November 7, 2010: Ft. Worth Zoo

We all slept in this morning a bit, last night being the time change so Brian and I had stayed up rather late watching Netflix sci-fi shows, and the weather was absolutely amazing so Dominica suggested that we take Liesl to the Fort Worth Zoo today.  I have never had a chance to take Liesl to the zoo.  We tried to take her with the Grices’ to the Houston Zoo many months ago but that didn’t work out and Dominica and my father took her to the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York back in July but I’ve never made it to the zoo with her so this was a real treat for me.  Plus I just like going to the zoo anyway.  We’ve heard that the Fort Worth Zoo is far superior to the Dallas Zoo so we had decided to go there even though it is a little farther away.

It took us a little while to get all ready but we finally made it out and it was probably eleven in the morning when we finally got to the zoo.  They only open at ten so that wasn’t too late.  The weather is just perfect for being at the zoo today.  It is just a little autumn brisk in the air with a light breeze and bright sunshine.  Cool enough to make walking around the zoo and getting some exercise very pleasant.

We decided that it would behoove us to simply join the zoo as members as today’s visit cost is applied towards the membership cost.  With membership we can come to the zoo as often as we want for the year, our parking is free and we get ten percent off of our food purchases which adds up quickly.  If we come back two more times this year, which seems pretty likely with a two year old who loves animals, we will have saved money.  Any more than that and we are making out like bandits raccoons.

We brought Liesl’s stroller although that turned out to be possibly more of a burden than it was worth as she was determined to walk everywhere all day.  We started by heading into the primate area.  Liesl loves monkeys and apes, which of course she calls monkeys.  That was a great start to the day.  She really liked the waterfalls and things that the animals had too.  She loves fountains and running water, just like her daddy, so that was some of her favourite stuff.

I was starving having not had breakfast and it being lunch time, so we stopped at the first cafe in the zoo and got Burger King for lunch.  We get ten percent off of the normal prices so it is actually cheaper, as far as I can tell, for us to eat inside the zoo than to eat outside of it.  The cafe area was neat because it was below the level of some of the fish tanks at MOLA (the Museum of Living Art) so Liesl had a grand time watching the fish, turtles and gharial.

From the cafe we headed out and say the zebra.  I actually had not seen them myself but was carrying Liesl and she pointed up the hill and said “zebra!”  It took me a while to find them.  I couldn’t believe that she had seen them on her own.  She must have some amazing eyesight.

She really enjoyed MOLA.  They had a ton of aquariums in there and she wanted to spend a lot of time at each and every one.  Her favourite one might have been the one outside, right at the MOLA entrance (most of MOLA is inside a building.)  She stood at that one for more than half an hour and just had the grandest time watching the fish and turtles.  Anyone else who came up to look at the fish would get a long, disconnected explanation from Liesl as to the fish and what they were doing.  Then Liesl would attempt to count the fish – a daunting task for a little girl who just learned to count to eight.

After MOLA we decided to travel to the far top end of the park to see the Texas exhibit up there thinking that Liesl would really enjoy that part.  It was a long  jouney to get up there, this is no small zoo.  We really wanted to take the Yellow Rose Express, the railroad that runs through the zoo, but it is closed today and not running.  We got a bit of exercise today.

The Texas exhibit was very nicely done.  We spent some time at the petting zoo where Liesl got to pet a chicken and a goat.  She was very gentle and was plenty gentle, even for the little chicken.  She thought that petting and brushing the goat was great fun.

We got some ice cream and hung out in the main Texas town exhibit for a little bit figuring out what our strategy was going to be for the day as we had already burned through most of the zoo hours for the day.  We decided that Liesl would most appreciate the aquatic and big cat exhibits so we headed that way.

Liesl got some more aquarium time and got to see several big cats like a mountain lion, ocelot, jaguar and bobcat.  We hit the aviary but it was tiny.  Then we went to the bat cave.  We never really managed to go into the bat cave, though, because right at the entrance is a little “cave” for kids to go into that is too small for adults.  At first, Liesl was too afraid to go in but after some bigger kids went in there she decided that it would be fun so she went it without her parents and then decided that this was the best thing ever.  We probably spent more than half an hour with Liesl hiding in that cave playing with whatever kids ventured along to check out the cave themselves.

Liesl played in her kid cave until the zoo closed.  She was not happy when we had to take her out of the cave and leave the zoo.  She was really exhausted and needed to get home and take a nap after that.  She had a great day and we are already glad that we paid for annual memberships – we are going to be using those a lot.

We got home and put Liesl down for her nap.  It was probably five thirty by the time that we got home.

I played a little Oblivion this afternoon while Liesl was sleeping.  Not too much, maybe an hour at most.

For dinner, Brian and I went out to Blu Ginger and got take-out for Dominica.  Then he and I hit La Madeleine for dinner and sat outside and enjoyed the awesome weather.  It is cold enough that fleeces are required but still very nice.

After dinner, at nine Dominica put Liesl to bed and Brian and I drove over to Watson’s house where we worked for three hours on some projects.  This was my first time ever seeing Watson’s apartment!  It is very nice.  A Texan version of our old apartment in Newark.

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