Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!! The Preschool Field Trip

A at the Butterfly Pavilion

Today was the Preschool Field Trip to the Zoo. We are blessed to live in a city with a world class zoo. Top Notch Zoo Really.

So popular in fact that people from all over the region come to visit.

April and May are Field Trip Chaos at the Zoo. There are buses and vans from school districts, daycare centers and preschools everywhere. In fact, I think last April/May I went on two different field trips to the Zoo in a two week period. The 2nd Grade trip and the 5th Grade Trip.

In three more weeks, I'll return with a 6th Grade Science Field Trip.

Now I love the zoo. I love having a membership so that I can take the kids and go for a few hours, see a few exhibits, and go home. There is lots to see and looking at the animals through the eyes of a child can be amazing. Just don't expect me to see all the animals on the same day.

Today, when I woke up and saw that it was chilly damp and threatening storms, I was a little sad. While I was sad that rain might dampen the Field Trip, there was a small part of me that was thrilled that I wouldn't be expected to trek out to Pachyderm Hill to see the Elephants and Rhinos. It also meant I could skip the hoofed animal exhibits and the Petting Zoo that freaks me out. In fact, I always make my husband take the kids into the Petting Zoo. This is a far cry from my college days when I thought I would be a rancher's wife. Now the smell and close contact with the animals wanting to eat out of my hand is more than I can stand. So much for rural life!

A had a wonderful time. The weather didn't dampen our spirits at all. We made it to all the key indoor exhibits; the butterfly pavilion, desert dome, aquarium, lions and tigers and bears (oh my) and the gorillas. We even got to witness up close a gorilla picking his nose and eating his findings. The kids roared with delight.

When the rain started right at lunchtime, we gave up the idea of a picnic and instead A ate her sandwich on the way home. All the way talking about how much fun she had. How even though she'd been 100 times, this was the best time ever.

I had the most fun watching one of A's teacher witness the zoo for the first time in over a decade. She was amazed at all the new buildings and exhibits.

I'm sure we'll be back at the Zoo a number of times this summer. We'll pack a lunch and visit the animals in the morning while it's still cool. We'll ride the train and I'll hold my nose while the kids hang out in the petting zoo all the while I'll be hoping they'll pick the Carousel instead of the Elephants.

I have a strange feeling that if we see that same gorilla next month on the 6th grade field trip and he's still picking his nose, the roaring laughter will be the same. Some humor knows no age.

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