Back in June of '09 the whole five of us and a few friends took a tour at the Golden Flake plant in Birmingham. Yes, you can actually do this and it's free. Some pictures I took on that trip can be seen here, which is a good thing because they changed the rules and don't allow photographs inside the plant at this time. It's always good to learn where your food comes from and the big bonus to the tour is the free bags of chips and getting to eat some of the foods fresh off the conveyor belt. You haven't had a cheese curl until you've had one that's still warm from being baked.
Today we returned with more of our friends to get our cheese the way nature intended- recently puffed.
|Entrance to the company store|
After the tour our crew took advantage of that North Carolina Aquarium membership and its reciprocal benefits, yet again, at the Birmingham Zoo.
|Why did the chicken cross Alabama?|
One of my favorite parts of the zoo has been and always will be the "petting" zoo section which is usually filled with common barnyard animals or at least domesticated breeds. I'm a sucker for goats.
|I pet this very pig...|
|...and this sheep...|
|...and naturally, this goat|
Jake had to make a pit stop along the way. It's best we not talk about it.
The red fox was as interested in us (Chan in particular) as we were in it.
|I wish my brother George was here|
|The fox checking out Ben|
The zoo was dressed up for Halloween and several character stand-ups were in place around the grounds. This one of Robin was... interesting. Robin looks about 7 months along. Batman, you scoundrel.
Okay, these are my new favorite pig. The red river hog is the Yoda of swine. These are awesome for their ears in much the same way that Inca tern are for their magnificent mustaches.
|My girl on djembe|
|Hand of a dusky leaf monkey|
|I told her "run like Velma"|
These Flamingo were so close that I could have reached out and touched them- but I didn't. Mostly because I don't know much about the beaks of flamingos and how much they might resemble the bills of geese, with which I am much more familiar having been chased by them as a small child. Also geese live to bite small boys right in the wingdango and for all I know flamingos have the same predilection and also some type of exotic double-jointed super power that lets them jump on your head and bite you in the wingdango. Better safe than sorry.
|Come closer, we are peaceful flamingo... OR ARE WE?|
Full picture gallery of other animals whose names I did not learn.