Today, the day before Mother’s day, was forecast to be a glorious day – in more ways than just the weather! We started the day in that spirit with egg sandwiches cooked outside on the grill. Tom headed to the shower house while I headed for the shower in the Silvermine. By 10:00 we were ready to go – a bit early by the schedule!
We also got a message from Caleb that he and Halie were on the road to Cincinnati. (Caleb zipped me a picture of Halie to show that she was ready!)
And he sent me a selfie once they were in the car!
Our first stop was at the Party Source to buy our favorite (Portuguese) Lancer’s wine . . . and a commemorative bottle of champagne with flutes and chocolates for . . . you’ll have to wait to see why we needed that! Then, on to the Newport Aquarium right in the middle of the outdoor plaza Newport on the Levy – always a busy place. The Cincinnati skyline offered a backdrop while we waited for the rest to arrive.
Next to arrive were Caleb and Halie -- easy to spot as they rolled through the plaza. While we waited for Halie's family, I took some pictures of the cute couple.
And, of course, Caleb and Halie took some selfies!
Shortly, coming down the steps to join us were Halie's mother, Teresa; Father, Rocky; and grandmother, Pat. Hugs and greetings all around!! Knowing that sister Heather and boys Lynden and Leelan were close by, we went into the aquarium.
As we picked up our tickets (pre-ordered by Caleb) he informed us that we were given complementary tickets to visit the back-stage of the Penguin exhibit at 2:30. (Hummmm -- what could be so special at the Penguine house?) We had just enough time to do the loop around the aquarium – through the World Rivers exhibit, past the Shark Ray display, on to the Shore Gallery, and finally to the new Seahorses show. Past that we strolled Gator Alley and the Frog Bog, and ended up at the Jellyfish Gallery and Shark Bridge. . . . just in time for the 2:30 Penguin encounter.
I could go on and on with pictures of the sea life -- but that would be a tease, and I am anxious to get to the purpose of this trip! I did grab this nice photo of Halie's family: Teresa, Rocky, Heather, Pat, Leelan and Lendan!
Several young ladies prepped us for the encounter in the penguin enclosure, giving us all the rules of behavior and touching and a little background bio on each bird. Then our little friends lined up to greet us, and we entered the pen.
Penguins came up to be petted (always with a two finger stroke) and we learned about each little personality -- some were shy, some more inquisitive, one a little ornery -- Green Bean got put in a "time-out" box for not sharing toys! All of the penguins had names and colored bands to identify them.
After a bit Caleb seemed to focus on business other than the penguins and moved into position to face Halie. This was a subtle signal, while our penguin keeper handed Caleb an envelope -- The Penguins paint with their feet, and had made a little art-work that, on the back side, said: "Will you marry me?" There was a moment of preparation for Caleb while he got out the ring and got ready for his speech. Tom got it all on video! (Turn up the volume to here all the sweet words!)
There was a moment when I was holding my breath, watching Halie to see if she said “yes” and trying to take pictures! Oh sweet moment when it appeared that he pulled it all off! Everyone recorded the moment and it was sealed with a KISS!
Leaving a very successful encounter with the penguins, we all trooped across the street from the Aquarium to the Hofbrauhaus House and the outdoor beer garden to celebrate.
The party split up and Tom and I returned to the Silvermine to savor the memories. I would say "welcome to the family, Halie," but the truth is that Halie has been a beloved part of the Brown family since we first met her in the fall of 2014. Enjoy the rest of the journey, Caleb and Halie!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown