Friday The Man and I were blessed with the privilege of having his cousin's three kids for the day. So what does one do when they have the responsibility of entertaining six children for the day? We took them all to the zoo.
In South Florida in the summer the humidity is so thick sometimes you actually feel like you're swimming through the air. Tropical zone much? By the time we herded all the kids from the car to the zoo entrance we were already damp and sticky. Still, I was determined to make this a happy occasion.
The first attraction we stumbled upon at the zoo was the carousel. We paid the man $2 a kid and let the monsters climb aboard (except for the oldest who is 11... the carousel is below him). The carousel man then told us that the adults had to go, too.
"No really, Sir. These kids are troopers, they'll hold on tight for sure."
Please don't make me get on that thing, please?
"They need to be strapped in."
Since when are there straps on a carousel? What sort of Nerf world are we living in? When I was a kid we scrambled like musical chairs for the biggest or prettiest horse, crashing into each other along the way. I have a distinct memory of literally being pushed off of a particularly pink flowery carousel unicorn when I was about 7 by a bigger and tougher girl. I got up, dusted myself off, and settled for a less ornate ride. I did not cry to mommy or to the man who ran the ride... they would have laughed and told me to suck it up. Once on the horse we simply hung on to that pole for dear life. I want my kids to experience the thrill that is self-preservation. Straps on the carousel... PLEASE.
Kids these days are ultra protected. Playground equipment no longer requires a tetanus shot, your thighs will never be singed by going down a shiny silver metal slide after it has been frying in the sun all morning. Even the ground at the playground is cushioned these days. No dirt to be thrown in your face by some meaner kid, no wood chips for your mom to force you to empty out of your shoes before you get in the car. I don't even remember the last time I saw a kid jump from a swing. What is going on with the world?
But I digress.
So The Man and I climbed aboard the carousel and strapped (insert eye roll) five kids in. Then we were trapped. The thing was going... around and around and around. I busied myself by taking pictures of all the smiling faces. Still going around... and around... and around...
I think it was the longest carousel ride ever.
When it was over the man who ran the ride asked if we'd like to go again for free.
Then it was on to ogle poor animals that probably have done nothing to deserve a life in captivity.
Am I ready for my career in wildlife photography?
This is a Florida Panther. This particular one hates The Man. Every time we go to the zoo she growls at him. At first I thought she just growled at everyone... but no one else I've talked to has ever seen her growl. It's just him. She hates him.
Jaguar lounging in the sun.
This is the bat cave. It smelled as bad in there as it looks. Though I know these are fruit bats and they're not at all scary and are actually kind gentle little creatures, they still creep me out hanging there all scrunched up together.
Our National bird... in a cage. I'm sure someone can find some satirical irony to this picture.
This is a typical Florida deer. She was acting quite nervous and panicked.
The Man took this picture. I think this frog is amazingly cute... but if it jumped on me I'd scream like a banshee and take off running.
We liked this little caged animal so much we took him home.
After we ate lunch and saw the rest of the animals we decided to let the monsters play in the squirty water park thing. Another modern convenience for the comfort of children that wasn't available when I was a kid. I remember leaving the same zoo as a kid, sweaty and sticky from the heat. My legs would stick to the vinyl seat in the car and I would pass out from heat exhaustion on the way home. Now kids get this at the end of their zoo trip: