My mom had an immense love of animals. She would even rank order her favorite animals from monkeys to giraffes to zebras to penguins. Oh the penguins. She had a deep love of those little tuxedo-shaped creatures. My son in turn has developed an obsession with penguins. His love of penguins, sadly, cannot be shared with my mother but seeing his adoration of said animals warms my heart as I remember my mom’s similar adoration.
When we went to Australia during our summer time we landed in a winter-clad Australia where the cold wind hit our faces rather surprisingly. We have a habit of traveling off season for it is cheaper and often much more interesting as there are less tourists and things seem somewhat more “authentic”. Hitting Australia in their winter time, we had to plod around in big winter coats while we dreamed of the summer heat of New York.
However, the cold was completely worth it when it came to seeing the penguins. There is no other experience like that of watching the march of the penguins at sunset. It was raining and cold. We were huddled under a big poncho waiting and waiting. The sun went down. Then it happened. The came from the water. They made loud noises; loud glorious noises. Awe filled the air and everyone’s lungs. My son was amazed, thrilled and in a state of perpetual excitement. He had never experienced anything like that. In reality, not many people in the world have. To give my son a once in a lifetime experience was just precious.
Off season travel can just be spectacular and life changing. Every night my son now sleeps with his penguins. And when we go cross country those stuffed penguin toys will be going with us in the car excitedly taking in the sites of the US.