The highlight of this week was definitely our trip to the zoo! It was our first time in years, but we hope to repeat it frequently now that we have a family pass again. This was Rachael’s gift to the family for Christmas last year, but fortunately the clock didn’t start ticking until we used it for the first time. Don’t ask me why we waited so long – it’s a long and sordid story of gas prices, out of town trips, and procrastination.
I pulled out my phone to snap photos and – wouldn’t you know it?! – the camera was broken. It’s under warranty but this is the 5th time since July and I WANTED PHOTOS. Thankfully Deanna’s phone camera was working so she snapped some good ones, but I am going to press for a new phone this time instead of yet another repair.
The zoo was was wonderful, though I was only able to take 7 of the kids this time. It was a first for one or two of the youngest – I don’t remember just how long it’s been. It was a perfect fall day – just a little chilly, but warming just to perfection as time passed. Parker studied each animal with his own brand of quiet delight, pointing and jabbering softly to himself and whoever was holding him.
Apparently somebody saw us, too. An occasional reader emailed me later that day to say she had spotted us but didn’t recognize us until later. (Note to self: quit procrastinating and answer some email, starting with that one!)
In the new Africa exhibit, we started out at the aquarium, spending several long minutes studying the hordes of fish. There were big black oscars like the one my parents had when I was little, and cichlids like the older kids remembered from our own tank 10 years ago. We watched them move about the tank, many of them nibbling at two huge boulders in the center of the tank. Finally we moved on, looking for more exciting animals.
As we left the exhibit, Rachael tugged at my skirt. ”Mom, are those hippos?” I looked again at the massive boulders. They had little tails right in the center. And feet at the bottom. Facepalm. Hippo butts.
We had a good look at an impressive Nile Crocodile in the tank next to the hippos. He had double rows of upright scales down the length of his heavily muscled tail, and after a few minutes he slowly opened his jaws wide, showing off rows of gleaming white teeth. Perry loved him, but I held Parker up to see and his reaction was very different. He made scared noises and desperately signed, “”All done! All done!”
Bethany learned that elephants are actually much larger than anteaters. Maybe she won’t confuse the two from now on.
I intended to spend just a couple of hours there, but before we knew it the clock struck 2. On our way to the exit, we came across a sandy [man-made] river where kids were invited to splash, play and even swim. I’m not sure if the zoo actually intends for children to take them up on the offer this late in the year, but I’m a cool mom every now and then. It was over 60 degrees (or close enough) and most of my kids had a change of clothes in the van. I let them splash around and get their legs wet, and we called it a day.
We ended with our traditional group photo on the lion sculptures at the entrance/exit. Deanna was with us too, but insisted on being behind the camera.
Searches that lured unsuspecting visitors into our web on the web:
- reasons to have children, immediately after a search for reasons for headaches. The first often shows up with searches for how to remove a toilet tank, too. Is there a connection? Is the pope Catholic?
- fun with dry ice – this wasn’t funny, but was fun and gets lots of google searches. Maybe you’d like to see it?
- nursing giveaway – I’m not giving away any nursing. You’re gonna have to get up in the middle of the night with your own kid.
What did your week look like?