Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All animals love sleep, not just my dog


Day 2 of the ol' family road trip is coming to an end as I sit here on the hotel couch, stuffed full of late dinner plus dessert, and figure out what I should post about. Let's see...the day started off pretty good. We enjoyed some complimentary breakfast in the hotel lobby area. We took a drive to the local Target store to look for warmer clothing for the kids (much cooler this morning than we packed for). We dropped off my wife for meetings (we did kinda tag along on a work trip for her so whatcha gonna do?). We hit a mall carousal, the food court and the carousal again. What is it about those damn things? You sit on a wood horse, spin around a couple dozen times, slowly, and that's it. Yet, it will be the one thing my girls will say was their favorite part of the trip. It didn't even have that terrible organ music...what a jip! We come back to the hotel for some serious pool time (again a little cold, but my kids would swim in the outside hotel pool, in Minnesota, in January, just for the chance to do so. But, the real highlight came after we picked up my wife in the afternoon. THE PORTLAND ZOO BABY!!!

When we visited Portland a couple of years ago I took the kids to the zoo solo while my wife again was at work meetings. At the time they were 5 and 3 and really loved it. It could only be better at ages 5 and 7 plus having their mom there. When I looked it up on the Internet last week they were promoting two new things, a baby elephant and the Chimpanzee Maze for kids. Both were very much anticipated by my girls.

We pull into the parking lot to find, what seemed like, just about all of the Portland metro area trying to find a spot. Why the hell would so many people be coming to the zoo on a Tuesday afternoon? Were they giving rides on the giraffes (that would be so sweet, and I would pay big bucks for that attraction, just for the record). After what seemed like 5 hours trying to find a spot we finally park the family roadster, waltz up to the ticket counter and prepare to plunk down close to 50 bucks for 3 hours of zoo fun. The ticket gal said "that will be $8 please." Whoa, turns out every second Tuesday it's $2 Tuesday at the zoo. That explains the body jam, and the sweet collection of some of Portland's finest visiting this day. OK, we pay the $8, feel a little better about the parking situation, and head in.

We cruise around, taking in all the exhibits and trying to locate the animals who lived in them. Two observations from the zoo trip, a) just because there is a cage and a sign with the name, picture and description of the animal that lives there does not mean you will see this animal live and in person, and b) animals of all shapes and sized have one big thing in common, they love to sleep. When we did see the actual animal that matched the photo of the sign there was a 75% chance they were in dreamland.

We were making pretty good time and seeing just about all there was to see, even the baby elephant (very cute I must say). All the time my wife is trying to steer us towards the much anticipated Chimpanzee Maze. We finally roll up to the entrance at 6pm just in time to see them put up the "closed for the day" sign. Oh shit! Within 2 seconds of K seeing this sign she breaks down into uncontrollable tears. R, who can't read completely yet also breaks into tears, for what reason she does not even know at the time. All the fun and snow cones of the day will go right down the old shit drain now, and not even another ride on that fucking mall carousal will fix it. Thank goodness my kids weren't the only ones having a hissy fit, and out of the goodness of the zoo hearts they reopen for another 15 minuets. The day is saved, and for just $1 each my girls were able to spend a good 3 minutes negotiating what they believe to be training ground for all zoo primates.

So, in closing it was a good day. And thanks to the now legendary Portland Zoo Chimpanzee Maze I won't have to hear about that carousal...I think. Tomorrow is a new day.


1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness for the kindness of people's hearts when they see upset little ones! I'm so glad your girls were able to see the Chimpanzee Maze. My girls are now 18 and 15, but I remember the days when the goofy carousel was the highlight of the trip. We haven't been a family vacation in awhile, but it would be nice to do so again. Unfortunately, with the oldest headed off to college, we might not be able to this again. Oh, for the days of "Do you want me to stop this car, NOW?"