Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More August Adventures

Some other fun adventures we have had in the last 2 weeks . . .

Lions and Seals and Bones - Oh My

The Dinosaur Park of Meze

It turns out that Meze, the closest large town to Bouzigues, is also rich in paleontological history. They have a very kid-friendly Dinosaur Park filled with dinosaur skeletons, exhibits, and reconstructions.

We learned that the smallest dinosaur egg ever discovered was discovered in Meze as was the largest dinosaur nest of eggs every discovered. Cool! This has re-inspired the family interest in fossil hunting. We have to do some research and see where we should go to look for fossils.

When we went to La Cirque de Moureze, we found a preserved paleontological site where a huge dinosaur was discovered. All four of us are fascinated with the idea that we could find some really cool fossils around here! We don’t expect to find our own dinosaur – but we can dream.

The Montpellier Zoo

This was quite an interesting zoo. First, it was free, which is extraordinary around here! Second, it was like taking a hike and getting lucky enough to see animals on the way. The enclosures are spaced very far apart, and they are very large. The animals have a lot of room to roam – and to hide. We saw bears, lions, zebras, lemurs (the lemur house was cool – complete with half eaten rats from the lemurs’ lunches!), and other critters.

After the tiger incident in San Francisco last Christmas, Mike and I were noticing the barriers between the animals and the people in Montpellier. I don’t think the Montpellier barriers would pass the US requirements. Hopefully no one here tries to taunt the leopards.

The Seaquarium of Le Grau-du-Roi

We of course have been spoiled in Santa Cruz with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so we left all expectations at the door when we entered this small Seaquarium. It has some gorgeous fish displays, and it has a really, really cool shark tunnel! You literally walk right under the sharks, and then you get to look down on them, too.

As we were walking under the sharks, the view was so clear and close that I noticed that you can definitely tell a boy shark just by looking! A little too much information perhaps? J

They also have a seal and sea lion tank where you can watch them swim from above and through a glass tank. There was an adorable seal who was playing with the kids – seriously! Josey could put her hand on the glass, and he would put his nose on her hand and follow it around whereever she moved it. It was really cute. They named him/her Mr. Flippers, and they were entertained by that seal for at least 20 minutes.

I didn’t realize that the Seaquarium is right on the coast of the Meditteranean! We didn’t bring our swim stuff, and we were bummed. We could have swam right there!

On the way to the Seaquarium, we saw tons of flamingos, too. That was amazing! They are in small bodies of water right along the roadways – flocks of them. Max especially loves the flamingos.

The town/city of Le Grau-du-Roi reminds me of Venice Beach. It’s very, very touristy, since it is literally on the Med. Lots of restaurants, touristy shops, people, hotels/condos, etc.

All pictures in this blog are brought to you by Josey! She received her Sony camera from Grandma Pat in May. She has taken 496 pictures since then. A shutter-bug is born. We will upload her pix to our Flickr site soon.

Love to all!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I'm so thrilled you're keeping this blog! It is a wonderful way for the rest of us to live vicariously. But do let us know the nitty-gritty, too - are the kids going to school? Have they made any friends? Do they like the food? How are you guys doing your workouts!?! How did you come to choose this particular village? It's all so fascinating and inspiring.
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous. And I miss you!