Friday, September 01, 2006
cool new stuff at the zoo
Yesterday, Dan's first words were "I wanted to keep the car, so we can go to the Aquarium. " I offered that we could take the bus for a trip to the aquarium. When Andy got up, he voted for the zoo. After much negotiation, it was decided we'd go to the zoo.
A trip to the zoo from our house requires two bus rides instead of one. I figured out which bus line we'd need to get us within easy walking distance of the zoo, and we headed out. First we needed to stop at Albertsons to get a snack and some cash for the trip.
Along the way, I explained that we'd need to get bus transfers when we got on the first bus. We arrived at the bus stop to find city workers power-washing the sidewalk and benches, which was cool to see. We got off the bus at the downtown transit depot, checked the map and saw the bus was waiting at the stop -- we ran there only to find the bus without a driver.
A few minutes later, the driver arrived and we got on the bus. Our earlier bus rides had been in the newer reticulated buses the city uses for Rapid Ride; this was a regular older city bus. As usual, the boys chose to sit in the very back seats. Being in older bus, on a more windy route, it was a bumpier ride than the first bus, for which Dan pronounced it more fun that the big bus. As we approached our stop, Dan wanted to pull the cord, then he didn't want and we missed one stop. Andy pulled the cord for the next stop, just maybe 100 ft from the missed stop. Easy walking distance to the zoo.
We had a great time at the zoo, and found a new playset has been erected -- and they've revived the water play area nearby. The boys both got soaked and clambered all over the playset. Andy helped a little toddler girl who was afraid of some of the climbing and wasn't sure she liked the big slide. He was so sweet with her that her Mom commented to me how nice he'd been. We ran into them several more times in our travels around the zoo and every time, Andy smiled and talked to the little girl. He is just so sweet with little kids.
We wandered all over the zoo, from playground and water spouts, to a picnic snack on the grass, to the wild bird show, to polar bears, and bald eagles, looked for and found every snake in the reptile building. Then, we set off for the koalas, by way of the Africa exhibit where Andy wanted to see the klipspringers. We also so a baby hippo with its mother and saw a zookeeper feed the vultures -- saw a couple of them fight over a dead mouse. I was too squeamish to watch, but the boys thought it was cool. We never did see the koalas, because on the way to them, we passed the playground again and it was more attractive to Dan, who had really wanted to see the koalas and the free-flying parakeets who share the building.
Towards the end of our meandering day at the zoo, I discovered that the dollar for my busfare was missing! It must have fallen out of my jeans pocket. I counted up all the change I could dig out of my pocket and we were still 45 cents short of busfare for all three of us! Okay, now Gary would have to pick us up on his way home. Yeah, the zoo isn't really on the way home but it was that or hit the ATM and get change for the bus -- just not worth the trouble.
We left the zoo to meet Gary at the park across the street, then crossed the park to wait and watch some boys play flag football. I realized that Gary couldn't pick us up at the curb there because there was no parking lane, so we trudged on another two blocks. By this time, we were all tired and hungry. Poor Andy acted as if he couldn't possibly walk another step. Thankfully, Gary was along pretty soon, and we were home before anyone perished from hunger and exhaustion.