Gracelyn and Uncle Michael at the zoo.
Sunday, my office held an employee's day out at the Nashville Zoo. Now, I'd never been to the Nashville zoo before, but I'd been meaning to take my neice, Gracelyn, to the zoo for over a year now. So, armed with a couple of free tickets, the prospect of free lunch from Famous Dave's and the hopes of seeing some giraffes, we loaded up and headed for the zoo.
And while we were a bit disappointed there were no giraffs at the zoo (they are building an exhibit area for them that is not complete yet), it was a great morning at the zoo. We got there early and it wasn't too crowded yet. We saw the merecats, the lions, tigers, and Gracelyn's new favorite, the big catfish. She loves the exhibit of the snakes, spiders and reptiles, which I have to admit I didn't mind as much as it was indoors and air-conditioned. In fact, the picture above is taking by our cousin Rebecca who went with us for the adventure (it's easier to have two sets of eyes keeping watch on a small one also it makes bathroom trips easier).
Speaking of bathrooms, I was a bit astonished that you get out into some areas of the zoo and there aren't any restrooms...at least none indicated on the map. This facillitated several quick stroller trips back to the central zoo hub where the restrooms were when Gracelyn asked to use the restroom. But, hey, we got our exercise, right?
Gracelyn brushes a goat at the petting zoo
We also did the petting zoo area, which Gracelyn was fine brushing the goats provided they didn't move. As soon as one wiggled or moved his or her head she was less sure about the whole idea. But she did brush them several times and had a good time doing it.
After a couple of hours of looking at animals, eating lunch and having fun, I bought Gracelyn a pink (her favorite color) hat with a giraff on it and a giraff t-shirt. She immediately put the hat on and was still wearing it Sunday night when she went over to Grandma's to eat dinner and share stories of her day at the zoo. She is still talking about the big catfish, which in case you missed it, she really liked it.
But I rapidly realized that following lunch we were reaching the "I need a nap soon zone" and so we headed out. Also, it was just getting a bit warm and crowded. After we got Gracelyn loaded up in her car seat and were headed home, she started talking about the zoo and at one point said, "This was a special day for just Uncle Michael and Gracelyn" which OK, I admit it...brought a tear to my eye. A moment of happiness is a day that was full of a lot of such great moments.
Of course, the one person who was unhappy about all this was Davis. I believe the word used was "incosolable" for about half an hour after we left that Uncle Michael left with Gracelyn but didn't take Davis too. I knew that was coming when I saw the look on his little face when we left. But the good part is--at some point, I am going to do something like this with him and that will be another moment and day of happiness to look forward to for both of us.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/02/2005 11:08:00 AM