Sunday, June 19, 2005

Zoo Trip

Can you believe today was our first trip to the zoo as a family? We had wanted to do it last year, but Allison's hate-hate relationship with the stroller at the time provided little incentive for such a trek.

Jeff would want me to state at the outset that he was not 100% behind this idea because the possibility of tantrums ruining the outing was rather great. And when we had to park a million miles away from the zoo on a side street in a bad neighborhood (and still had to pay for the privilege!), our fun family day trip started out on a grumpy note.

We all cheered up soon enough, and had a great time, even though we apparently did not get the memo about Take Your Tattoo to the Zoo day. I can't recall the last time I'd seen so much body art.

The kids seemed to really enjoy the exhibits -- Sean loved the tortoises, the "deer" (that is, the opaki), the lemur (his first comment upon seeing this animal was "Look, it's Zooboomafoo!" -- no, he doesn't watch too much TV, why do you ask?), and the polar bear. Allie liked the condor, so much so that when we were leaving that exhibit, she waved enthusiastically and shouted "Bye, duck!"

A small disappointment was the complete lack of lions and tigers, which had been a big selling point during my motivational speech this morning ("We'll get to see BIG lions and tigers! Won't that be exciting?"). All the carnivores are on vacation until their new home at the zoo is ready, sometime in 2006. Sean did enjoy looking at all the construction equipment, though, and he was unfazed by the lack of actual big-game animals.

Of course, I can't let a perfectly positive outing go unbesmirched by a melancholy thought. I have to confess that zoos make me very sad. I support zoos' conservation efforts, yet I can't help but think that zoo animals should be in their natural habitat (if such a thing even still exists). With the exception of the otters, who always look like they're having a ball, the animals seemed bored and unhappy. Or am I just anthropomorphizing here?

Sheesh -- I wish I could just turn off my brain for just a little while. Anyway. It was still a great day. If you're interested, here a few photos (new Flickr account -- let me know if you can't see the photos).