Last week, I got a special invitation from Dunkin’ Donuts. I was invited to be one of the 4 local bloggers participating in #DDgoesBananas! This was a blast! Each of the bloggers got to bring one guest–in my case, it was my husband.
We met for breakfast at a South Miami Dunkin’ Donuts. Aside from the horrendous traffic getting there, it was great. Once there, we were greeted by Scott Ball, a local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee. He owns 10 of them! WOW! Can you even imagine? He took everyone’s order for breakfast but also brought out a box of the new donut–Monkey See, Monkey Doughnut–a banana cream filling topped with chocolate icing and shaved Reese’s cups. It was tasty!
Then we got to see the inner workings of a Dunkin’ Donuts–BEHIND THE SCENES! It was awesome. We saw the ovens were the bake the donuts, the machines that hold the filling to be injected into the donuts, even the refrigerator and freezer. A few of us even got to work the Drive Thru Window!
Then we were off for the short ride over to Zoo Miami where we were welcomed by Cindy Castelblanco, Director of Marketing and Integrated Communications. She walked us through zoo’s administrative offices and put us into golf carts to start the day. I rode with Eric Stephans, the Zoo Director. As we zoomed by, he gave me a lot of information on the amazing renovations and upgrades going on at Zoo Miami.
We started at the exhibit called Amazon & Beyond. The entrance was called Village Plaza. This is an exciting place with fountains to play in, a cafe, and a gift shop. It also had very cool music. We entered the Cloud Forest exhibit, where we were introduced to the howler monkeys. Now, I was NOT familiar with howler monkeys, but they are considered to be one of the loudest land animals, with a howl that can be heard for miles. One of the monkeys, Ava, was celebrating a birthday and her keepers had made special “donuts” for the occasion, full of stuff that monkey love. They put them out for her and while she ate the banana garnish, she didn’t really touch the donuts. I’m sure that she got busy once we left. Here is also where we met Zoo Miami’s Director of Communications, Ron Magill. What a guy! He passed out boxes of the Monkey See, Monkey Doughnut donuts that we had for the staff.
From there, we headed over to the Orinoco crocodiles. We were allowed into their feeding area, out of the sight of common zoo visitors. These four crocs are fed 3 fish each, twice a week and we were allowed to view it. One by one, they were led out into a concrete pool area, then fed. They looked wayyy scary!
We then got to go into the Aquarium building where we whisked up and actually able to stare down into the 50,000 gallon tank that housed all kinds of fish and water animals. When I wondered who was charged with cleaning such a huge tank, we were told that because it doesn’t get sun, they have no problem with algae and the such. We also saw a freshwater sting ray outside in a separate tank.
Then the group got to touch and feed Johnny the Rhino. We each took turns rubbing his leathery skin and feeding him branches and leaves. Finally, our day was over. We were exhausted. I can’t wait to visit Zoo Miami again!
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