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Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Trip to the Zoo...

Today was the Second Official Daddy Day, with Dryver and Stryde. We decided that since it was going to be over 100 degrees outside that we would head out to The National Zoo and sweat like monkeys. Dryver and Stryde have been tracking the birth of the new Panda Bear at the zoo and were excited to go visit this little guy, they have a bond with him for some reason.

The day started with Dryver asking if we were going to go visit Outer Space (as we had seen the space shuttle last weekend at the Air and Space Museum). I told him that we probably would not make it to the moon this week, but we could add it to the list. So far we have the list as follows:

1. The National Zoo
2. The Moon

I think we need to check out the web for more ideas. The next few weeks will not be official Daddy dad, since Juju and Papa are coming in and then we are heading to the beach house for a week. We can use this time to plan out the fall. Maybe a trip to see a college football game one weekend.

Anyway, we headed out to the zoo and on the way decided to stop and pick-up some slurpees from 7-Eleven. Of course, as always, Stryde wanted the largest cup (the Super Super Large Extra Big Gulp). He screams if he does not get this cup, he found it about a year ago somehow. The same thing happens every time we go and I have figured out a way to trick him into the small cup as long as he does not see the selection of cups. This week he got in front of me and it was too late. We ended up getting Stryde an Extra Large Banana Slurpee. Dryver picked out the Coke version of the small, which he usually spills in the parking lot on the way out. I have also learned to bring an extra cup to allow Dryver and Stryde to share their drinks.

We arrived at the zoo, just in time for the 100 degree temps to hit. Both Dryver and Stryde decided that we needed to go and see the Gophers first. Actually, they wanted to pet, snuggle, and take them home. After about 30 minutes of watching the gophers dig holes and the kids make dog noises at the gophers, we decided to walk around for a little bit. For the next hour or so we saw the Dolphins, Bears, Elephants, and the Camels.

We soon discovered the water spritzers where you can cool off. These are intended to cool you off as you walk through a fine cool mist of water. It is so refreshing during the hot weather and most people decided to run through it. Except Dryver and Stryde, who both decided that this was a chance to soak down in replacement of their bath later? They both spent at least 20 minutes in this fine mist, that we discovered was tinted blue and had a nice flavor. I think it gave me and the kids a little buzz.

We continued in the hot weather walking around the zoo, though wet and cold at this point. We stopped for hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, and soda. The Zoo also had a few vending machines with candy so we had to try out some Skittles and Starbursts. It was a joy. We did head over to see the Panda's and the babies, but decided that the 2 hour wait would not really work. Once we walked into the special Panda Gift Shop, we saw 100's of baby pandas, which were enough for both of the boys. They still have not grasped the difference between the stuffed and real (which works well for Jennifer).

The heat was becoming unbearable, so we decided it might be time to go home. We were all the way across the zoo from where we parked, so we started the journey walking back. Stryde had ditched the stroller after the gophers and had been on his feet since. He told me he wanted to take a nap and was crouching down a few times every minute or so. I suggested he ride in the stroller, but he decided against it.

We continued walking, though Stryde was showing some wear. Finally I realized that Stryde was not hanging on to my pant leg any longer. I turned around and saw him lying on the hot pavement in the middle of the zoo walkway. People were looking and laughing as the walked by. He had decided to lie down and take a nap on the hot pavement. The heat, dirt, gum, and people walking around him were less of a concern than his need for rest. I picked him up and put him in the stroller and we were off to the car.

They both fell asleep on the way home. We had a great time today and were worn out at the end. Dryver told me that he saw a bunch of animals that he would like to visit again, but in the meantime we need to start planning our trip to the Moon.

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