Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Milwaukee Zoo

Here I am with Part One of my Milwaukee report.

So, I had wanted to do something touristy in nature while we were in Wisconsin. Truth be told I DESPERATELY wanted to go to Chicago for a half day, specifically to go to American Girl Place. Yes, I'm an addict and no, I don't want a cure.

I realized pretty quickly after the time we'd had getting to Wisconsin in the first place, that a road trip wasn't going to be a good idea, but I did hug the idea pretty passionately before I let it go and soothed my sorrowful soul with a trip to the Milwaukee Zoo. It was all really for the girls of course. Really.

What? You want to hear about our miserable plane trip first? Well ok then. I'll give you the brief version. Our flight was due to leave at 10:45am. Like good citizens we were at the airport at 8:45 (ok, 9). Our gate changed, our plane was delayed. When it finally arrived it had an oil leak. Our new connection was supposed to be at 3:55. Our gate was changed, then our flight was delayed. And delayed. Finally on the plane and ready to go they discovered that the hydraulic system was leaking. After that was fixed we were 17th in line for takeoff. We finally headed into the sky at 5:30pm. When we finally picked up our rental car and checked into our hotel we were done. Done, done, completely slow roasted, done for the day.

So the zoo was more our speed. Less sitting more walking. Plus its an award winning zoo, and you know how I love those.

I always fight the urge to load up every single picture. Having successfully fought, here are some highlights:

Now that I live in Florida, seeing Flamingos anywhere else amuses me. Especially when they're just hanging out beside a lake with Canadian Geese like these guys were. Also, they were just on the other side of a fence. I really felt like we should have tried to cuddle one. I don't think they would have appreciated it. I'm not sure if it was just me, but I didn't think they looked as pink as the ones I'm used to. And I don't even mean the ones on the lawns.

I really enjoyed this Gorilla daddy. I loved the way he was sitting, like he was contemplating his place in the universe. At one point he pursed his lips slightly and meditatively scratched his chin with one big finger and it seemed to me that he grasps some truth that I don't. I think he was contemplating the old Mary Poppins (book, not film) idea of it not taking much to switch which of the two of us could be staring through the glass and taking photos (with the flash considerately turned off) and which could be hanging out on a concrete rock surrounded by fake greenery.
Across from Big Daddy Gorilla's cage was this little display. Not sure if you can read it, but it says "Compare your size to a baby gorilla". Lilli went over to it, sat down and said "Hi baby goh-willa, I'm Willi!" Being her mom I thought it was utterly precious that she patted her little chest as she introduced herself to the statue.

Since I'm always looking for photo ops, of course I made the girls pose here. This picture illustrates a key difference in my girls. 99% of the time Lilli has perfect posture. It started when she was a dinky little thing and was holding her head steady and trying to stand freakishly early. Elizabeth, who was a bobbly baby for as long as she could get away with, is still a sack of potatoes, and while she stands very tall and graceful when she walks or dances, she slouches at every possible opportunity.
I like this picture both because it looks fake and because I like penguins. They look more like they're in a diorama than a cage. You probably can't see it, but I like that the display includes a prominent thermometer so you can see that they are keeping the penguins nice and Arctic.

Finally, this is a picture of Elizabeth's dream coming true: A Real Live Polar Bear. She'd never seen one in person before and she was entranced. She would happily have stayed there all day.

I, on the other hand, was ready to find a playground with a bench. It was a big zoo!

Other things the girls enjoyed were the sharks, the meerkats, the giraffes, the elephants, the freely wandering peacocks, the tiger, the lions, the baby Orangutan, the monkeys and apes in general, and the jaguar. Lilli especially enjoyed the snakes. She hissed so happily and vigorously at a cage of rattlers that one of them took major offense and almost rattled his tail off before striking at the glass. Poor little guys.

Things the girls were not impressed by were the leopard (Elizabeth wanted to see a yellow one, not a white one), and the bats, since the room they were in was dark.

It was cool, the air smelled like fallen leaves (I had no idea how much I miss that smell), and it was fun to explore a new (to us) zoo.

If they'd just had ONE food place open it would have been perfect.

1 comment:

Sprite's Keeper said...

No food place open at the ZOO? Think of the money they could have made!
Sounds like a blast. Hope to hear more about it!