Day at the Zoo

Trip Start Jul 20, 2011
Trip End Jul 30, 2011

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What I did

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, July 28, 2011

After a few more days of traveling back East toward home we decided that we were running out of road trip just a little bit too fast. We had spent a few more uneventful days on the road. Mostly driving, occasionally... driving. We ate at a Denny's or something. Stayed in a Day's Inn or wherever. You know, super exciting traveling stuffs. But it was relaxing to watch the landscape changing back from the parched crags of the far west, into the cool peaks of Colorado, and finally into the rolling green of the Midwest. Ahh corn, surprisingly lovely.

So after a couple solid days of travel we decided to take a detour to a destination a little bit South of Madison. We woke up super early, ate a waffle, and hit the road. We set our sights on the Brookfield Zoo and arrived shortly after noon. It had poured for hours earlier in the day and I had hoped that it would lead to a cooler, less crowded zoo. It lasted for a while, and we walked through the misty, wet paths of the zoo, exploring the animals. The Brookfield zoo is pretty extensive and it took us a while of going from building to building and exhibit to exhibit.
My favorite exhibit in the Brookfield zoo is their amazing primate house. As the day started to get hot and steamy Luke and I wandered into its cool depths. The set up is such that there are massive rooms that are set up with trees and fake cliffs and there is a ledge that runs along the edge that the visitors stand on. The primates feel so close and there aren't any boundaries or bars between the curious faces of the apes and the curious faces of the people. We stood in one section for quite a while, flirting with a tiny black tamarin who perched on a brach and tilted his tufted head back and forth to look at us.
We rounded out the afternoon with a trip to the Dolphin Show, except we didn't actually buy tickets to the show. Instead we went beneath the auditorium to the under water viewing area so we could watch the dolphins tumble beneath the surface. It's mesmerizing the way they move, it really is. We would watch one sprint skywards, disappear above the surface, and when it darted back beneath the water it would appear to be encased in a net of tiny dancing bubbles that would disapate in the flick of a tale flipper. Honestly, I could watch that all day.
But when we finally emerged from the the underwater viewing area we found the day had grown suddenly sticky and oppressively hot. It didn't take much walking to realize that we would need to abandon the zoo and head on our way. But, we had seen most of what we had wanted to see so we headed back to the car.
It was a bit earlier than we had expected to get done so instead of spending the night in Chicago and driving home in the morning we decided to save a buck and travel back to Madison tonight. After being in the car for upwards of 8 hours at a time, the 2 hours it took to get us back from the zoo to home felt like almost nothing. Now there are loads of laundry to do and tons of bugs to scrape off of the windshield of my car. I know, what an exciting life I lead.
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Jen on

Your photos are getting really, really goof. :)

Jen on

Sigh. Good. :)

beckiablaze on

I was hoping that was what you meant. I'm not sure if I would want someone to say that my pictures are "goof" but I will take "good" any day.

Luke on

Yes, the tamarins in the primate house. I like cooking with tamarins...they lend such a tart sour note to curries and such. (Oops. Did I drop a "d" or two?)

beckiablaze on

Or what if the tamarinds are eating tamarins? I wonder if that changes their flavor when you cook them?

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