I love the zoo. I know there are PETA folks out there that would like to close them all down and allow the Bengal tigers to roam freely down Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, but when I'm there I feel like a big kid...and so Teresa, Amelia, Joseph, John Paul and I took the two minute drive down Parkside Avenue to the Buffalo Zoo, the second-oldest zoo in the country (as I have previously posted, in Buffalo it is law that we cannot be first in ANYTHING, thank you Scott "Wide Right" Norwood).
As virtual neighbors of the zoo, we feel a bit of a sense of ownership. We have been members for many years, and brag about zoo improvements like a proud parent. Recent updates and expansions have been nothing short of spectacular, and have lifted a bit of a dusty old park into an exciting venue. The natural habitats and new species are incredibly interesting and draw the observer into a place we could never experience in most cases.
Now the reality: for the children, there are four priorities at the zoo, and are necessarily in this order: 1. Food and/or drink. 2. A trip to the carousel. 3. Gift Shop. 4. Animals.
That list may not be entirely accurate: repeats of 1, 2 and 3 may be required prior to reaching 4. Thank you, heartily, to the zoo for the following that keep me from enjoying the madcap antics of the troop of ring tailed lemurs: Dinosaur chicken nuggets, ice cream, pizza, the gloriously restored antique carousel, Gund stuffed animals, sippy cups with frog-head covers, plastic grasshoppers, and rubber snakes. I just love saying no. Continuously. Despite all that, we manage to eke out a day of fun and wonder with every visit.
Sometimes I wonder if God was laughing when he made some animals. They really are delightful! We like to visit the zoo late in the day when all the busloads of vacation bible school kids and YMCA camps have left for the day. The animals awaken from their day long naps just as the kids make their way out. Hey, if adolescents were making animal noises at me all day I'd sleep,too.
Come to thing of it, that pretty much describes our dinner table...