Sunday, July 04, 2004

Zoo Day
Kimmy pretending to sleep on the tour busWhat Time Is It?
Wednesday Granddaughter Kimmy and I got up at five in the morning, left home at six in the morning and boarded a bus headed to the Brookfield Zoo.

Our bus driver's driving strategy was to get that big bus in the left hand lane and step on the gas. His strategy worked well and trip was completed in a little under three hours.

Kimmy is only pretending to sleep in this picture. Good actress, isn't she?

In reality, she was too excited to sleep. We played hangman for a while and then watched a movie, Stuart Little, on the monitors.

Back of Kimmy in her Brookfield Zoo hatHow Hot Is It?
If you've ever been to the zoo on a warm day, you know that it feels at least ten degrees hotter in the zoo than the actual temperature.

Maybe it is because of all the walking - in the sun and on the pavement.

I had told Kimmy we were going to get the souvenirs last so I didn't have to carry them around all day. She convinced me that she needed a hat right away, so we ended up in a souvenir shop almost first thing.

Everything at the zoo is priced way way more than it is worth. The zoo makes periodic announcements about the excess revenue going to the support of the zoo so we will feel good about overpaying.

I was ready to contribute. I took plenty of money in anticipation of paying outrageous prices. There were numerous opportunities to do just that.

Brown bear that can't be seen at Brookfield zooWhere's the Bear?
The zoo tries to make the animals as comfortable as possible.

Most of the outdoor animals are able to go indoors, which leaves their exhibit area empty for the overheated people who came to see them.

Even when the animals are outside, they are in an environment where it is not always easy to find them.

This is an Alaskan brown bear ripping a box apart behind the log. It would have been fun to watch. It would have been fun just to be able to see the bear.

Hey bear! We came all the way from Kalamazoo to see you. How about coming out from behind that log?

Next let's walk ten minutes in the heat and go see the tiger. There he is! Look! Look! I think that's a tiger ear sticking out from behind that clump of grass.

Kimmy is not impressed by the tiger ear. I'm not impressed either. We go stand in a long line to buy some overpriced ice cream and try to cool off a little.

Lion sleeping at Brookfield ZooIs It Real?
Yes, it is real.

The day wasn't a complete disappointment. The lion was impressive, even though he was sleeping.

The dolphin show was the most fun. It was so much fun that I completely forgot to take any pictures of the dolphins.

Kimmy and her souveniers eating an ICEE at Brookfield ZooCan We Get Souvenirs Now?
Yes. Grandma is ready to shell out more money. What would you like to have?

As usual Kimmy makes a good selection. A very cute stuffed wolf and a very cute stuffed tiger.

Well, if you can't see the real tiger, why not get a stuffed tiger?

After the shopping was complete, it was time for some cold refreshment and sit down time.

Our Zoo is Better
Kimmy and I agree that the day was not the most fun we ever had together. We did enjoy each other's company though, and I was impressed at how maturely she handled the disappointments.

We also agree that we like Binder Park Zoo better than Brookfield.

Where is Binder Park Zoo? It's just south of Battle Creek Michigan and about five miles from where Kimmy lives.

If you like zoos, Binder Park Zoo is a must visit. Plan an spending the whole day. There's plenty to see including a 50 acre African savanna.

Kimmy and I are both members, so we can stop in as often as we like. We've never had a bad time there. When we get too hot, we leave and go swimming.