Saturday, May 24, 2014

Zoo Boo

The boys "pawpaw" was visiting last week.  The lucky thing about him being retired is that he can pretty much fly here to visit anytime he wants.  He tells Lincoln that retired is "drinking coffee and eating chocolate."  I'm just glad he gets to do what he wants and that he wants to see US!!
He also came to visit us back during spring break.  I had a newborn and the boys needed some entertainment.  That's when this zoo trip fiasco first began.  We decided on a tuesday that it might be a good day to head out to the Houston zoo.  It wasn't too hot and I could push the baby in the stroller.  We packed our lunch and set out for the interstate.  As we were driving along Jackson said he didn't feel good, his throat hurt.  I knew this usually meant strep for Jackson but I was trying to be positive.  I asked if he needed to go to the doctor and he said no, he'd be ok.  It takes about 20 minutes to get to the interstate and by the time we got to the highway, he was crying and asking me if I would take him to the doctor and not go to the zoo. It turns out not only did he have strep but I had mastitis and we both ended up in the doctors office by the end of the day.
 This we will call zoo fail #1.

The next attempt was later on in the week.  We went to meet Jason in the tunnels for lunch and then headed to the zoo afterward.  We ran into traffic (big surprise Houston) but it didn't stop when we got off the interstate.  Or when we got closer to the zoo, no an hour and a half later we were STILL in traffic and the baby was about to be hungry again.  We soon realized that it was spring break and EVERYONE in Houston had decided it was a great day to go to the zoo.  We never even made it to the road the zoo was on before I aborted the mission and we turned around.  There wouldn't have been a parking place for miles around.  We ended up going to the aquarium and sadly it wasn't any better in the crowd department.  Note to self:   spring break in Houston = stay at HOME!  This will be called zoo fail #2.

This time, Dad was visiting in May.  It is normally already well into the 90's here in May but it's been unusually cool recently.  The weather while he was here was fabulous.  We planned our day at the zoo for Friday and we intended to arrive just after lunch so that we would be entering the zoo about the time the school field trips were leaving.  We saw lots of buses but they had to be getting back to school so we hung out, ate our picnic and watched and fed the squirrels.  We rode the train around Herman Park before we finally loaded up to go into the zoo.  Most of the buses had departed and we'd have the zoo all to ourselves.  When we walked up I heard the announcement "Thank you for visiting today, have a good night." I then noticed this sign.

I was thinking, this HAS to be a joke.  Surely there is no way we have struck out of going to the zoo the THIRD time.  We had even talked about how the "third time's the charm" when going to the zoo and we would finally get in today!  I could hardly believe my eyes but it was 2:45 and the zoo was closing for a private event.  
The good news is the zoo is located in a park area called Herman Park.  Its the central park of Houston.  It has trails, fountains, ponds and lots of natural wildlife.  We would not be discouraged.  We just made the best of it and hung out in the park.  We let the boys get wet in the fountains. We walked around the amphitheatre, we fed so many animals you'd have thought we did visit the zoo.  There were squirrels and pigeons that would eat from your hand.  There were ducks, geese, swans, and turtles all over the pond.We saw rabbits big and small.   There were fish, frogs, and even a muskrat swimming in the water.  There was so much to do we probably didn't even miss the zoo.  It does make you wonder though, how many times would it take for us to actually get into the zoo?  We also joked about how it must be our guardian angel keeping us from entering because if we did, the lions might get loose or something.  So far, we are 3 for 3 at the zoo with dad.  The only two times we HAVE been inside haven't been without their share of troubles.  The first time, the temp was a steamy 106 and one of the hottest on record in Houston.  The other time we were there for maybe 2 hours before the sky turned BLACK and we had to evacuate.  We hit the car door about the time the bottom fell out.  
Next time dad comes, I saw we visit...The Beach! It can't close, or avoid us as easily!

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