Chapter: Disney Animal Surprises
With Renee and Echo ready, James had to rush to get ready to go the Disney's Animal Kingdom for their tours.
James hasn't told Renee that they were going to get a special behind the scenes tour and a Safari. The Safari was going to make a special stop at Renee's favorite animal. James managed to get a tour that no one has had before. They don't let the guests usually feed the animals or work with the keepers but he somehow managed special permission to do just that with the Okapi. The park just had a baby born and its mom rejected it so it is being bottle fed. Renee had no idea that she gets to bottle feed a Okapi baby.
That was just one surprise for her on this particular day. James gathers Renee and Echo and they all head to the door of their room. Getting to the Monorail just in time for the three of them to get to sit in the front with the conductor. Renee couldn't have been happier with that development.
Getting to Disney Animal Kingdom a little early, James guides both Renee and Echo to Guest Services to check-in for their tour. The first tour they went on was a Safari with a personal guide and just James, Renee, and Echo. Renee knew that her canine would be the perfect guest and she was right. Echo just laid down in the Jeep and didn't make a peep.
By the end of the tour Renee had pointed out all the animals they had. Somehow she identified animals that were far away and the species hiding in their environment. In each area Renee or the guide spotted the following animals:
Sunset Savanna: Male Giraffe, Bongo, Impala, Thompsons Gazelles, Ostrich, Ankole Cattle, Waterbuck, African Crown Cranes, Wood Stork and Blue Cranes.
Arusha Savanna: Pelicans, Geese, Giraffe, Ankole Cattle, Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Gemsbok
Uzima Savanna: Giraffe, Impala, Greater Kudu, Bongo, Blesbok, Thompsons Gazelles.
Renee was standing in the back of the Jeep squealing and pointing the animals out to James. He was very impressed with the number of species that Renee not only spot but identify correctly.
After the hour and a half tour, they get dropped back off at guest services. The three had a little wait for their other tour. To kill time, they wandered through the gift shop for their own special pins.
Their wait was only about half an hour. Renee still has no idea the surprise that was in store for her. Their new guide walks out and introduces himself.
"Hi, my name is Greg Callen," he reaches his hand out to shake their hands.
"Hi, I'm Master Sergeant James O'Shea United States Marine Corps, and this is Master Sergeant Renee O'Shea my new wife. Just call us James and Renee. I'm still getting use to civilian introductions. I only recently stopped being deployed," James says with a shy smile.
Renee heard James talk and walked up behind him to shake Greg's hand too.
"Hi, I'm Renee and this here is Echo she is a retired police dog now she is my PTSD service dog. Don't worry about her, you will not even notice that she is even there," Renee says as she shakes the hand of their guide.
With introductions done, the three guests load up in the Jeep and head off on another adventure. The main animal they were visiting with and learning about is the African Elephants. Renee loved the animals. She knew where they were going before they get their. According to Renee she could smell the Elephants from a mile away. Driving back to the front their guide took a different route.
"Wait, where are we going?" Renee asks James when she figured out their little detour.
"You will have to wait and see but I know you are going to flip when you find out what we get to do," James tells her as he gently kisses her.
It didn't take long to get to their second location. Renee still had not figured out that they were at the Okapi exhibit nor about the little one on the other side.
The animal that they were seeing finally dawned on Renee right as they walked into the building. Walking into the area she spotted a baby Okapi. When she saw it she rounded on James.
"Baby, its my favorite animal species ever. How did you know. They are critically endangered and only a handful of breeding programs exist outside of Africa," she tells James in a very excited manner.
At that moment she noticed a keeper bringing the baby a very large bottle of formula. Before the keeper got their she turned to talk to the newcomers.
"You must be the newlyweds that managed an impossible tour. Would you by any chance want to help with this feeding time. His mommy rejected him and it sounds like you really love this species. Most people have never even heard of the Okapi let alone any information about them," the keeper finishes as she extends her hand with the bottle towards Renee.
"Really? You will let me do that?" Renee quietly speaks so not to scare the baby.
"Not normally but as I said you managed an impossible tour," the keeper says as she winks at Renee.
The keeper then guides Renee up to the baby and tells the Marine how to feed the little one his bottle. The whole time Renee was clearly barely able to contain her excitement. When the baby was fed Renee and the keeper talked for a while about their mutual love for a species no one else even heard of. While Renee and the keeper talked James and Echo just watched.
When they finished with their two tours the three of them continued to explore Disney's Animal Kingdom. Since they planned on spending at least two days in each park with just the two of them. An additional two days with the kids. With as much time to spend they were in no hurry to rush through the park. Renee had no idea the tomorrow James had arranged two tours at Disney's EPCOT Center.
For now the three of them were very tired and hungry. Before they left the park they went to eat an early dinner. Deciding on Jiko- the Cooking Place, Renee ordered a Botswana-style Beef Short Rib with Hominy, Sea Peas, Butternut Squash and Mushrooms. Echo got some grilled chicken, and James got the Sustainable Vulcan-spiced Fish. Which is Black Grouper with Succotash, Green Papaya, Radish and a Tomato-Butter Sauce. Neither Renee nor James were disappointed with their dinner. The food was too die for. Wanting to get a special dessert, James and Renee order one from the same place. James let Renee pick dessert and she picked the Braai Brownie. Which is Valrhona Nyangbo Dark Chocolate Brownie with Braai Spice, Valrhona Tanariva Milk Chocolate Chantilly, Kenyan Coffee Streusel, Vanilla Marshmallow, and Raspberries. The dinner alone was worth going into the park according to both Renee and James.
With their bellies stuffed James, Renee, and Echo walk slowly to the bus stop in order to get to the Transportation center. From there they were going to take the Monorail to their hotel. Like the night before they did a loop then got off at their hotel the second time around.
Not getting back to their room until late, James dropped off their breakfast order to the front desk.