Monday, September 15, 2008

Virginia Zoo

Saturday was an awesome hot day with temperatures in the 90's. The company I work for held their annual Family Day at the Virginia Zoo and it was a wonderfully done event. I took my 3 daughters and the one's boyfriend (Mark had to work). We got there just as the event opened, got our wristbands, then headed over to the reserved party area for the employees. Since lunch wasn't due to open for a while, the kids checked out some game booths and won some blow up toys, then got in line for face painting. I found a shady table under the big tent and waited with some cool drinks for them to have their fun in the sun. Lunch was burgers, hot dogs, bbq chicken and other picnic foods and they even had a lovely fresh fruit bar on ice as well as an ice cream cooler. We all ate our fill. Brandon hadn't gotten his face done initially, so he and Amanda went back for that while Melody, Margaret and I played 5 cards of bingo. They had great prizes including Busch Gardens tickets, but we didn't win any.

After that, we took our stroll to check out the zoo. Apparently, much of it is still under construction, so we only saw a limited number of animals. The new layout with the bridges and such is quite nice - the animals, though, were sparse. At one point, Amanda was having issues with her face paint and sweat, so we all went into the reptile house while she went to wash it off. It was air conditioned in the reptile house, so that was a nice break. At the end of the reptile area, you go to an outside area with lots of little monkeys. The stench here was unbearable. Needless to say, we got through there quickly. They also have a barnyard animal area where kids can actually touch the animals - we didn't - but we did do a quick walk through - here again, the smells, particularly inside the barns, were too strong to stomach. Other than a small ocelot, we didn't see any of the great cats. We did see a few Raffikis, but no regular size monkeys or chimps. Not sure what's going on with the zoo, but needless to say, I'm glad I didn't have to pay our admission to check it out.

Since it was so hot, we left after our brief zoo tour. Got home around 3 pm. Even though it was a short and sweet for us, we'd call it a good day - we had a nice time together and I managed to take a suitable number of photos, some of which should print out quite nicely. Amanda is going to do a bit of editing for me at school since she's in that graphics program and has a high end Mac there with lots of great tools to make it work well.

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