Hello, friends! Hope your Sunday has been as fun as mine!
The day started off bright and early (and minus one hour of sleep) with a trip to the National Aviary on the North Side. I was invited to attend a preview of the brunches the Aviary is planning to put on in conjunction with Atria’s, so I met up with my friend Tony and we mainlined some coffee in the breakfast area before we seized our opportunity to hang out with the birds.
Once I’d gotten some coffee in my system, I was ready for the main brunch event. We kicked off the party by hitting up the bar and grabbing some drinks. I ordered a bloody mary and Tony got a mimosa. Both came with fancy garnishes, but the mimosa was way prettier than my bloody mary.
For the brunch itself, there were several different kinds of dishes. I ended up with a little of everything, and everything was tasty. On my plate below, I have fruit, sausage, a mini croissant, a chicken tinga enchilada, organic scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon with lemon caper beurre blanc over a crispy potato pancake. Not pictured (but happily consumed) is seafood quiche florentine, bourbon glazed ham, and french toast.
As we were enjoying our meals, we had a few special visitors, my favorite of whom was Disco the penguin.
I mean, come on. How cute is he?! He totally stole the show and distracted us from our food and drinks, but in the best way. He seemed super-chill (as you can see him relaxing in this picture), and his favorite toy seemed to be his handler’s name tag – he was fascinated by it. So stinkin cute.
After we finished brunch, we were invited to hang out with the birds, so we wandered around for a little while and saw lots of interesting creatures. The penguin area was right outside our brunch room, so that was our first stop. One of the first things I noticed was two penguins who appeared to be making a baby penguin, but this is a child-friendly blog so I’ll spare you those pictures. Instead, we have Elvis:
I’ve been trying long and hard to come up with a good caption for this photo, something about singing, or Elvis leaving the building, but it’s been a tiring weekend and my brain is barely functioning. Feel free to comment with something witty. 🙂
These guys were pretty cute, standing there waiting for their picture to be taken:
And of course we saw flamingos… lots of flamingos.
In my head, I’ve been captioning this next one, “A.C. Slater.” Check out those curls on top of his head!
This fairly enormous eagle spread its wings to show us just how large it really is:
And this guy wins the Most Colorful award:
This stunna strutted his stuff and showed off his sweet plumage to anyone who would look at him:
And this guy… Oh, this guy…
I couldn’t tell if he was flirting with me, or messing with me, but every time I tried to get a picture of him, he’d turn around so I’d get the back end of him instead of his face. Getting a picture of his face required some acrobatics, but he was worth it. Nevermind the fact that I’m 95% sure he’s giving me the bird equivalent of the finger in this picture (look at where his claw is, as he turns his head so I can’t get a shot straight-on):
For some reason, looking at this next bird was super-calming to me. Maybe it’s because he seems to have natural camo? Or maybe it’s the soothing green background and the peacefulness of the tree branches he’s perched on? Not sure, but I really liked this little dude.
And finally, some of the last creatures that we saw on our way out, perfectly positioned to haunt my dreams tonight:
Tony and I had a great time eating, drinking, and hanging with the birds this morning, and it was definitely worth getting up early after a long night of work (and losing an hour of sleep due to the time change).
If you’re interested in enjoying brunch and birds at the same time, the Aviary is planning brunches on the following dates with seatings at 10:30 and 12:30: Easter ( April 16), Mother’s Day (May 14), Father’s Day (June 18), and Brunch with Valentino the Sloth (who was totally sloth-like and entirely inactive when we saw him) (July 23 & August 20). Additionally, there is an Autumn Owl Brunch and a Holiday Brunch with Santa in the works; the dates are TBD. The brunches will be held in the Rose Garden, assuming it’s not 18 degrees outside like it was this morning. 😉
Time to go get ready for Monday. This less than 2 months old owl perfectly sums up how I feel about that:
#MondayFace #ugh 🙂 ❤
** Note: I was invited to attend the preview brunch at the Aviary, but was not compensated, nor asked to write this post. All opinions are my own. **