We continued on to Durham, where we went to the Museum of Life & Science, which we had decided required a visit after seeing photos of all their animals in their brochure. The indoor main area of the museum has a minerals display, exhibits on weather and earthquakes, spacesuits, a giant ant colony, and some brain games, but we spent nearly all our time in three outside areas: the farmyard (which has sheep, goats, cows, pigs, etc.), the butterfly house (which also has insects and local stream animals), and the wetlands (which also has trails to habitats for bears and lemurs). It started to pour while we were watching the lemurs play, so we ran back to the little cafe where we'd had ice cream and drinks earlier and hid under the overhand until it stopped.
I'd been tweeting that we were in Durham, and I got a reply from my college friend Karen whom I had thought lived elsewhere in North Carolina saying that she was ten minutes from where we were, so we agreed that we really should meet for dinner since we hadn't seen each other in more than ten years (she was at my wedding but we'd spoken very infrequently in the past decade before Facebook put us back in touch, and I'd never met her husband before tonight; complain all you like about privacy issues etc., I am so grateful to Facebook for several renewed relationships like that). We met at a Thai restaurant where I had excellent panang tofu and spicy coconut soup, plus some of Adam's pad see ew and Paul's drunken noodles, and Karen brought me a stuffed koala from her recent visit to Australia!
The walkway over the wetlands at the Museum of Life & Science.
We saw such wonderful creatures as recently rescued Appalachian black bears...
...and Madagascar lemurs (those of you who have met our cat Daisy know that she is part lemur).
We also visited the butterfly house...
...and the farm, where these bunnies were trying to keep cool between a pair of water bottles.
The temperature dropped 10 degrees after the skies opened up.
We made our way back to the main building, where we got to pet this snake.
Here are Paul and myself with Karen and Jeremy (and here are myself and Karen with the koala she brought me).