In the early Fall Peppy and I heard that the Jack Hanna was going to be coming to Huntsville for 'Into the Wild Live,' and we both mentioned how awesome we thought it would be to go. We both were big Hanna fans when we were younger. And even now we DVR his Wild Countdown that comes on every Saturday and watch it with Gage. I've always liked him because he doesn't care about being a dork...in a good way. He shows so much enthusiasm with everything he does. And he almost seems to have a childlike wonder when it comes to animals. I love it!
But like all of our good intentions, this one was forgotten. Until about a week ago when we saw another advertisement for the live show. And then the night before the show we finally got around to buying tickets. They were on the row right before the very last, although it wasn't that bad because they still had a cameraman and a screen for those of us poor souls in the nosebleed section.
We didn't tell the boys. We just told them if they behaved during church on Sunday morning we would take them to do something fun. I wish I had gotten a picture of Gage's face when we told him we were going to see Jack Hanna. In person. That very day. He ran up and gave me a big hug, and kept thanking Peppy over and over.
I would like to tell you that Owsley was extremely well behaved during the show, but that would not be true. He wasn't bad, he was just tired because we had a long weekend already and he didn't want to sit still. Peppy got up with him twice, but I did hear some screaming kids throughout the auditorium who's parents just let them sit there and cry. I can never understand who does something like that. If your kid is being a brat, take them out. It's that simple.
Anyway, it was really interesting. They played clips from Jack Hanna's travels, as well as brought out about 20 different animals onto the stage. My favorites were the penguin and sloth. The whole show was about two hours. When it was over, Jack mentioned that he had to go to a meeting for about twenty minutes, but if anyone wanted to wait around for pictures and autographs he would come out as soon as he could. And Gage wanted to wait. We ended up having to wait in line for a little over an hour. I got to entertain Gage by telling him (not so very) scary stories, including the 'popcorn ghost' who will spit kernels at you. I kind of think I lucked out in getting to wait with Gage. Peppy and his dad were left having to keep Owsley occupied.
It was so worth waiting in line with Gage. I asked him later if it was more exciting meeting Santa Claus or Jack Hanna, and he said Jack Hanna. He's been talking about it nonstop since Sunday night. And Peppy must have been lurking in the shadows, because the moment that we were at the front of the line he comes popping up behind us. He wanted to meet one of his childhood heroes too.
If that isn't an authentic smile, then I don't know what is.