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National Zoo Day!

Driving was every bit as bad as I'd expected, so I'm really very grateful that Mike had the wheel. Just trying to help navigate about killed me. It was like the longest, hardest, most fraught dungeon crawl you've ever played in your life. One boss fight after another. Mike maintains that it wasn't that bad...I think he's got selective amnesia. It was hell.

We (finally) got to the zoo entrance, and there were the signs: LOT FULL. Some attendants in orange vests turning away the car in front of us, and a bunch of orange cones. Boss Fight. But I had a magic item in my inventory: Prepaid Parking Panda Pass. Try saying that out loud; it's fun. I pulled out our P4, showed it to the guardians, and they shifted the orange cones to let us in.

Thank you, Parking Panda.

So. Onward. Nora was, predictably, over the moon. Although it was hot and humid (already 82 when I went grocery shopping at 8:30), we had a great time. And it wasn't too crowded, which I'd feared.

This one is a panda bear. That's not actually a bear. And I'm reasonably certain that the crate is actually a reproduction.

The elephant in the room under the bridge.

We went to the bird house, and that was neat. There was a free-flight room, smallish, with just a few birds in it. I was about to call it, start the trek to the reptile house, but the kids found the ramp that ran up to the overlook on the flight room. Which was interesting, but it exited out onto this enormous aviary. Where someone was doing some courting, with limited success.

I don't have pictures from the reptile discovery center. Nora was incandescent. Every enclosure held something she'd read about, seen a documentary about, always wanted to see. A few too many of a particular sort of reptile for Audrey, so she and Mike got a nice break on the bench by the exit. One of those amazing things was actually eating...something. Something BIG.

There were lots of other animals, including the long-awaited armadillos. I have NO IDEA why armadillos are such a big deal, but...there you are. The girls have now seen two armadillos. And I have learned that there is a porcupine that has a prehensile tile. It's called, somewhat predictably, the prehensile tailed porcupine.

Last stop of the day was on the carousel. Emma picked a black footed ferret, Audrey was on a gazelle. Nora rode an alligator. I think mine was a grasshopper; I went for size rather than charisma.

We'd seen about as much as we could handle, so it was time to head home. This battle wasn't quite as bad, although it did give us a few moments. But we got to see this gateway into chinatown. And a recruitment message that didn't quite match my image of how this particular organization would go about finding candidates.

Yellow Car Count 6/13: 43
Yellow Car Count Trip: um...I'll do the math later.

Time to do some laundry, and take the kids swimming.


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