Thursday, August 4, 2011
Fishies or Animals?
So we decided to let Little E plan our day yesterday. After sleeping in until 9:30 in the morning, we climbed in the car and headed towards Baltimore with the National Aquarium as our destination. This was per her request to go see "nemos" in the morning. For the record and to avoid any impending lawsuits, thanks to the Disney Corporation, all fish, including Goldfish crackers, are known as "nemos". As we neared the wonderful city of Baltimore, I chose to ask our 2-year-old navigator if she wanted to see fishies or animals. Her reply was of course: animals. And just in the nick of time, too, because the next exit was the exit for the Maryland Zoo.
You may remember that the highlight of the trip last time was the cute little baby Prairie Dogs. Things were a little different this time. The first thing Little E saw when we got of the tram and started walking into the exhibit area was the carousel, and she immediately said "Ride Horsey?" After finding out that the cost was $2.00, we told her we would come back later (and we did), but first we should go see some of the animals. The weather was a little hotter and many of the animals were lazy in the shade. In order to follow suit, we took a trip through the "Maryland Wilderness" and saw exotic animals such as ducks, a goose (that's right, just one), an otter habitat, the new Hellbender exhibit (though the Hellbender itself was well-hidden), and a few small snakes. We also saw a few of the rare and elusive gray squirrels! We managed to avoid the goats in the petting zoo and moved on to "Beat the Heat Tuesday". That's right, free ice cream treats just for going to the zoo on Tuesdays in August. I'm thinking a weekly trip might be in store for the remainder of the month.
So after we fed ourselves a little bit of ice cream, Mama Bird almost got into a fight with an 8-year-old who asked “What are you doing to her?” when Little E was laughing and screaming while getting her face wiped. By the way, his mom just sat there and didn’t say a word. We then fulfilled our promise and took Stella on the carousel. Upon asking Little E which animal she wanted to ride, I was surprised to hear her say, rather clearly I might add, "Elephant!" So I strapped her to the elephant and around we went, perpetual smile on her face. She even turned to me at one point and said “It fun!” Did I mention that we had the whole carousel to ourselves?
From here we headed over to the giraffes where they give you the opportunity to feed a giraffe for a small fee ($2.00 for a small stick of leaves) provided a giraffe is at the railing waiting to be fed. When we arrived at the exhibit area, Angel the giraffe was waiting to be fed. We purchased a branch and Mama Bird held Little E and told her to hold the branch up, and she did as commanded, holding the branch above her head, just out of reach of Angel. Mama Bird helped make the proper adjustment and Angel had her snack. Little E followed up with “Again”, and, Daddy being the sucker he is, I walked over to the window and purchased another branch, followed by the same sequence of holding the branch out of reach and the proper adjustments being made. Once consumed, Angel apparently had her fill, turning and walking away, only to stop and poop a few feet away.
We moved on to the usually entertaining monkeys, which includes different species of monkeys, lemurs, porcupines, tree frogs, and even a few alligators. Due to the heat, even indoors in the air conditioning, everyone was lazy. We were lucky enough to come across a few teenagers, who were, at least in our presence, very polite and did not curse at all (which is more than I can say about one certain zoo employee). Outside in the chimpanzee exhibit, there was little activity as well. A few of the younger chimps were chasing each other around, up the side of the exhibit to a rope on the ceiling. When the first one jumped from the rope to a large hanging tractor tire, one of the teens exclaimed, “That was so epic!” And followed the second chimp joining the first with “That was so unbelievably epic!” Now, I know what the definition of epic is, and I’m pretty sure that this accomplishment was not of epic proportions. I am certain, however, that, had Little E heard the word one more time, she would have been misusing it almost as much as this teen.
So we had a great day at the zoo, heat and all. The animals weren’t terribly active, but entertaining none the less. I highly recommend making the trip if you are in the area, as they have improved this zoo quite a bit from when I was younger. Just watch out for rogue 8-year-olds and eccentric teens.
All pictures taken with my new Samsung Infuse 4 and edited with the Adobe Photoshop Express App for Android.