We spent the day at the zoo today. It was us and about a eleventy-million other people.
Seriously. I think it was more crowded than Disneyland on UEA weekend. But even with all those people, it was still fun.
It started out as many outings in the Erickson household start–I won some passes. Yes, FM 100 was giving out Boo at the Zoo passes and they picked my “at work check in email” and awarded me 4 passes to the zoo. Not just any day at the zoo, but “Boo at the Zoo”, when people dress up in their Halloween costumes and they even give out candy. How fun is that? Well, of course we had some scheduling conflicts. I had a rehearsal downtown from 9am to 11am, and if the family waited for me to come before we left, we wouldn’t get there until way too late. So, Ryan agreed to bring the kids to the zoo, and I would meet them there when I got done with rehearsal. But Natalie had a volleyball game (which we ended up ditching), and Megan wanted to go and meet the author of her favorite book, who was going to be at the grand opening of our little small town library today. Well, as it turns out, my friend Tess was going to the library, and we decided to swap kids so that we would take her daughter to the zoo with us, and she would take my two oldest kids (who really weren’t all that excited about going to the zoo) to the library thing, and then they would hang out and play with Tess’ daughter Meagan.
So, after my rehearsal, I was all set to zip up to the zoo and meet Ryan and the gang by 11:30. It took me a little longer to navigate the streets of SLC than I thought it would, so it was already 11:32 when I turned onto Sunnyside Ave, or whatever street the zoo is on. There were already cars lining both sides of the road. What the heck? These people can’t all be going to the zoo, can they? I thought foolishly. Traffic was horrible, and as I crept closer to my destination, things just slowed down even more. I saw a sign for “$5 zoo parking” at This is the Place Heritage Park, but I couldn’t really turn left into that parking lot at such late notice. I just kept on creeping toward the zoo. As I looked down the side streets, cars lined both sides of every street. Children in costumes were walking in droves toward the zoo. DROVES, people! What were we thinking?! If my husband had a phone, I would have been calling him and asking him if it was even worth it to try to fight the crowds and find a parking place, but alas, alak, he has no phone, and I’m sure you are tired of hearing me complain about it.
I drove past the zoo and the zoo’s pitiful, tiny parking lot. I drove past the extra parking lot they’ve got on the east of the regular parking lot and I wondered how long that line of cars went. By some strange miracle, a spot opened up on the street as someone who’d had enough of the boo at the zoo was leaving. I signaled, zipped over, and took that spot in a flash, allowing them to exit the madness and me to enter! I walked as quickly as I could through the parking lots, avoiding the little ones in costume, and got to the designated meeting spot only 15 minutes late.
In looking around, I saw lots and lots of other people, but not Ryan and the kids. After a few minutes, they came. They had gotten tired of waiting for me and had opted for a train ride.
Ryan said that it wasn’t worth it, though, since the conductor drove the train really, really fast! There’s the goats, there’s the eagle, there’s the…oh never mind. Not much to see when the trains going that fast, but he was trying to keep up with the lines, I guess.
Our first stop together? Feeding the ducks!
Next we spent some quality time at the playground, where there were superheros sliding,
twins in turtle shells,
and we even met Captain America!
He said it was his day off, and he was always happy to take pictures with a cool power ranger!
As for the trick-or-treat part of this zoo party, we decided that most of the lines weren’t really worth standing in. I mean, really. Stand in a line of 30-40 people for one sucker? I don’t think that’s really necessary, do you? Ryan stood in a small line to get his kettle corn, and we had tons of snacks, besides, so we were ok without the candy. Besides, the kids weren’t really good on the whole “save your candy” idea, and were just eating it almost as fast as they were collecting it. Of course, when we see the Chic-fil-a people handing out chicken nugget coupons, we’re up for that!
Here are the girls with the large elephant.
Can you tell what Jenna’s costume is?
Even though it was INSANELY crowded (did I mention that it was crowded?), it was still a beautiful day. We probably won’t get another 70 degree Saturday this year, and it was just perfect weather.
Yes, it was crowded, but the animals were active and playful. The cougar, who in the summer is just sitting listless in the shade, was pacing around showing off his cougarlike prowess. The bears were playing together! I’ve been going to this zoo for the past 35 years, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen bears being this active before!
And it really was fun to see everyone in costume. There were dragons, witches, the whole cast of the wizard of oz, and even this trio of penguins that we saw by the–can you guess? by the penguins.
KSL was there covering the event, as well. I haven’t seen the full news report, but here’s their blurb about it, complete with pictures.
Eventually even the strongest of superheros gets tired, and we trudged out of the zoo.
Since I had somehow parked closer than Ryan had (much, much closer), we all walked to where I had parked, then drove down the road to where Ryan had parked. No wonder they were tired, they really had done a LOT of walking!
After lunch at the world’s slowest Wendy’s, we went our separate ways. Ryan took the van by himself, so he could listen to the BYU game on the way home. I got to listen to High School Musical 2 (the movie, not the soundtrack) as I made my way home with the four tired kids. I dropped off Clair and traded her for Cole and Megan, who had also had a fun and exciting day. Cole was thrilled that he had gotten Brandon Mull’s email, and he’ll probably be an email stalker soon.
So there you have it. Our Boo at the Zoo day. Exhausting, but fun.