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On Friday, we decided to go to the zoo as one of the fun spring break activities.  My friend and her 2 kids joined us for the day of fun.   We knew that we were going to learn a lot about animals, but we also learned a few other things.

Riding a ski lift is very different when you are not Skiing

One of the rides at our zoo is like a ski lift.  You ride up high on moving at maybe 1-2 miles per hour (of course it started and stopped quite) above the zebras, rhinos, and people below.  My fearless daughter was a bit scared and I found that I was a bit uneasy too.  You see I have been on many a ski lift while skiing, but this was my first time on one when I did not have skis attached to my feet.  I realized that I didn’t wear the best shoes for such a ride.   I ended up taking my shoes off about halfway into the ride… and right after I spotted 2 cellphones in the Rhino area.  I gave myself a pat on the back.  My friend was not happy about the ride.  Her young son had tried to slip under the bar and she was also not that fond of heights.  In fact, she may have remarked that not wanting to ride on ski lifts was one of the reasons she did not ski.  The things that we do for our kids.

I had her daughter with me and I can say that her daughter is fearless.  There were a few times I got a bit nervous as her daughter leaned out to look at the animals below.   It was a nice way to see the zoo though.

Sometimes You will Wait and Not Actually Get What You are Waiting For

The ride that all of us were excited about was the Safari Train. It was a little shuttle that went around the safari area of the zoo.   There is only one train so we had a good 15 to 20 minutes of wait time before we could board.  We used this time to take pictures and to let our kids run around the confined space and make everyone else waiting miserable.   My son is not very good a waiting or standing still.  We did try to contain him, but 10-15 minutes into the wait, I ran out of twizzlers and we had taken all the pictures we could.  My friend’s son was also getting tired and we all know that when kids get tired they either get a burst of crazy energy or they get cranky.  I will take crazy energy any day.   Needless to say, we were excited when we saw the train pulling up and we were able to board.

Once seated, we waited.

and waited.

We also took more pictures of us waiting.

After a few minutes the driver stopped by and said that there was a tire issue and they were going to pump up the tires.  She offered us a chance to get off the train and come back later or to wait a few minutes more.  We decided to wait (since what was a few minutes more) and they were surely going to bring out some interesting equipment for the tire.

So we waited and watched as they pumped up a few tires.  The driver got up in the front of the train and we waited to see if we were finally going to leave.  The look on her face told us that we were not going to see the safari animals.  We ended up taking the tokens and decided that we could do the carousal, since getting our actual money back was going to be a pain and my friend was not going to get on the ski lift ride again.  We were a little bummed, but life happens like that sometimes.

When in Doubt Just Call them “Swan Babies”

On the way to the carousel, we stopped off to see the bats, bears, and the black swans.  We were delighted to see that she had babies with her.

Aren't they cute?

Of course, none of us could remember the real name for swan babies at the time.  I know I used to know the name for them.  I could remember that I knew it the last time I played one of those silly baby shower games.   Well, I racked my brain and falled to recall this elusive vocabulary word.  I am proud to say that I looked it up and so next time I see a swan and her babies, I will not accidentally call the goslings… and will call them cygnets (like I was supposed to).   Of course, I will probably forget the name again.

Carousal Pictures are Always Adorable

My kids were not excited about riding the carousal, but since we had tokens from the ill-fated train ride… they got to ride it any way.   Even though they think that they are too big for this little ride, I think they found the fun in it.  I also decided that carousal rides make for great pictures.

Where else can you ride a lion?

If you use your imagination, you can transform yourself into a lion tamer.

OK, so my daughter does not have a big smile... but it was a bigger smile than she had on the skyride.

Not only did my daughter get to feed the giraffes, but she got to ride on one.  Awesome, right?   Well, big smile or not… my kids still look like they enjoyed it.

Time Spent with Family and Friends is Always a Good Time

What our time at the zoo reinforced was that time spent with family and friends is always fun.  You don’t have to ride the safari ride to have fun and if you have great people to do it with a carousel is still fun.   It is also always a good idea to stop for frozen custard and italian ice.