Sunday morning dawned early and rainy with pleas from two young children for their parents to get out of bed because today was the day we had promised to take them to the zoo. With as much energy as a koala bear high on eucalyptus leaves, I crawled out of bed and began to get ready for the day.
Ryan continued to play dead.
The kids were not fooled and while I wandered into the kitchen to make coffee they renewed their efforts to get everyone up and going.
The promised trip to the zoo came about last week when Ryan and I needed their help with a huge project. The kids agreed to be patient and helpful if we would take them to the zoo and the very overpriced gift shop. After checking the weather report and being assured that the rain would stop by noon we packed up our daypack and set off.
After a quick visit to the gift shop – as promised – we started off toward the African Safari area. As we walked through the tunnel I pointed out some of the pictures and told the kids that I was looking forward to seeing this on our journey. Alex was quiet for some time and when we came upon the picture with three giraffes gliding across the African savannah, he stopped and said
“This is what I have been dreaming of seeing.” He stared at the picture for a few seconds before going on. “It is just so amazing.”
I knew then and there that Africa had to be on our list. Our favorite destination during the summers or on days off is the zoo. How could we not fit a safari into our world travels?
As the rest of the day unfolded, we were rewarded for venturing out into the rain. Lions roared as they lounged lazily on their rocks, frisky felines paced as they stared intently at their prey – giraffes that taunted them from across the way. We then fed those very same giraffes and watched as two jousted for the right to be man of the clan. Elephants were enjoying the cooler weather playfully, zebras and gazelles grazed side by side. We took a break from the rain to view the black mouthed mambas, infamous snakes who terrorize those who are unlucky enough to be around the longest venomous snake in Africa. All the while we were imagining seeing these animals in their natural habitat, knowing this is what we want from our journey.
As we left the zoo, just a couple hours after noon, with the rain becoming heavier, we knew one part of our trip to be solidified.