The Big O and I went to the LA Zoo. It is a zoo that is very large and on the side of a hill. I would like to slap the person that thought this would be a good idea. Being on the side of a hill means I (and practically every other mother there) spent a lot of energy pushing the stroller up hill, it was exhausting! A trip to the zoo is an exhausting outing anyway, what with chasing the Big O around, picking him up to see the animals, and preventing him from throwing himself into the hippo den. But at this ‘on-the-side-of-a-hill-LA-Zoo’ it was extra exhausting.
As soon as we got to the Zoo the Big O let me know he wanted to see the Lions, “Arrr---ARRR”, and the Elephants by doing his elephant impression wherein he purses his lips together then, while leaning his head back as though he is swinging his trunk, says “mmm—mmmm”. We were off to find Lions and Elephants, but of course we got distracted on the way—by swinging, leaping and jumping monkeys (the LA Zoo seems to have A LOT of monkeys), alligators, rhino, ibexes, antelope, hippos and a very cute, not-scared-of-humans, young Giraffe.
This Giraffe came right up to the fence around the pen and stared at the Big O—but of course he was more interested in the other children around him than saying hi to the giraffe eating grass within his reach.
We found the Lions and the Big O recognized them and was excited to see them, even if they were just lying around napping. Did you know that Lions spend most of their time sleeping, sometimes 23 hours a day! Wow, LAZY!
After the lions, we were off to find the Elephants, but this was difficult as the LA Zoo is going through some remodeling. We got lost and ended up at a playground where the Big O had a grand time playing on the slides. I rested up on a bench, ate some snacks, took pictures of the Big O going down the slide and took a family picture for some Asian people. After I took the picture the Father made a point of telling me “I have only two daughters! And no sons!” The daughters were right there! They were both grown up and I don’t think the comment bugged them but I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.
After the playground we finally managed to find the Elephant and he was a great specimen. He had huge tusks and everything! Plus, he was even walking about and eating! O got really excited when he saw him and started doing his elephant impression, it was very cute. After watching the Elephant for a while we started to make our way to the exit.
On our way we stopped at the Orangutan exhibit, which had been recently redone. Two walls and the corner where they met were floor-to-ceiling clear panels. There was a ledge just outside and the Orangutan was sitting right there, up against the glass taking a nap. There was another little girl there and she and the Big O walked up to the Orangutan to get a good close up look. The Orangutan woke up, took notice of these small hairless monkeys, and looked right back at them. Then he put his hand up to the glass. The little girl placed her hand in front of his—it was very cool. I tried to get the Big O to put his hand up too, so I could take a picture, but he got scared and wouldn’t do it. Oh well, it was still probably the neatest thing I have ever seen at a zoo.
We continued on our way towards the exit. I took a detour through place called “The Desert Tunnel” and immediately regretted it. I decided I would not look at the bugs on the left side but only at the lizards on the right, but I knew the hard part would be getting the Big O not to notice the bugs. He likes bugs. Fortunately the lizards were fascinating to him and we got through “The Desert Tunnel” without having to view one gross bug. I breathed a sigh of relief and headed towards the exit. But as he and I were not two paces from the tunnel o’ creepy crawly bugs, a cute little boy came running up to me and O and said, “Wait!! Did you see the cool bugs!?” The boy ran back into the tunnel and O followed close behind. “Arrrggghh!” I thought. O and the boy enjoyed standing in front of each display for each bug and marveling in their yuckiness. And of course O had to be sure that I saw too. He ran up to me (I was standing a safe distance away pondering the life of the Mexican Beaded Lizard), grabbed my hand and pulled me over to see the stick bugs, the millipede, the tarantula, the hissing cockroach, and the hideous scorpion. Just thinking about it now gives me shivers.
We eventually made it to the exit and said good-bye to the LA Zoo. We got in the car both exhausted and both in need of a nap...but only one of us got one.