I don't know why they would have a statue like this at the zoo. As we were taking this photo, a little boy walked by and said, "Ugh! Is that real?!" It was not my job, but I did explain to him that it was a terrible sculpture and not actually the rotting corpse of a beloved animal. Why? Why is that there?! For this photo-op.
We're sorry that you weren't able to come to the zoo with us on Sunday. We understand that you had other things to do. Sometimes birthdays just come out of nowhere. It happens! It happens. Anyway, I'm going to give you a public (and mostly photo-free) re-cap of that time that we wish you'd gone to the zoo with us. Ready? Here's we go!
Ryan and Justin and I set out on the journey while Sarah and Nickie drove separately because they had to be back earlier than we did. For a thing. We stopped at Walmart and bought sunscreen and as far as I can tell, no skin damage for anyone! SPF for the win! On the way, Justin went through Ryan's CD collection and tried to pigeon-hole him into an easily defined person based on musical taste but failed as he did not recognize much of it. We listened to something that I had never heard but did very much enjoy. Mostly I just tripped out on my new polarized sunglasses. Seriously, rainbows everywhere. They said I looked like a badass. I still think I looked a little on the elderly side. Stopped for bottles of water and candy bars. The boys stored their huge bottles of water in my purse that I estimate was weighing in at about eleven pounds. I'm a terrible judge of weight, though, so let's say plus or minus four pounds.
First stop, the children's farms. You go to the children's farms first because when you visit vast, uncharted (except that it is way overly charted if you ask me) territory, you always go to the right and move in a counter clockwise fashion for as long as you don't have a choice anymore. This is the area where the peacocks roam around without cages (no matter what Ryan says) and they're awesome. If you don't believe me, ask the little boy who was dressed like an explorer and chasing the poor thing ferociously. At the American farm, I saw the most (and I never really thought I'd say this) beautiful, beautiful cow. This is also where you will encounter things like pygmy goats and all sorts of chickens. There's this one kind of chicken that has feathers that cover its feet completely. It's like if a regular chicken and a Clydesdale made it. Kind of. I mean, it's still little. Like a chicken. Whatever.
Later we went into the jungle! Guess what, it's hot in the jungle. Really, really humid and your glasses will fog up and your calves will sweat and your jeans will stick to your legs and you will say (for not the first time that day) that you really wish you'd worn a dress to the zoo. BUT you will see bats. Bats, when they are hanging upside down in a tree and are all wrapped up in their wings, kind of look like they're trapped in a black rubber casing. I really hope everyone forgets about what I just said before they get to the comments because I'm not changing it--they really do look like that. There's also this other bird in there that runs around willy nilly. It's a dusty blue color and looks awesome and it's got all kinds of other blue stuff pluming out of its head. It would totally beat the crap out of the peacock in a sexiest bird contest. And that's even taking into consideration the peacock's name. Yeah. I mean it. Unfortunately I couldn't focus on the blue bird's name because I was so worried about how I was smelling at that point. Not good. Not good, I assure you. I think we saw a tamarind and Justin said something like "Oh! It's like a little orange ball of cute!" He said this within direct earshot of a redheaded man wearing an orange t-shirt. That happened, but I didn't point it out at the time because, you know, he was within ear shot. Now I'm going to Google "tamarind" and see if I was right about what we saw. Nope, turns out that's actually some sort of nut or something. What are those called? Kinda like monkeys. Jungle guys. I can't Google "orange jungle monkey type things". Well, I did but it wasn't helpful. I'm going to choose to move past it. Let's go.
I don't want to talk about the reptile house because I'm not super excited about reptiles that much. We did learn, though, that some snakes have two penises. Peni? Now, that's worth Googling. The answer is "penes". I really don't know how to pronounce that but I don't care because I'm mentally surveying the amount of pene in my pantry right now. Anyway, snakes. Many penes. Like they're not phallic enough.
Lots of walking. Stopping for pee breaks. We saw a bag of cotton candy on the ground and we dared one another to eat it. But we really just left it there. Hey, Katie, wanna know what's the most uninteresting part of the zoo? The North America exhibit. It's clearly the most accurate exhibit (obvi) and it's boring. There's so much walking and so little to see and if there is anything to see, it's squirrels or pheasants or deer or other things that you pretty much only see on the side of the road in Kansas.
Judging by the amount of traffic in the area for the Tiger Chat, it's pretty obvious that the tiger is the king. No one really cares much about the male lion. What's the big deal, there? I don't know but everyone wants to see the tiger stand up on his big ass hind legs for some raw meat. I won't lie, it was impressive. But I was getting overwhelmed.
Right about now is when your focus has completely shifted. You've been walking for about two and a half hours and your primary concern is making sure that you'll actually get out of the zoo alive. Instead of "what's next?" You're thinking, "what else do I have to look at before I reach the end of this labrynth of animals that are two knocks on the glass and a Lion King reference away from completely snapping and destroying some tourists. "Jaguar. Neat." "Cool, another goose." "Elephant. Neat-o!"
We saw the hippos, though, and that led to a magical experience. At first, we were walking past the hippo pond area. There's an area where you can go down and look in and see the hippos when they're in the water or you can walk above and see them when they're not in the water. I think that we were way too tired to experience stairs so we just stayed up top and tried to look into the water to see them. Just then, Ryan's girlfriend walked out from a building and stood at the edge of the water and clapped her hands a few times and said, "C'mon girls!" And then she stood there all awkwardly and I wondered if she'd look like a complete moron when they ignore her because they can't hear her because they're underwater. I was pretty sure that she would. She clapped a few more times and said, "Girls! Come on!" And then she left and I thought, "well, that was weird." And then, all of a sudden, these two massive hippos rose up and lumbered out of the water and went into the building with the lady. That was cool. Those guys are huge. I don't understand how they just walked right out of the water and weren't exhausted. Am I the only one who feels like she weighs about a hundred extra pounds when she walks out of the water? Maybe that's not worth admitting.
We went into the building and watched the hippos eat. They vacuum the floor with their mouths. They were feeding the rhinos, too. They're huge but there's something menacing about them. I always expect them to sort of transform into some other kind of animal. Totally Transformers style. It's an armored animal! And there's also a sign that says to stay out of the line of fire should the rhinos decide that they need to make tinkle. There is a force. Such a force that there is a need for a sign to have been made. You know?! That's impressive.
My favorite part were the giraffes. They were eating and we got to see them inside and really close up. The other part that made it nice was that there wasn't a crowd at all. It was just the five of us all up close in personal, almost within reach. And we stayed there for a long time and just looked at them and I don't know what everyone else thought but I was totally in awe. Truly. Seeing their muscles move underneath their skin. Their huge, black eyes with their enormously thick lashes. They were completely gorgeous. And it was great because I'd never thought they were that great, before. Nothing special. A novelty item. It's like that scene when the boy looks across the room and sees the girl that had always been just a friend before she took off her glasses. But now, here she is in front of him without glasses and he's in love. It's like that but without amorous feelings. I'd just like to clear that up.
Pretty much everything after that was a blur of me whining about how hungry I was and how much my feet hurt. Also a goose walked up to me and took a watery, green crap and then left. Like his frat brothers dared him to do it. "Make her think you like her and then do something repulsive." I was Never Been Kissed'ed. Those geese where everywhere--along with signs that kept talking about how they might be aggressive.
So, Katie, that's how it went. It was fun but we'll do something fun with you another time. Hopefully in a place that doesn't feature as much defecation.
PS Later, at Barnes and Nobel we saw that this is now a genre and it was heartbreaking. Damn you, Stephanie Meyer! (I'm not bothering to research how to actually spell her name)