Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Break at the zoo: a top ten

Oh, the adventures we have! We recently had spring break, and thought it might be a good idea to go to the zoo. Eclair insisted, actually. She ALWAYS wants to go to the zoo. It didn't hurt that we had a coupon and she got in for free....

Last time we went to the zoo, it was just her and I. This time we forced the teenagers to go. Primarily, because at the last FHE, Eclair's grievance was that she felt like an only child because the big kids never went on the activities she wanted to do. It was acknowledged that she had a valid point, and now teenagers are required to go on Eclair's activities.

So today, we have for you  a ZOO TOP TEN....

WITH PHOTOS BY BOTH ECLAIR AND MOMMY (see if you can guess which ones are Eclair's!).

10. Traffic was abysmal. Spring Break is the absolute worst time to go to the zoo. If I had had any inkling before we went what the traffic would be like, I would have scheduled this for another day. It took us 20 minutes to travel the last mile to the zoo. Once we reached the parking lot, it took another 20 minutes to park.

When we got into the zoo, it wasn't much better, the gridlock caused by strollers, wagons, wheelchairs and coolers. People brought coolers in for some reason, LARGE ones. I saw a family of four with a wheeled cooler, much larger what we take camping when we are gone for a week or more. What did they have in there, I wonder?  We shoulda brought a cooler so we could have pie and ice cream! I'm a terrible parent: we only brought one bag with water bottles, apples and peanut butter sammiches.

9. YAY for Feeding time! We thought that being there in the afternoon was worse than the morning. Not true. We got to see lots of animals being fed. Strangely enough, the best one to watch was the fruit bats, because of the feats of agility required for them to reach the food and eat without flying....

(due to low light, we only have a photo of the tortoises eating

8.  EWWW for Feeding time! Watching a vegetarian animal eat is far more attractive that watching scavengers eat.

7.We learned that monkey's primarily want to show you their backside. I'm sure that if you have already visited a zoo in your lifetime, you know that this is the least of your worries while viewing monkeys. You never know WHAT they are going to do. In the monkey house I also learned that the monkeys actually smelled BETTER than some of the zoo patrons.

6. Hogle Zoo is in the midst of incredible upgrades. Thus, the train was out of commission, sad day. The finished exhibits are wonderful. The only downside here is that Harbor Seals and Sea Lions in their natural-ish habitats are fast. Too fast to photograph in most cases.

5. Many parents at the zoo are completely oblivious. They must be so engrossed by the exotic animals that they forget that the BROUGHT CHILDREN WITH THEM..... case in point: the gentleman pushing a double-wide rented stroller with no children in it. Priceless was the look on his face when he realized his twin three year old boys were not in the stroller, but were busy shoving me out of the way while they tried to get under the fence to see some rhinos. Another, the oblivious mother whose three year old boy was on a leash. He was six feet ahead of her, diving through the crowd in the monkey house. Behind her was trailing a rented zoo wagon, filled with fruit snacks and water bottles and umbrellas and stuffed animals (there was no room for the poor child). As she was pulled through the crowd by her child, she had no regard for the people she was passing, and plowed into people with the wide wagon that was following her. All in all, she was a 16 foot long train of destruction, damaging everyone in her path. When she came to a stop in front of the gorilla exhibit, no one could get anywhere near, as she was taking up the entire front of the exhibit with her one child and his wagon train.

4. The zoo is an easy place to get photobombed. Halfway through this photo, this woman realized she was in the way. This is her "You can't see me I'm invisible" pose. She came up and apologized for walking though my photo, and we both died laughing when I showed her the photo.

3. Spring is a great time to go to the zoo, because of the baby animals. Eclair was in alt. She must have said "LOOK at the cute baby!" sixty seven MILLION times.

2. Everyone has their favorite animal to see at the zoo. For Eclair, it was all of them. Each and every animal was her favorite, especially the reptiles. She says her favorite is the giraffes, but that might just be because it is her best friend's favorite. She took more pictures of the snakes and lizards, though.

1. There was this woman who had a really really bad dye job on her hair. It was RED. Not the shade of red you would expect to see on a middle-aged plus-sized woman - not auburn,  or titian, or ginger. RED. Like the primary color. Like the American flag. Like the Kool Aid man. After a bit of hiking, uphill and down again on the south side of the zoo, she came to  rest on the bench at the bottom of this hill. Sweat was streaming down her face. Red sweat.  A passing young zoo employee passed her going uphill, then doubled back in alarm.
"Do you need some help?" she asked .
"No, I'll be okay in a minute." REDhead replied
The employee had already pulled out a radio, and says "I'll just call for the paramedics just in case"
The REDheaded woman, wiping red sweat from her face says "No, it's just my hair color coming off."
"Oh!" says the zoo employee, relieved. "I thought we were going to need an ambulance!"

I almost DIED laughing. I'm the one who needed an ambulance.

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