Saturday, June 21, 2008

Zoo for a Few

Today was yet another adventure for my Chioma... she wanted something new and interesting.  I wanted something inexpensive.  Technically, the zoo serves both purposes as it includes a cheap train ride on Metro, a brisk walk, a few bucks here and there for drinks or snacks, and the unpredictability of animals and fellow zoo goers. 
train ride going
We arrived at the Metro around 12 pm and were at the zoo by 2pm. 
the day begins
It could have been a better trip if I'd splurged and paid the $2 for a map... but I was cheap and didn't think I needed that souvenir. Ha! The zoo is a maze of hills and stairs and closed exhibits, and most of us mapless folk audibly uttered "I should have bought a map" at least once during the journey. And the folk with maps were non too eager to share or even offer advice about how to get to anything. They acted like a secret cult of knowledge speaking in whispers and hand points and then vanishing to various exhibits in front of the crowds and without the major detours the mapless seemed privvy to. Live and learn, I guess.
gorilla play
For five hours, Chi and her camera captured each exhibit's inhabitants. She didn't complain about the walking, rarely sat in the stroller, and only needed two bathroom runs (thank goodness, they're situated on opposite ends of the park!)

It was kinda cool watching my little photographer at work, asking the animals to hold on a second so she could get their pictures taken:

"Um excuse me, can you stand here for a minute while I take your picture?" "Can you lift your leg a bit?"and then she politely said "thank you" if they obliged (which many did, surprisingly). 
She took at least 100 photos and we went through them to delete those with glass glare or missing animals ("He ran away...")  Once edited or cropped, many of them were extremely good photos.  My baby is a natural!
Now there are several animals with an abundance of photo portraits - especially this one blue bird with a crested head that Chi spent about 20 minutes capturing on camera.  She did the same with a monkey  - - in fact I lost her at the small mammal exhibit because she was busy taking pictures in front of a large crowd of assembled patrons!
Oma didn't take any shots this trip and I wonder if she was feeling okay.  It's hard to gauge how each trip goer feels when there is so much walking involved up and down hills.

As for me, everything hurts.  I am sweaty.  I am hungry.  I suspect I am dehydrated; fear of needing the RR kept me from downing the water I carried around.  And I am sore - especially my behind and thighs.  Baby must weigh a ton, cause I hardly think I'm that out of shape!

arachnid (1)
I almost carried home a large beetle, which Oma swatted away before I saw him.  Had I caught a glimpse, I'd no doubt have a ticket for indecent exposure for stripping down to nothing to lose him...

The Metro trip home was a quick one, with Chi begging to eat despite the "it's unlawful" warnings all over the trains.  Parking was free, so we didn't need to buy a $10 Smart Trip card with $5 deposit and $5 fare on it.   We also had off-peak  prices, so each of us walked away with almost $5 on our Metro cards.  It'll be great if they are locatable next time we take a trip to the city...

elephant eye (2)

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