Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday morning with the chimps

I haven't been to the zoo in years. And I mean, YEARS (it's one of those things that you can get your fill of pretty quickly). It always seemed to me that it was too hot and full of too many kids. But I guess it's sort of a rite of passage when you have a two-year-old: you learn to cook countless meals of Kraft macaroni and cheese with cut-up weiners, and you take a trip or two to the zoo. So this morning when we woke up to beautiful weather and a day of possibilities, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to take ARF out to spend a few hours with the animals.

The Houston Zoo is a beautiful place. It's located in a really nice part of the city, and is surrounded by some great parks and scenery. And with the jungle-type ecosystem in place on the grounds, as well as all of the lush tropical plants, the zoo has the perfect amount of cool shade for a city located on the muggy Gulf Coast. It's actually a nice get-away.

ARF's favorite animal was the tiger. Especially since it jumped into a pool of water and took a cool swim right in front of him. He thought that was really cool. And he got a huge kick out of a scuba diver cleaning the inside of the fish tanks -- right in front of him through the glass in the aquarium. But I think, by far and away, his favorite part of our little excursion was all the kid-watching. He adored checking out his little peers in their neighboring strollers. They all seemed to have their own little radars out for eachother too. When one would oooh and ahhh over something in particular, the others would promptly check out the action as well.

And something funny happened along the way for me too. A place that I used to view as too hot and too full of kids became a place of wonder and fun. Seeing everything through the eyes of my two-year-old kind of brought it all to life for the first time. There's just something sort of magical about seeing a giraffe up close that makes you want to giggle.

And, of course, we left with a t-shirt. :)

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