Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Z" is for Zoo

When my children were younger, (by younger I mean young enough that they still appreciated their father and hadn't learned how to talk back yet) we would take weekly road trips. I had a job where I worked long hours and didn't see the family much during the week, but I always had weekends off and we liked to spend it on the road. Every Saturday, we would load up the car, head to Huck's to grab some gas station road trip food (mini tacos, egg rolls, sodas, etc.) and hit the road.

Some days, we ended up in a state park. A few times we stumbled onto a small town festival. Other times, we would drive into a big city. Often, we didn't even have a destination in mind when we left the house. We would just pick a direction and start driving. I loved these trips.

One particular Saturday, we decided to head to the zoo. When it comes to zoo trips, we are really lucky. We live in southern Illinois and the St. Louis Zoo is less than 90 minutes away. This is the zoo I grew up going to and it spoiled me for other zoos. It is ranked as one of the best zoos in the entire country, so I always end up disappointed when I am visiting someone in another part of the country and we end up at a lesser zoo. Our zoo is awesome. Suck it, Cleveland.

I was particularly excited for this trip because my kids were at that magical age. Kirsten was two and Christian was six. They would think the animals were the coolest things in the world to get to see. Plus, it was spring time and we had been looking forward to getting out of the house after the long winter.

Once we got there, we headed to the exhibit I always insist that we visit first. THE PENGUINS! I love penguins. I always have. This practice of seeing the penguins as soon as we get there first started when I was a child and I still do it when I go back to visit. After I see the penguins, I don't care where we go. I am happy.

I couldn't wait to share these magnificent birds with the kids and hurried them into the penguin house. As soon as we got inside, I unstrapped Kirsten from her stroller, put her up on my shoulders and turned around to see this:


Chicka-Chicka-Wa-Waa
"OK, let's see what's happening on the other side of the enclosure."

We moved further down to get away from the happy couple and were met with another public penguin porn performance. However, this time it was more like a penguin orgy. There were at least half a dozen penguin couples getting an early jump on the day…and each other. As much as I love penguins, I decided that maybe we should come back later. I don't allow guests in my bedroom to watch without paying admission and since the St. Louis Zoo is free, this just didn't feel right. Plus, I had my kids with me.

We worked our way up the hill to Big Cat Country to take in the jungle cats. My kids lost interest in the leopard pretty quickly because it just sat there.  The panther couldn't be seen, but the tigers were much more playful.


In the very next enclosure, the lions were up to the same thing. My wife commented that the animals seem to be enjoying the spring time weather as much as we were.

About 20 minutes later, we learned that the monkey house was not the place to be right now either. I will spare you the pictures. They are much more graphic.

We left the zoo after being there less than two hours, but in that time we got to see elephants, buffalo, three different species of bear, antelopes and even snakes getting it on. We decided that in future years, we would wait until later in the season to visit the zoo.




Happily participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For the entire month of April, 1,656 bloggers are working their way through the alphabet. One letter every day but Sundays for a total of 26 days.

Click here to visit the website and get more information to see if you might want to join in next year. It's a lot of fun, introduces you to hundreds of new blogs and gives your writing some fantastic exposure.

YAY!!! I made it!!!

26 comments:

  1. They should have something posted at the gate at certain times of the year lol.

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  2. Congratulations in completing the A to Z Challenge.

    Yvonne
    A to Z AMBASSADOR.

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  3. OMG Too Funny!! And you captured it all on film? That's priceless! The only comparison I can make is that the zebras were getting frisky and my nephew asked what that big thing hanging down from the zebra was. Yeah we moved on to the next pen pretty quickly.

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    1. It's all about picking the right day.

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  4. Well if you go to the zoo in the spring time what did you think the animals would be doing? If you'd have waited a bit later they would have all be smoking a cigarette. Bwahahahahahahaha.

    I think the San Diego Zoo would be at or near the top of a great zoo list. I've always enjoyed visiting there.

    I loved the video. A. Lot.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. After the fact, it makes sense. It just never occurred to me until it happened.

      I have heard San Diego is the best in the country. St. Louis is ranked as #3.

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  5. I'm no zoologist but that tiger seems to be getting it on with a female lion. Is this possible?

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    1. That is what it looked like to me also.

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  6. hahaha. That is some kind of luck, getting to the zoo on hump day. I've seen some animals enjoying each others company before, but never so many in one day. I'd be looking headed to the fish area if I were you.

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  7. That sounds like quite the magical trip!!! Springtime is a hellova drug.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  8. Ah springtime.. the blue skies, the sunshine and lots of baby makin'. Talk about unfortunate timing. But at least you can laugh about it now right?
    Elliot
    We Are Adventure

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    1. We laughed about it then...as soon as we left.

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  9. Wow, that's crazy! We've happened upon the occasional mating, but the entire zoo?? Obviously it didn't affect Kirsten, but was your son asking questions?

    That Panda video was great :)

    Congrats on finishing! Aren't we all so happy?!

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    1. If I remember right, they didn't really seem to notice.

      I am so happy to have this behind me.

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  10. Ohmygosh. That was NOT what I was expecting when I clicked the link to open your blog. I'm both hysterically amused and very disturbed.

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    1. And congrats on making it through another Challenge! Thank you, again, for telling me and reminding me about it. I really had a lot of fun.

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  11. YOU CAN'T SAY SUCK IT TO THE CLEVELAND ZOO!! We have to take it for the Browns and the Indians and soon enough again I'm sure the Cavs, but damn it, our zoo is awesome...

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    1. Sorry. I never actually went inside. I stood outside the gates and said, "I am NOT paying to go in here."

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  12. Very funny post. So many blogs, so many posts. Just now finding yours. Loved it. Congrats on finishing a to z.

    Cynthia (The Sock Zone)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. The last couple of weeks I fell way behind on comments and visiting other blogs. It got a little crazy.

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  13. I just nominated you for a Liebster award. It's basically a chain letter, so no offense taken if you ignore it, but I thought I'd like you know that I think your blog is awesome.

    http://www.alioffthemark.com/2013/05/its-spring-cleaning-time-bitches.html

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    1. Thank you. I will be by to check it out.

      Delete

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