This is not the first blog I've written about going to the zoo. It's not likely to be my last. I love the zoo, though I'm not sure exactly why - it's expensive, it smells, the animals are generally either pacing or (more likely) listless, the crowds are daunting and the parking lot endless. There is also an undeniable magic there - creatures of so many varieties, most of which I do not want to meet in my backyard (or at all) without benefit of separating glass or bars. But they are a testament to the creator's infinite imagination and biologic prowess. Go God!
When Bryce and Tyler got in my car the other day to embark on such an adventure, Bryce immediately announced, very sweetly and succinctly, "I don't really like zoos." I smiled sweetly, too, and then pointed the car toward Brookfield.
How to convince a 10 year old to enjoy the zoo:
1. It's a 30 minute trip assuming cooperative traffic and a lead foot. We made it in a record 40 minutes. Bryce didn't complain once. That's because he has a very wise Granma who gave him her IPhone to use on the ride. On the other hand, there were several rounds of are-we-there-yet from younger brother in the back seat.
2. Promise younger brother seat a piggy back ride at the zoo. Minimal success with the whining - sigh. And, yes, he got his ride - double sigh.
3. Impress grandson-the-eldest with zoo map reading skills. We came in the North entrance, so I turned the map upside down to orient myself. This did not escape Bryce's notice - or friendly, jabbing comments. It did, however, get us to our lunch spot with much greater efficiency than his own cartography interpretations. So later in the day when we were by the South gate, Bryce pulled out the map to find the next desired attraction. Tyler pointed out he had it upside down, to which Bryce replied, "This is how Granma reads it and it works." I love that kid! Fortunately, by then I had my bearings. We didn't get lost even once - a Granma acomplishment.
4. Buy tickets for the Dolphin Show, three hours hence. Nothing like saving the best for last. More on that later.
5. Wander from playground to playground by way of animals. This pleased both of my personal primates. Speaking of monkeys, they voted no to Tropic World. I was only mildly disappointed and hid it well. Kudos to me.
6. Dippin Dots. 'Nuff said.
7. The Dolphin show starts at 2:30, the doors open at 2:00. In past visits, we have never been there early enough to get a good seat in the Splash Zone. We were first in line at 1:45 and had our choice of prime seats. We made it through the whole show without collecting even a drop, which pleased Tyler no end. His brother - not so much. As the crowd rose to disassemble, Bryce and I looked at each other to lament our lack of splash, when a rouge dolphin performed just one more trick for the audience. YES!!! We got wet! (Have I mentioned yet that it was 50 degrees outside?)
All good things must come to an end, and they did - right on schedule - five and a half hours later. As you can see from the photographic evidence, he really doesn't like the zoo.
Yep, that's what I thought...