Friday, December 29, 2006

"Smell that honey? That's the smell of elephant shit!"

Bobby took the day off from work today and we took the kids to the zoo. I say, "she took the day off from work," but what that really means is she only took three or four calls about work on her cell phone and only had to go into the office for an emergency for about two hours late in the day. That's what it means to own your own business. Enjoy your day off!
This wasn't our first trip to the zoo. We took Sam there about six months ago. It didn't go very well. Sam is older now and understands animals and was excited about going. Daddy, on the other hand, not so much.
When it comes to handling large groups of people, the Lowry Park Zoo manages to screw up just about every opportunity they have at doing it well. First of all, at the front gate, instead of having the "one line system" that you see at airports and the like, they have four or five box offices open and you have to play "grocery store roulette" when deciding which line will be the one that moves and which line will have a family of six trying to cash an out-of-state check.
Once you're inside the park you'll need to buy something to drink to try to keep the Florida heat at bay. Unfortunately, they don't put lids on the drinks they sell at the zoo. That's understandable, because there are always some idiots who are going to throw the lids into the cages were the animals will eat them and that can't be good for the animals. No problem, you can always just sit the drink in the drink holder built into your stroller because everyone at the zoo has a stroller. Unfortunately, in an effort at realism, they have designed the walkways and sidewalks in the zoo to resemble the actual walkways and sidewalks you might encounter in Africa or Asia, which is to say they are the sort of sidewalks you would expect to find in any country in which a shovel is considered a luxury. So, you put your sodas in the cup holder on the stroller and start to walk, the stroller starts shaking like Andy Dick on his second day of rehab and the soda showers down into the stroller, splashing over your child like some creepy prepubescent version of "Flash Dance."
We took Sam to feed the giraffes because last time she refused to get within 10 feet of them. This time it was all she talked about. I'm proud to say that on this visit to the zoo she actually got within 10 feet of the animals... she made it to about nine. ( By the way ,can I just say that it takes balls to charge five dollars for three crackers to feed the giraffes in the African section of the zoo, when in Africa, five dollars will feed a family of 12 for 20 years?)
Oh,by the way,did I mention that trying to navigate your stroller through the giraffe exhibit is like trying to push a hot dog cart through a walk in closet? A little clearance would be nice. Did I mention that everyone has a stroller at the zoo?
(In the interest of full disclosure I should point out that Bobbi is not as fat as she looks in the picture...)


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