Since I spent last weekend in the self-indulgent partaking of excessive golf away from my wife and kidlings, I decided that today would be a good day to play the even-it-up card. With that in mind, I chose to devote myself to some good old-fashioned family time and took the whole day off from work. It wasn’t a hard decision; it’s not like anyone really wants to be at work on Friday anyway. Sure, I enjoy a nice Friday lunch as much as the next guy, but it’s still better to just stay home.
At any rate, we spent most of today at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. We’ve been talking about getting a membership for some time now, and the Puddinpop has been harassing me almost daily to make a visit before the dreaded end o’ summer. So all the Fates got in single file line and today was declared Cincinnati Zoo day for La Familia Puddin. The weather was good, it was sunny but not ridiculously hot, and they just released a brand new silverback gorilla into the exhibit. The Puddinette and I figured we’d roll up to the place when it opened at 9 AM and be all zoo’d out and home by lunch time. I was expecting I’d get all afternoon to work on the novel, and that all signs pointed to tons of morning fun!
We were out of our minds.
Recent experiences with zoos in Louisville and Indianapolis led us to believe that a bucketful of family fun can be had while covering the entirety of a zoo in a few hours. In other words, we typically expect that there’s a conveniently coincidental point when you’ve seen all there is to see right as the kids officially become Worn Out.
We weren’t giving the Cincinnati Zoo nearly enough credit.
Admittedly, we were a little late getting started this morning. The Puddinette left the morning alarm up to me, and I’ll be the first person to tell you that between getting up in the morning and cutting off my own toenails slowly, I’ll take the nails, Alex, as long as I can perform the torturous removal after 10:30 AM. So basically, my alarm went off at 7:30 this morning, and the Evil Subconscious Puddin turned it off without bothering to inform either me or the Puddinette that we might want to consider hitting the shower.
Still, we managed to make it to the zoo around 10 AM, along with the other 70% of the population of Cincinnati. It was a big day at the zoo.
Around noon, we began to realize just how grossly we had underestimated the Zoo’s exceptional depth as we counted on the fingers of multiple hands the number of habitats/exhibits/animals/experiences we were still obligated to partake of in order to avoid the Epic Dismay of Puddinlings.
Long story short, the dismay was, in fact, avoided, but at the expense of The Attitude’s naptime. We finally got home about 4:30, completely blowing my afternoon writing plans and considerably shortening nap time. It was worth every extra minute, though, especially the ones where the Puddinpop, binoculars held to his face, explained the origins of the Takin to me (it’s a type of horned mammal).
It was a very good day at the zoo.
But it’s a very big place. We have to go back to catch exhibits we missed.
I thought we bought the membership just because it was better deal for a family like mine. You know, the crazy kind that has more kids than parents. Plus, free Festival of Lights! It turns out, though, that we need that membership, actually, not just because we’re freaks, but because our zoo rulez(!)
It’s always good when it’s not my fault that plans go awry.