Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mac, the zoo, and me

Finally, Mac and I went to the zoo! And we had so much fun!

I first want to say that parents should take my advice and wait and bring their kids to the zoo when they're teenagers. Yeah, you miss out on the cute little petting zoo picture, but taking my teen son was awesome- there was no pram to push up hill and over dale, there was no screaming or whining or temper tantrums, there was no explaining or reminding about taking turns, there was no reading every damn sign aloud. We walked around together, he could read stuff himself, he was tall enough to see over all the little kids so we could still get close to the animals and not have to wait. If we wanted to sit, we did. If we didn't want to go somewhere, we didn't. Mac didn't ask for a bunch of over priced zoo memorabilia crap on display. He could find the restroom himself and then come back to collect me from the bench where I was waiting, and he helped take pictures of zoo fun. Taking a teenager to the zoo is far more impressive than taking a screaming, hot, tired, whiny, strapped into a stroller toddler!

We did have a good time. Mac read the map and directed us around. The day was nice- the weather finally cooperated- and we ambled about, even though it was warm enough to have most the animals seeking shade and napping- taking our time doing what we wanted.

Mac's favorite was the Red Panda, (see left) which was the only bear in the entire zoo. He was awake and running around and then would sit up and look at us all. I swear it looks like it's smiling!

I went to the petting zoo and pet a baby goat. Mac would not even get near the area but he took pictures of me. He was too old and too "cool" to go in the petting zoo- maybe because he saw a girl from his high school in there with her little nephew? Anyway, I wasn't too cool so I pet the goats and was going to feed them and I was kneeling down when another one sneaked up behind me and tried to eat my PURSE! I jumped about 10 feet in the air when it nuzzled me and of course Mac got that all on film... He said he wished he would've thought to set the "video" option. I was glad he didn't! Sheesh! And I was then done with Old MacDonald's pettin' zoo farm babies!

Now, I have to say that Mac didn't beg for anything except for... Dippin' Dots ice cream. I don't know what it is about that kid but he LOVES that Dippin' Dots stuff. It's ice cream but in little tiny pebble like form- some people call it astronaut ice cream. He did ask about 4 times for that snack, so we did get a bowl and then sit for a rest on a shady bench and watched the people, some of whom should be caged rather than the animals, I would like to point out.

Mac did make me laugh several times but one got to me. We were walking along and off the beaten path about 30 feet was a cage with some birds. Anyone who wanted to see them really had to go out of their way to cross over to that area and slog through some mud and over a bridge. I pointed to the birds and asked if Mac wanted to see them and he said no. Then he paused, heaved a big ol' sigh and said yes and headed that way. I asked him why the change of mind and he said, "because the birds are probably having self esteem issues since no one is walking over to look at them." Uh-huh. O-kay! I really thought it was rather sweet! (Mac with the birds who might need therapy at right)

We were both bummed that there were no bears (other than the adorable red pandas) and there were no elephants. Maybe another time? I thought years ago there were polar bears, and elephants and even pachyderm that kids could ride, but maybe I'm confusing it with another zoo I've visited.

My favorite were the giraffes. I actually fed the baby giraffe (pictured at left) and man, does that thing have a looooooooooong tongue- ewee! It stuck that tongue out and grabbed the lettuce leaf out of my fingers from about 2 feet away. But the giraffes are so very sweet looking and silly looking. Of course we can't pet them, but they are so adorable! And Mac didn't want to feed the giraffes.

We even went in the reptile house, which took guts for both of us. Me, for the obvious reason because I hate snakes. Mac hates reptile houses because, and I am the worst mother in the world. When Mac was about 6 or 7 we went to a zoo with a huge reptile house and while Mac was looking at a snake and came up behind him and said "boo". I have no idea why in the world I thought it would be fun. I remember we had been "boo"ing each other that whole trip so I don't think I really thought it all the way through. Well, saying a quiet "boo" in the reptile house scared him to death and he started crying and we rushed him out of there. he cried for awhile and wouldn't speak to me or let me hug him with an "I'm sorry." I felt terrible and cried myself. So fast forward 16 years later and we both took a deep breath and walked through the reptile house and survived. I didn't say a word and we walked side by side. I still don't think Mac's forgiven me for the past indiscretion, though. Baby steps...

We also rode a log ride through the Australian Outback part of the zoo and saw the animals from there so we cut down on some walking time. We also rode a ski lift type of thing around the African portion of the zoo and I got some aerial shots of the zebras, which was neat! (see right)

We also laughed that it seemed the animals were doing 3 things: either sleeping or "performing" for the folks watching, or picking bugs off each other or themselves. Every animal that was awake was either grooming or looking at the people and being wacky. It was a little weird.

We saw a monkey that Mac immediately dubbed as Elvis. He is sure Elvis is reincarnated as a monkey. And This guy sorta does look like a monkey version of Elvis with the Pompadour and the long white tail that when spread out looked like a cape with fringe reminiscent of Elvis circa 1977.

Mac was bummed that with all the monkeys we did see, none of them were throwing poo at each other. Don't ask... I didn't.

So all in all, it was a great day. I want to go back sometime in the early fall when the animals might be more awake during the cool weather. But this was good. No complaints here! (And if you want to see some of the zoo pictures we took, click here!)

going crackers for zoo animals,


Curley said...

Glad you finally got to go and that you had a good time. If Mac doesn't want to go next time, give me a call. I would love to go.

Ty-Anna said...

Glad you all had fun! Tell Mac my absolute fav at our zoo is the Red Panda as well and we went on Sunday and I took a pic, just haven't posted them in the blog yet :-)