Life in board shorts: Brevard Zoo and zip lining

Our second day on vacation in Cocoa Beach, Florida gave us a taste of life in Florida. We went to the zoo, Zander and Jason went zip lining, and spent some time on the beach. You don’t want to miss out on our selfies with giraffe’s.

I was up early for a barefoot run on the beach. There was some fog, which was both good and bad. Good because it was a touch cooler out, especially with a nice south east breeze off the ocean. Bad because it was sticky and humid. I ran north first, against the breeze, about 1.5 miles, then turned around to enjoy the breeze for the second half of the run. I ran in my board shorts, so that at the end of my run, I could take a dip in the ocean to cool off. The water was about 70 degrees and very refreshing.

The family was getting ready to head to the zoo for the day. Lunch was packed and camera’s were ready. It took us about 30 minutes to drive to Brevard Zoo from Cocoa Beach. We had the windows down on another beautiful, warm, sunny day.

Kayaking in Expedition Africa down the Nyami Nyami River

Once we arrived at the zoo we purchased the Adventure! Package. The package included zoo admission, kayaking in Expedition Africa down the Nyami Nyami River, and giraffe and lorikeet feedings. We headed straight to the Africa section to feed the giraffe’s.

There were several giraffe’s at the feeding platform, their heads come right up to the balcony. We each got a leaf of Romaine lettuce and the eager giraffe’s were ready for a snack. Their long tongue curls out and snatches the lettuce. The kids loved out. Hell, mom and dad thought it was pretty cool too.

We navigated the zoo for a few hours, seeing leopards, rhinos, lemurs, zebras, monkeys, macaws, and kangaroos. After that, we feed the Lorikeet birds using small nectar cups. The birds would sit on your finger, wrist, and shoulder and dip into the nectar cup. What a cool experience.

For the rest of the time at the zoo, we saw a Komodo dragon, a bad eagle, alligators, crocodiles, and more big cats. Then it was time to go kayaking in the Africa Expedition, where our first stop of the day was. It was awesome to see the lemurs, giraffes, and other animals from the water.

We had a great day at the zoo and went back to the Jeep to eat lunch and recharge. After lunch, Zander and I went zip lining at Treetop Trek. They had a variety of different obstacle courses, but we were only interested in the zip lines. There were 9 zip lines, the most exciting being a 600-foot span across some wetlands. Another cool part was actually zip lining through the zoo and seeing some of the animals from above.

While Zander and I were zipping through the zoo. MB and Coco went back into the zoo to check out the Paws On exhibit complete with petting zoo. Coco got to be a vet at Paws On and enjoyed petting the goats, a llama, and other animals.

After a full day at the zoo, we went back to Cocoa Beach and spent a little time with our toes in the sand and enjoyed a cloudy and breezy sunset from the beach. Dinner was at the Shark Pit Bar & Grille, a place that looked interesting, had an awesome fish tank with sharks, moray eels, and tropical fish, but ultimately was a huge disappointment. Our food was mediocre. First, Zander’s order came out wrong. When the fish and chips were the best dish and the “best calamari” didn’t even come out as described, we knew we made a bad choice. To top things off, the service was pretty bad. He even admitted that it wasn’t his best night. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t go, but our experience was not optimal. At least the fish were entertaining.

About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for Opensource.com--a publication and story-telling platform for open source communities. At night, he wears a cape, and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book called The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown super power of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets
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