It seems I owe you a zoo story :) (Thanks, Julie!)
I had actually written it once and well, you know, AOL did it's thing. I got ticked and didn't rewrite it. Go figure :)
Ok, last Thursday morning I loaded the girl in the car around 9:30 am. I did not feel like going at all. Too early, not enough java (even though it is decaf~it's the point of waking up first), and to top that off--cramps (sorry guys :)
But what can you do when the child already knows we are going? Suck it up and dive right in. That I did, and off we went, coffee in hand.
The drive is only 15-20 minutes away and only reaches the border of the downtown limits. I do not drive downtown! But the route to the zoo escapes that mess, thankfully. I hit Washington Street and turned left. Then I see this line of stopped cars in the right hand lane. It couldn't be for the zoo.... Nah...
Guess who was wrong?! Yes, it seems I picked the busiest day. Or so I thought..... When we get inside the zoo gates, approaching the parking ticket booths, I notice that there are other attendants in their little booth waiting for customers. But no one was going over there.
Because drivers these days prefer to be bumper to bumper, my '78 Lincoln Continental was pinned in. What I don't understand is there were cars coming in from the opposite direction on Wash. St., and heading right for the empty booth lanes. No one followed!
So, I, being the clever Kitty I am, waited for the SUV in front of me to move up and I stayed put. I only needed a few more inches before I could maneuver my tank into another lane when the dumb ass in the SUV behind me started honking like he was driving in New York City at Friday during rush hour!
We were still at least 20 cars back, all in a single line, watching other vehicles go to other booths.... and I am the only one thinking about getting out of line. So, the guy behind me is laying on his horn and I wave hello out my window and smile in my rear view at him. He is not a happy camper and I just like taunting sometimes.
Next thing I know, he is at my window. "Why aren't you moving?" he asked, gruffly. "Because I am going over there as soon as I can (pointing to the other booths)." "So, I have to wait because you picked the wrong lane?!" he inquired more agitated.
"No, you do not have to wait because I picked the wrong lane!" I told him, "You have to wait because you decided to get as close to my car without hitting it as you could AND you decided to pick this one booth like everyone else, when there are 3 other booths just waiting for us! Any other questions?" I retorted. He stomped off back to his oversized vehicle that I assume he bought to make up for lack of penis size.....
Before he got back though, I had enough room and I quickly jumped to another booth, paid and got right in :) Guess who followed my lead?! The guy behind me and everyone else in line.......LMAO! Idiots!
We parked, paid our admission, and went in. It wasn't crowded at all! First, we got our hands stamped for the 12:30 dolphin show. Then it was off to see the sea lions. Grace liked them and they were all outside playing in the water. She got a real kick out of it, but then she whined about not being able to get in the water with them.... We moved on :)
This is where I should be writing about all the exotic fish, birds, snakes, and various other reptiles and such.... But Grace was having none of them, as she ran right through it with me chasing behind. Maybe next time she'll let Mommy have some fun ;)
Back outside in the heat and off to 'The Plains' to see the elephant baths that did not happen :( But she did get to see the new male they just got, so she was happy. Next were the giraffe (or is it giraffes?) and we saw a new baby one, that Gracie thought was "just great" :)
She got to feed the adults, too. She got a kick out of being the only little kid not afraid of the giraffe's big tongue! The workers kept telling her how she was such a big girl and my kid ate that stuff up faster than if at a chocolate buffet....
By this time it was 11:45 and Ms. Thing is saying she is 'Hungary', so off to the Cafe Commons for chow. This place happens to be right next to the playground... hee hee hee. How convenient. We order, take the food to a table, and she takes one bite and is ready to go. Uh-huh, not gonna happen, wee one....
We finished, and decided to go ride the train before the dolphin show. I realized once in line for the train, there was no way we're making the dolphin show. I asked her which one she'd rather do and, of course, she choose the train. She still loves trains, thought horses are giving them a close run for their money. So, we took the train and skipped the dolphin show.
If you are ever planning on visiting the Indianapolis Zoo, do not even waste your time on the train. Seriously! Not worth the wait one iota. The old train took a journey around the entire zoo and all it encompasses. The new one takes a trip behind the zoo buildings, with half-assed, make shift 'safari' remnants. We saw the giraffe, zebra, and the white rhinoceros' ears (they were laying down, it was hot!) and that was all the animals. I was disappointed. Grace just liked the train ride.
We exited the train, me and some others voicing our discerning opinions of the ride now, and we headed for the commons area again. Once we hit the playground, Grace forgot she even had a Mom, or that I was even there. She was in heaven playing with all the other kids. She has taken a real liking to older kids, so she buddied up with some (a boy and a girl). They all took turns sliding down the poles and climbing over the playground equipment. (Why is it called 'equipment' anyway?)
The kids had to leave, then my child meandered her way over to me to whine about not having anyone to play with now. Time to go! We went to the carousel and she rode it twice. Now, they have completely replaced most of the animals with endangered species and they were all so neat! I did take pictures of them, but can't get them in here yet, sorry :(
Guess what Grace choose to ride both times. Yep. Horses. ;) She would keep going on this ride, but I told her if she was going to ride horses, let's go ride some real ones. Off to the pony rides! She got to ride the biggest one and she was so proud! The attendant asked her if she wanted me to go and Gracie said "I don't need my mom, I know how to ride." Ha! Told her :)
I had 2 tickets left and we were done riding rides for the day (or I was tired of waiting anyway). There were a couple of kids who came to ride but their mother didn't get the tickets first, so I gave them ours. No need for them to go to waste and I knew these kids wanted to go.... and something told me, from the look on their mom's face, that she didn't have the money for tickets. Mom had the biggest smile and thanked me repeatedly..... Always trust your gut :)
Her kids went right after Gracie and we all ended up over at the water playground, across from the other. Then she told me that they were there on a special pass and she didn't have any money for them to do extra things there. She felt bad that her kids wanted to feed the birds, and ride the rides ~but it all costs extra and she didn't have it.....
Our kids played and we chatted. I bought the kids ice cream cones and we got a couple cokes. The kids devoured theirs and were off again playing in the water and getting soaked :) The woman told me more than I wanted or needed to know and I felt for her. Her husband took off one day without warning. He has only talked to her in court and will not see his kids at all. He wants nothing to do with any of them. Like I said, I felt for her.
After that, we headed home. It was 2:30 and the girl needed a nap in a bad way. I forgot to say she didn't go to bed until 9:30 the night before and was up at Dawn's crack, anticipating.....
So, that was it. A good trip gone bad, gone good again. Just the way I like them ;)
I guess by not seeing the rest of the place, we'll have something 'new' to see next time......
Oh, and the guy who gave me crap at the parking booth apologized to me in line for the train :) He knew he was out of line and he said he was just tired of waiting....
It was a good day :)