Italian Honeymoon Pt. 2 – Bologna Zoological Museum

Dave and I spent the majority of our honeymoon weaving through halls of dusty taxidermy, peering into Victorian cabinets full of centuries old creatures. My mom was pretty annoyed that after coming home from our trip, all I had to show were pictures of dead animals. But Italy has some of the most extraordinary and historically significant naturalist collections, with pieces dating back to the 18 and 1900’s.

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Italian Honeymoon Pt. 1

We’re back from our honeymoon and it’s time to bombard this blog with lots of photos from our Italian travels! The morning immediately following the wedding, we headed to the airport at 5AM to begin our 17 hour journey to the other side of the world. (Looking back, I definitely recommend taking a day or two to chill out at home before leaving for such a huge honeymoon – wedding planning and traveling are both dehumanizingly exhausting.)

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Snapshot – Escape to Big Sur

We drove 9 hours up the coast on Valentine’s day to Big Sur, where we set up a tent in the dark and camped under the redwoods. Being in the outdoors surrounded by fresh air and a sense of adventure was exactly what we needed. We’ve wanted to take this trip for over a year, but coordinating work and class schedules never aligned in our favor. After Dave lost his job, we said, “Welp, now we have a chance to go camping!” and spontaneously headed up the 101 without knowing exactly where we’d go.

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Snapshot – Hanging with the Hyenas

I was in a weird mood yesterday and just needed to get out of my house. So I grabbed my camera, jumped in the car, headed to the zoo an hour before closing, and B-lined it to my favorite creatures. I spent the entire time by myself, quietly watching the striped hyenas mosey about their enclosure with no other zoo-goers in sight. This was exactly the downtime I needed.

Hyenas (both striped and spotted) are some of my favorite animals. There’s just something about these powerful, misunderstood beasts with their hunched backs and devilish faces I can’t get enough of. They’re so unique in so many ways (not to mention female spotted hyenas have psuedo-penises). Clans are dominated by the females, making them what some call “the feminists of the animal kingdom” (maybe that’s why I like them so much).

Unlike most of the animals at the San Diego Zoo trained to disregard visitors, these guys watch me just as much as I watch them. The male especially. He paces close to me, stopping every once in a while to stare directly into my eyes, and raises his mane in warning every time my boot scuffs the ground. They are equally fascinating and terrifying. After spending a good half and hour of hyena therapy, I was feeling much better and headed to the sky rail to see the sunset over my beautiful city.

Anyone else have any unique ways you cope with weird moods? Ya know, besides watching hyenas?

Snapshot – Romping Around the Pumpkin Patch

Nothing gets me more in the fall spirit than roaming around a field of plump bright orange pumpkins! (Although it’s a bit disenchanting to drive out to a farm only to get there at the end of the day and watch as a truck unloads a fresh pile shipped in from some unknown place o_o haha.). Anywaysss, Dave and I showed up an hour before closing so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We pet some friendly goats, tromped around the patch of sad “Big Mac” pumpkins (they always look so smushed), wandered through a hay bale maze, and sampled homemade fudge in the country store.

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