Before we moved here, I knew a family who had been stationed here for three years and I remember them telling me that there was a penguin exhibit at one of the hotels. In all the time we've been here, I have never heard of the penguin exhibit. I finally googled it this week and discovered it is at the Hilton Hawaiian Village which we have walked all around a dozen times, but never went inside because, you know, we have a house, and we don't go wandering into the hotels willy-nilly. However, after this experience, I might need to go check more of them out!
There is a gorgeous waterfall out front which cascades over a really cool rock formation. Once we were inside, I was astounded to see that there are many shops set up to look like you are wandering through the streets of a charming little village. That's probably why they call it Hilton Hawaiian Village. Duh. I don't know why I didn't wonder about the name before but let me tell you - I'm going back to take pictures and write all about it later. The pool area alone deserves a sonnet. And there's a Christmas ornament I'm itching to go back and get my hands on but the guys didn't want to let me go in any of the shops for fear they'd never make it to the penguin exhibit. I've got to sneak over there before they put away all their Christmas merchandise. Don't tell Kerry, he might try to stop me from spending more money.
The penguin exhibit is small, but a lot of fun to look at. There are turtles and koi in the exhibit. The penguins mostly just seemed to want to stand around and look at each other, but one fellow decided to go for a swim much to the delight of the crowd. I lived in Alaska for three years too, and only saw penguins in the zoo and actually I think they might have been puffins. Know why? 'Cause penguins only live in the southern hemisphere. That's your homeschool lesson for the day.
They also have live flamingos at the Hilton. I thought they were fake. They were standing perfectly still and looked remarkably like lawn ornaments. Then one decided to meander around a bit and I realized they were real. They actually do stand on one leg just like the plastic ones.
On a side note, when I moved into an apartment after college, I found a pink flamingo bathroom set. The shower curtain had flamingos all over it there was a flamingo shaped rug, flamingo shaped soap dish and even a flamingo shaped toilet brush. You would have to take the flamingo by the neck to scrub out the toilet. I thought it was hilarious but my roommate said no.
I'm not bitter.