August 15, 2017
“Penguins, oh I love them so,
Embracing their cuddly cuteness,
Nice, happy, amazing creatures they are,
Gorgeous, wonder-filled, feathery.
Up above the ice they waddle,
Interesting, lovable things.
Now, who will take me to see them?”
Today I was the blessed one to take her to see them. Oh the joy. A deep, deep, overwhelming astounding joy. Today her dream came true: getting to meet a real-live penguin up close and personal. She has dreamed of this moment for years and years. Her love of penguins began at a very early age. Today was epic. Such a rich, full day that I want to make sure I capture as many details of the day as possible to forever remember this day that filled Natalie’s heart to overflowing.
On Feb. 12, 2012 she received her beloved “Lulu” giant penguin stuffed animal from her loving brother Jacob.
I can’t remember if Natalie had an interest in penguins before that gift from her brother, or if it was love at first sight for Natalie when her eyes beheld that amazingly cute stuffed animal in the gift shop. The aquarium did not yet have their penguin exhibit open to the public, so I know she didn’t see penguins that day while we visited.
Certainly her love for penguins grew and grew after that day she received Lulu.
For the months that followed she looked forward in anticipation of getting to one day see penguins! The aquarium was already advertising that their exhibit would be opening up in May and that in the meantime the penguins were growing accustomed to their new habitat.
On May 14, 2012 we had special member preview privileges of the grand opening of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat at the Aquarium of the Pacific. We made sure to get there super early so that we could be the first in line for the very first timed entry group at 10am, to enter the exhibit! That day Natalie’s love of penguins was so beautifully captured by an LA Times photographer who was there chronicling the grand opening.
And from that point forward her passion for penguins continued to grow.
(and this was going to be a post about her meeting a penguin in person, as her birthday gift….but I never finished this post. Oops)