time spent with tortoises

A few months ago now, Ethan got to participate in the Palm Beach Zoo's Aldabra Tortoise experience (you can check out that post here). It was such a fantastic experience that we began planning our next one before we even wrapped up our zoo trip on that chilly February day. My aunt is visiting from out of town and it seemed like the perfect time for Ethan to get to spend some time with her and make some special memories.

It's been just about a year since the last time Ethan saw my aunt -- his great aunt -- and he was so excited both for her visit and to introduce her to Noto, his favorite tortoise. Both Noto and Shelly, the zoo's Aldabra tortoises, were hungry for sweet potatoes and seemingly excited for their visitors, too. As a parent, I love to step back and soak up these magical experiences through Ethan's eyes. Let's face it, these tortoises are really, really cool, but everything sort of pales in comparison to the glimmer in your child's eyes when they get to experience something like this.

The Aldabra Tortoise experience is a pretty special one. Not only do you get to feed the tortoises, interact with them and pet them, but you get to give them a bath. Due to the chilly weather on our last visit, Ethan wasn't able to give the tortoises a bath. He had been so very much looking forward to this part of the experience. After the tortoises finish eating, it was bathtime!

I no longer have any living grandparents and my family is very small. Ethan's experiences with relatives are therefore very limited and my aunt -- his great aunt -- has long since been the "leader" of the family. Having her live so far away is difficult, but being able to share these special moments together is so special and such an important thing for Ethan.

It was a pretty great day spent with the tortoises! It was wonderful both being able to observe these incredible animals up close as well as get in some precious family time and memories.

Thank you to the Palm Beach Zoo here in Palm Beach, Florida for this wonderful experience! For more information on the Aldabra Tortoise experience as well as the other experiences offered at the zoo, visit their website here.

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