Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for.....

Z is for.....Zoo

Before I had kids I wasn't much of a zoo person. I do have a few fond childhood memories of trips to the zoo, but they're pretty faded and worn now. Way back in the recesses of my cluttered memory, I can see old Samson, the giant 650 pound gorilla from the Milwaukee Zoo.

I did work at a zoo the summer after freshman year in college. That was a wild experience, one that might make a pretty funny book one day. A coming of age story with elusive spider monkeys, wacky co-workers, raccoons on leashes, and hissing badgers. Years later I spent a memorable afternoon with Meg at said zoo. We watched in sociological awe as a family straight out of Deliverance got peed on by a lion they were harassing. Meg and I have gotten a lot of mileage out that story over the years.

We have a nice little zoo here in Tucson. You can walk the whole thing in about an hour, which makes it perfect for quick visits with the kids. When the girls were little we had a membership, and we went just about every weekend. First came the stroller years, when Meg and I could dictate the pace and enjoy some time out of the house. Then came the toddler years, when we let the girls walk on their own, herding them through all the sights. Finally, we reached the point where the girls could walk slightly ahead of us, Meg and I able to have a little adult conversation while the girls checked in with all their favorite animals.

We don't go to the zoo much anymore. I wouldn't say the girls outgrew it, but other interests have taken over. Every once in a while they'll get excited about going, maybe to feed the giraffes. I miss the days when a trip to the zoo was a major family outing. I'm sure we'll make at least one visit during summer vacation. I hope the girls will have fond memories of our trips to the zoo. I know I do.

Well folks, there you have it, the last post of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. The feedback has been awesome and greatly appreciated. The Challenge was a lot of fun, but I'll be glad to get back to a more sustainable blogging schedule, probably a couple times a week kind of thing. The hosts of A-Z have a reflection post scheduled for May 2, so I'll share more thoughts then. Again, thanks to everyone for making this challenge a rewarding experience.      

18 comments:

  1. I've always been a zoo person, but only the typical "big-city" type of zoos. Since having kids, we've experienced a whole bunch of off-the-beaten path type zoos, and we've loved every one of them. So great to have met you and I'll be stopping by often to see what you're chatting about!

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  2. What a neat Z-post! Our closest zoo is the Detroit Zoo (about an hour away). I haven't been there since chaperoning my son's 2nd grade end of year field trip there. He's 22 now.
    I guess now if my husband and I have a free day, we like to do all those things we couldn't do when the kids were growing up -- like spend hours at a huge used bookstore in Detroit!
    I do miss those days of having little ones though. Sometimes. It's mostly great having adult kids too. Mostly.

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  3. It's a zoo out there.
    Way to go on the A-Z.

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  4. Congrats on getting to Z.
    The SCBWI chapter here in MN takes field trips to the Como Zoo in the summer.
    My favorite animal from the zoo where I grew up was an elephant named Kathy Shaboom. I think she had a great name.

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  5. Congrats on finishing the A to Z!!

    I still enjoy going to the zoo. I hope you write your zoo story someday. That lion tale is a good one.

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  6. Your family outings sound lovely. Great A-Z challenge, for sure!

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  7. The memories of working at the zoo sound like a perfect book topic for sure. And I love the lion story, good for him. :D

    Congratulations on finishing the Challenge!! I'm really glad to have met you and found your blog.

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  8. This made me remember many pleasant visits to zoos in various countries. The challenge was a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting you through it.--Inger

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  9. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I enjoyed reading every day. You and David ended with the same, Zoo.

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  10. I still love the zoo to this day! Congrats on finishing the A-Z challenge and thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

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  11. Oh my God, the lion story was hilarious! They totally deserved to get peed on. Congratulations on reaching Z! You're posts have been a lot of fun to read.

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  12. Tim - Nice job on A-Z! I totally enjoyed spending the month with your posts. I learned a lot about you as the month went on, and want to commend you for your restraint (only one post about the Packers!) and your creativity.

    Oh, and I would REALLY like to hear the lion story. Perhaps that's the next short story?

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  13. nice to meet you =)
    happy z day!

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  14. Yay Tim - fun post. Zoo is a good topic. Congrats on finishing the challenge and getting back to 'more sustainable blogging'

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  15. Congratulations. Twice a week sounds almost sustainable - eventually!

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  16. We did it, congratulations on completing the challenge!

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  17. Nice wrap-up on the A-Z, Tim. I love how you chronicled your daughters' growth transitions via the zoo. I remember my kids getting way ahead of me, beyond those stroller years--a bit stressful. I wasn't always big on the zoo until I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Must have been my husband's (then boyfriend) fascination with the polar bears. They were a wonder to watch. A bit romantic, too. Spent many weekends strolling through that zoo.
    You should definitely write about your work experience there. I'm guessing it would be very entertaining. ;)
    (Louis Prima is playing in the background--kind of a perfect accompaniment to your post!)

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