Thursday, May 3, 2012

A day at the Zoo

I don't know what I was thinking when I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the zoo. They were excited about it. I was terrified of having three kids by myself. I like to go by myself because it gives me the flexibility to take things at my own pace and only visit the animal exhibits I want to see instead of stopping at all of them yet it is nice to have another grown up to talk to or to watch the kids while I take one to the bathroom.

My kids are pretty well behaved. I don't have to worry about them running off or miss behaving. It's just the uncertainty of how Stella will do that has stopped me from taking them on long outings since she was born.

Well, Stella did better than great. I strapped her to the baby carrier front pack and pulled the kids on our new Radio Flyer Wagon. They had a blast riding on it and Stella slept the whole time. I strapped the diaper bag across the back rest of one of the seats so that I didn't have to carry it on me. It wasn't a very wise idea. During one of the times Carson got out of his seat the shoulder strap slid out of the seat without me noticing it. I didn't realize it was missing for a while and once I did we had to retract our steps across half the zoo to see if I could find it. Besides the baby things, the backpack also held my wallet and keys so I was more than a little concerned about getting it back.

The kids thought of it as a speed treasure hunt. Unfortunatelly they didn't get to find the treasure. I decided to say a silent prayer that we may find it and headed for the lost and found by the zoo entrance. Just as I walked in the door the zoo security person was dropping off my bag with the staff. The timing couldn't have been any better. Had I gotten there even two minutes earlier they would not have had my bag. What a relief and what an answer to prayer. All of my documents, my cash and keys were inside just as I had left them.

The fun thing about the zoo is that although the animals don't change much you get to experience something different every time you go. This time the black bear was pretty active pacing the front of his cage. The rhino was also more visible. He was standing above the water looking at the crowd. I felt as if the larger animals (giraffe, elephants, tigers, etc.) were all standing closer than other times.

I didnt' realize I hadn't been to the zoo in two years. A lot has change since then. They have added an outdoor penguin exhibit. They replaced the play sand area by the Outback aquarium with a bird exibit and they built a new amphitheater for bird shows which are supposed to begin on May 5th.

They have also stopped offering the unlimited rides on the zoo train. We used to pay the extra fee for an unilimited ticket and ride the train around the zoo two or three times. The kids really enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure why they stopped offering it. It was a pretty popular option. You  now have to deboard each time and pay for each leg of the trip.

The kids even got to feed the birds seeds on a stick. They thought it was the coolest thing ever. We had to stay until the sticks were bare. It was probably the most fun thing for them of the whole trip.

It was interesting to observe a gorilla try to figure out the use for a plastic bottle. Someone discarted a water bottle inside the monkey area and the gorilla found it. He ripped the lable off, tried biting it, looking through the hole on top  and smelling it. These animals look so human that it's fascinating to watc them behave and interact with one another.

I decided to renew my membership so I expect I'll have several more posts about the zoo over the course of the year.