Calgary Zoo we heard (and saw) airplanes flying over, all day. Every 1-2 minutes. At first it was neat and we were pointing up and looking ("Wow, look, an airplane!"), but by plane number 20 they kind of became background noise.
Here are Andy and Sam toward the beginning of our day. This was a little hill you could take as a detour from the main path. Any opportunity to climb is seized!
A bison family. And that baby could run!
An elk with an awesome rack.
Several peacocks freely roamed the grounds.
The hippos and giraffes. These massive indoor areas where large animals can be sheltered from abnormal cold were new to us. Don't need stuff like that at the Houston Zoo! When we made it around to the indoor side, there was a large tank with fish, and as we looked at the fish the hippos decided it was time for a dip. It was pretty neat to see them make their way into the water, swim by, then climb out the other side.
There was a prehistoric area complete with dinosaurs and hoodoos (there will be a little more on hoodoos when I post the last BC vacation entry). Here the boys pose on some of the man-made hoodoos.
Baby and Mama Elephant.
At this point we had been at the zoo for about five hours, and weariness was setting in.
We saw a couple more things, such as this snowy owl,
then headed to China Town for an early dinner. I should have taken at least a picture of a Chinese sign to put here. I even went back to the car to get the camera after we had walked a few paces. I guess I was a little tired, too.
We ate at Happy Valley, which hit the spot. Won-ton soup, spring rolls, and various stir-fried chicken, beef, and shrimp dishes. After our meal we headed down to the Chinese bakery in the lower level of the same building. Since it was an hour before closing we got 20% off our purchases. We snagged the last three butterfly cookies and a foot long slightly sweet cinnamon raisin bread/pastry, which tasted like it had just been baked, but I'll take the 20% off anyway, thank you.