Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zoo Fun

As a participant in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I will be making my way through the alphabet all month.

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 were really lucky. We lived in southern Illinois at the time and the St. Louis Zoo was 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 was 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:

"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.


  1. I grew up in Cleveland and can't imagine that there is a better zoo on the planet :-)

    Congrats on making it all the way to Z. Time for some hard earned blog rest.

    Cheers - Ellen |

    1. I haven't actually been to the Cleveland Zoo, but I've stood outside. The only thing I actually know about it is it is very small.

      Cleveland is just the go to city to make fun of for some reason.

  2. Congratulations on completing the challenge!
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

    1. Oh dear, sounds like a bad day to have kids there, I can only imagine all the questions from the 6-year-old!

    2. Thank you, Scarlett. It was fun.

      My kids do not remember it. My son seems to remember the trip to the zoo, but no the friskiness of the animals.

  3. Wow, what a hilariously terrible trip. I'm sad to say I've never seen a penguin orgy, or any of the zoo animals mating, for that matter. Though, from your experience, it sounds like I'm not really missing out.

    1. Yeah. We rushed out pretty quickly. I can't imagine I would have stuck around even if the kids weren't there.

  4. LOL, a bad time to visit the zoo. Do the kids remember it? Great time to talk about the birds and the bees. :)
    Happy end to the A to Z!

    1. No. The kids don't remember it. We didn't make much of a fuss about it in front of them, so they probably didn't even notice.

  5. I remember one summer when my husband, two sons, and I visited the St. Louis Zoo. I think we had Grandma along too! It had to be the hottest day of the year. Not very many animals were out to be seen! Maybe we were lucky we didn't go in the early spring!! LOL! Great post

  6. I met up with an old friend a couple of years ago at the zoo and it was one of those stifling hot days. Just not worth it. The animals didn't seem to enjoy it either.


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