Saturday, January 2, 2010

Marine Land and Bird World

Welcome to Day 3 of my post Niagara journal! 
On Sunday we went to Marine Land.  I was very interested to see what it was like since Andy and I had taken Isaiah to Sea World in Orlando a few years ago.  If it was as good I thought we may take the boys back next year.  I was a little dissappointed however, it is not really fair to compare Marineland in Ontario to Sea World in Florida since Marineland can only be open for about 4 -5 months every year where as Sea World is open year round.  The revenue makes a big difference for the funding of these parks. 
Marineland has a huge property which, like all the other places we visited in the Niagara area, was totally beautiful and adorned with gorgeous flowers and green spaces.  The biggest draw back to Marineland is that it is VERY spread out and in the entire time we were there we only found 2 bathrooms - which is not child friendly - those little guys do not have the bladder control we do and I know that my 4 yr old definitely could not have walked the approx 3 blocks we did to find a rest room.
On the upside, the exhibits are very visitor friendly!  Lots of hands on exhibits which were really fun.  The first thing we did was watch the dolphin and sea lion show.
Here are the dolphins showing off.
DSC_0711 Lippy little guy hey?
DSC_0716 This guy was waving to us!
DSC_0728 Those dolphins don't have anything on us - lol!
This big pacific Walrus' name was Buttercup and he definitely stole the show!  The shot I missed was the one where he was covering his eyes like he was shy - cute!
DSC_0864 Bye Bye Buttercup!
Next we headed over to the Beluga Whales.  We had the opportunity to feed and pet these guys and what a neat experience that was!
DSC_0882 Here I am patting Caspian on the head.  Their "skin" is so soft and their "melon" - which is what it is really called is actually kind of soft to touch, not like our head which are hard theirs are soft and they have the ability to move their melons around in their heads, it was really neat to watch.
DSC_0888 Next it was Andy's turn to make friends with Caspian!
DSC_0909 Here's Caspian saying goodbye!
They also had a whole bunch of brown bears there.  You could buy and ice cream cone full of sugar pops to feed them.  This guy fished one out of the water and popped it into his mouth.  They sure liked them because they all gathered around to have a snack when people threw them in!
After Marineland, we headed out to Bird World which is a bird aviary at Clifton Hill.  It was awesome.  There were birds and reptiles there:
This guy was sitting by the door and as soon as we walked in he squaked, "HELLO" to us.
DSC_1046 Leopard Ghekos
DSC_1060 This guy looked like a blob of slime sitting on this log.
DSC_1061 Looks like this guy needed a bit of a stretch.
DSC_1075 EW!
DSC_1079 Very colorful snake.
DSC_1081 Andy actually got to hold this alligator but they wouldn't let us take a pic - they wanted us to buy their 4x6 for 23.00 - um, I don't think so!
There were 3 different sections where birds were - the 1st was a section with cages - none of those pics here since the cages so badly distorted the pics - there were only about 4 cages anyway.  Then you moved on to a big open room the size of a small gymnasium.  It seemed like a park.  3 of the walls were all windows and all around the windows and in the middle were all types of trees and small birds flying around.  Here are some of our favs:
DSC_1094 This pic does not do this little guy justice - his colors were soooo vibrant!
DSC_1095 These little guys were so cute giving each other a bath!
From that room you went into a dark room for the nocturnal birds and animals:
From there we entered an amazing space that looked like it was an ancient oasis.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  The very high ceiling was all glass with arches, there were amazing stone walls with fountains carved into them, bridges and a stream and small waterfall running through it.  All of the birds in here were free and flying around:
DSC_1129 This little guy was sitting about a hundred feet up in the air on the ledge of a stone wall - he was the only one like this there.  Everywhere you went, you had to look because these amazing colorful birds were perched, hiding.
DSC_1135 This guy looked alot like a flamingo but was more a deep salmon color as you can see than the pink that flamingos are and was much smaller.
DSC_1175 A very cool Toucan!
DSC_1177 Andy admiring some peacock like birds that were a beautiful blue!
DSC_1191 This was a really cool looking pheasant of some kind.  That orange and black part behind his head actually lifted up so that he looked like a pharah!
DSC_1192 These two were kissing the whole time we were there :0)
From the Bird Aviary we headed over to Planet Hollywood for Dinner.
Another very cool place.  Much like the Hard Rock cafe only for movie stars instead of music legends.
After dinner we walked around Clifton Hill again for a bit and then headed back to our hotel.
Clifton Hill is home to a Hershey Chocolate Factory:
DSC_1218 A giant kiss on the top of the factory.
DSC_0661 Guess who loves chocolate?
DSC_1220 A giant chocolate bar was the entrance to the store.
There was also a Coca-Cola store which sold Coke in bottles - hmmm, I think I just maybe dated myself but how many of you remember those?
More beautiful gardens on the way back to our room.
Thanks for looking at my pics!  Tomorrow I'll be back with shots from the Butterfly Conservatory, Botanical Gardens, The White Water Walk and Maid of the Mist! Pin It

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