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November 4, 2011

Biodome! Biodome! What in the World Is a Biodome?

When John was reading through a Montreal guidebook and told me there was a biodome we could visit, my first thought went to a Pauly Shore movie, circa 1995, that I never even saw. Once he told me it was a kind of zoo situation—and there were penguins—I got much more excited.


For most of our trip the biodome was a kind of plan B. We walked around the old part of the city for the better part of our stay. But eventually, it was so cold and we’d already walked so far from the hotel for smoked meat and croissants (separately) that we hopped on the subway to spend a little time indoors.


The biodome is like a zoo and a botanical garden at the same time. We walked through four (or five, according to the website) different ecosystems that recreate various environments in the Americas. We started with a tropical rainforest, and the heat and humidity were very welcome to my chilly fingers and toes! Jacob couldn’t have cared less about the heat, but he loved the fish! Next stop: NYC Aquarium.



We then walked through a couple of zones that showed off some of the wildlife you’d expect from Canada—a lynx, birds, more fish. We only saw the otter for a minute, but man, oh man, was he cute.


Finally, we got to the part I’d been waiting for. We put Jacob’s hat on him and entered the “Sub-Antarctic Islands” ecosystem.


It was like he had finally come home.


First he made himself comfortable in a giant replica penguin egg.



Then he read up a little bit on his feathered friends.



And then he had a heart-to-heart with a couple of puffins, which seemed to be what the trip was really all about anyway. Usually Jacob’s all about the animals that move, but these little guys were totally still. Sometimes, the soul just knows where to look for a connection.



Although we would have had a great time at the biodome even without a toddler, he certainly made things more interesting.



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