It was late September and my cousin graciously, as always, showed us around Manhattan. Not a fan of zoos myself, I was prepared to chalk this adventure up to one of those chores I would endure for the sake of the children. The Central Park Zoo, however, turned out to be no obligation.
It was beautiful. The exhibits were compact and well laid out. Natural habitats were created with great care and artistry. For me, the penguins made all the difference. The penguin exhibit consisted of a rocky area for them to perch on and a pool in which to swim. One side of the pool was made of glass so that visitors could see the penguins on land as well as below the water.
While we were watching, one little penguin jumped into the water and swam over to the glass. It was eye level with my son while it was under water. It looked at my son through the glass from under water, then lifted its head above the water for a different view. My son tip toed to meet its gaze. Then they continued to play this sort of peek-a-boo game for several rounds. When I left the hotel that morning, I never thought we would get to play with a penguin.