Tuesday, July 7, 2015

...to enjoy the zoo

...with my little ladies

I have had big plans for our summer.  Museums, zoos, and parks...oh my.  While our days have been busy we haven't even begun to touch my summer bucket list.  The big kids have been occupied with band camp, and cyber-safety camp, and I have been busy schlepping them back and forth to these activities.

But today, today ended up being a 'free' day.  So the little girls and I decided to have a date.

I imagined a leisurely stroll through the gates.
I imagined gazing at giraffes and lions and cheetahs.
I imagined the excitement on my girls' faces.


I have read way too many novels.

We parked no less than a mile from the gate.
It was 85 degrees and humid.
We were hungry.
And it was super crowded.

When we walked through the gate the girls excitedly grabbed their maps and began perusing them...not for the quickest way to make it to the cheetahs but for the short cuts to the snack kiosks.

I think it has been way too long since I have been to a real city zoo.  We have been spoiled by zoos such as the Bear Mountain Zoo near West Point, New York and the Watertown Zoo in Watertown, NY.   These zoos were havens for rescued animals native to the areas they were located.

The Toledo Zoo, upon entering the gates, looks a little more like a toy store or a circus than it does an animal sanctuary.

My initial conversation with the girls upon entering the zoo went something like this:

Abbey:  Can we get our face painted?
Me:  No.
Audrey:  Can we get some Dippin' Dots?
Me:  No.
Abbey:  Can we ride the train?
Me:  No
Audrey:  Can we ride the carousel?
Me:  No.
Abbey:  Can we get a tattoo?
Me:  No.

Audrey:  You just don't want us to have any fun.

Excuse me?  Say what?

At nearly that exact moment my daughter was saved.  She was saved from me lecturing her.  Audrey was saved by some poor little boy who was being screamed at by his mother for not standing with his siblings to take a photo.

My girls couldn't help staring.

I like to think they were being reminded of just how lucky they are.  I am not sure if that is really what they were thinking.   But...

Audrey's response to this situation was this:  I know the way to the giraffes.  I think we just need to go past the picnic tables and straight there.

Let's go.

In spite of our initials issues, our day ended up being just fine.  We saw a few animals, enjoyed our picnic lunch, and watched a bird show (most definitely, the highlight).

Even though they know it means no face painting, no tattoos, no train ride and no carousel ride...

The girls even want to go back again.

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