Sunday, April 29, 2018

Z - Zoo Fun

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 springtime 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 springtime 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. That really looks like a tiger mounting a lion. Liger anyone? I hear they have magical qualities!

    1. I don't really know what's going on there.

  2. That is an absolutely ridiculous (and completely brilliant) video. :-D
    But enquiring minds want to know, did you go home from the zoo feeling like the universe was trying to tell you something?
    (*insert politely arched eyebrows here*)

    1. Took care of that behind the Big Cat snack shop.

  3. OMG what a day to be at the zoo. Awkward!
    I've never been much of a zoo fan but recently I went with my baby niece Gubby and just thanks to her it was all so much more exciting than what it usually is for me!

    ~ Saraallie
    Sara Writes ~ The Crazy Life of a Silly Little Sister

    1. It is more fun with children. The only time I have been as a adult without kids in tow was when we moved to China. We went to see the pandas at the Beijing zoo.

  4. Hopefully you've heard the elaborate zoo joke that ends with a guy being arrested for "transporting young gulls across a sedate lion for immoral porpoises".
    If not I'm sorry to have spoiled the punchline, although you can probably reverse-engineer the joke from there.
    The sad thing is I've been to both St. Louis and Cleveland and haven't been to the zoo in either city. Now I need to go back and compare both and confirm that Cleveland can suck it.

    1. I have not heard that joke, but I can imagine how it went.

      I've never actually been to the Cleveland Zoo. I was visiting Cleveland once and we decided to go to the zoo. We got there and were standing outside and I cold see how tiny the place was. AND THEY CHARGED ADMISSION!

      St Louis Zoo is amazing and it is free. I wasn't about to actually pay to go to a sub-standard zoo.

  5. Be glad your kids were as little as they were. A few years older and that would have been soooo awkward!!!

    1. And as they got older, they really enjoyed making every situation as awkward as possible.


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