Friday, April 3, 2009

Wild Things at the Zoo - Inside & Outside the Cages!

My great niece asked me if I would go on a field trip to the zoo with her first grade class. Seems they were short one chaperon, and the trip would be cancelled without another adult. No pressure...Upon hearing that I would meet them at the zoo and not be required to accompany them on the bus (been there, done that!) from Illinois, I agreed. My sister decided to go with me since I would be driving and she wouldn't have to navigate the maze that is Forest Park, let alone the Highway 40 construction and the resulting closure of the Hampton Avenue entrance to the zoo. This time of year I imagine most days at the zoo have busloads of students arriving for field trips, but I was amazed at all the kids pouring into the entrance of the Living World building. The noise level built to a crescendo in a room designed more for looks and traffic flow than acoustics. Cordy's bus arrived about 20 minutes behind schedule, so her classmates were particularly ready to get outside and enjoy the sunny, albeit cool, day. We divided up into our little groups and headed off to explore all the zoo has to offer. Well, as much of it as seven year old legs coupled with 50 something and 60 something year old legs could handle. Despite the blue sky and bright sunshine, there was a bit of nip in the air, so we welcomed the forays into the inside exhibits. Except, of course, the penguin house which is kept at 45 degrees or so year round. The cold coupled with the stench of a fish market kept our visit with the penguins fairly short. Overall it was a nice day to spend with my sister and my great niece, and a reminder to be thankful that I no longer have to go on field trips with my own children!

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