Many male 20-somethings spend Spring Break at Cabo or some other exotic locale filled with young women in bikinis and alcohol.
My son spent his at the zoo with his old man.
I’m not saying it was his idea, but I’m pretty sure The Wife wouldn’t let me take him to Cabo. Besides, we only had one day to hang out.
It was Monday. Unseasonably warm. Too nice to sit around the house and do nothing. I figured the zoo was a safe bet. After all, it was a beautiful weekend so no doubt everyone had already gone to the zoo on Saturday or Sunday. And everyone will be at work or school on Monday, right?
“Take our zoo friends card,” The Wife says. “You can get train passes. He loves the train. And he can ride the carousel. He loves the carousel.”
Went inside The Living World where they had refurbished the entrance. There was a line of maybe four/five families at the front desk. I stopped there to get our train/carousel tickets. After several minutes of the line not moving, we moved on.
First stop: The bears! First enclosure: closed. Second enclosure: closed. Penguin and Puffin house: open. But who wants to go in and look at smelly birds? Polar Bear enclosure: under renovation. Sigh.
The carousel was next. Walked up to the ticket booth and flashed my card.
“Sorry. This card is for ‘zoo-goers.’ You need to be at the ‘family’ level to get carousel passes.”
Funny. Never had that problem before. Sorry, but I’m not paying to ride a merry-go-round. It’s embarrassing enough doing it for free.
Made our way to the ape enclosure where — you guessed it — there were no apes monkeying around.
You’d think this would be annoying but I learned a long time ago that when you go to the zoo you have to look at it as one big walking track where occasionally you might see an animal. Go for the exercise, not the nature. You won’t be disappointed that way.
Went through the underwater sea-lion tunnel and watched a trio of sea lions swim about. The sea-lion show was closed.
Walked over to a train station. The train was closed.
Is this for real? Do you know what wasn’t closed? The food court and the gift shops.
Went to the River’s Edge where there was a sign at the entrance — I’m not making any of this up — stating that the midpoint of the exhibit was closed, meaning you could walk all the way down to the hippo pool, but then you’d have to turn around and walk back to the entrance, then go around to the exit and enter there to walk to the elephant enclosure, then walk back out the way you came.
We’re here for the exercise. We’re here for the exercise.
Fortunately the elephants never disappoint. They are always out, milling around. The rhino was out too, which was nice. The hippos are always fun to watch.
Went into the insectarium for the first time. I always assumed you had to pay to go in, but not true. Or maybe that’s what Laurie told me so that she wouldn’t have to go into the insect house. We didn’t spend much time there but the highlight was a picture of an old Avengers comic I own that was hanging up spotlighting Mantis, an obscure ’70s Avenger that I’m fond of. Oh, and the butterflies were nice.
After that it was lunch time. I was too lazy to pack a picnic lunch and besides it’s spring break, so we splurged on expensive zoo food. I thought about waiting and going somewhere else for a late lunch but they had gyros and my curiosity got the better of me. Zoo gyros are about what you’d expect. Still, even a bad gyro is pretty tasty.
After lunch we headed up the hill to see the lions and tigers (which were asleep) and the giraffes (which were indoors). I never go indoors due to the smell but after multiple disappointments I was determined to see those giraffes.
It was not worth it. Animals really stink.
The next day Andrew turned 24. Laurie likes to point out that when she was 24 she graduated law school, passed the bar exam and got married. I doubt if Andrew will be doing all that this year. Or when he’s 64.
And he won’t leave me to run off to Cabo either.