K: Van daddy! It a van!!)
It was a foggy day, and for some reason not many people are up and out of the house by 9.30a, which leads me to suspect that not many people are up and eating breakfast by 6a on a holiday. But I suspect Geo. Washington and Abr. Lincoln would have understood our being there right as the zoo opened. And it was gloriously uncrowded for the first 45 minutes.
First stop: zebras.
K: They like horses!
L: Like horses!!
M&me: Yup. Striped horses. That you can't ride.
I'm not sure just how much the girls got out of this stop. They both wanted to see the zebras, but once we were there, they didn't seem to be that interested.
Next stop: hippos
These were more active than I'd ever seen before, and a keeper tossed in this log (seen above) which he said they like to chew the bark off of. For a second or two we thought we might get to see 2 hippos arguing over one bark-covered log, but then the keeper went and got a second log and the excitement was over.
Brief fly-by: giraffes (no photos worth posting)
And then: lions
This male was wandering around in the fog, roaring with a slightly cough-y sounding roar, and M and I both stared for a moment, having never seen/heard this before, then turned to each other and said at the same moment, "Hairballs!"
me: Wow, this is cool. I've never seen them walking around roaring before.
K: I never seen them do that either.
L: I don't like it. It 'cary.
In deference to L's feelings, we moved on, to the elephants, siamungs, orangatangs and then beat feet for the carousel, where K rode a horse* that went up and down, while L chose one that didn't move. When the ride was over, L didn't want to get off. So she started to scream and we caved and we all rode a second time (the only ones on the thing -- any connection between L screaming? Nah....). And when that ride was over, L didn't want to get off. So I carried her, screaming (her, not me), under my arm and out into the clearing morning and we started our trek back toward the south gate.
Happy birthday, George&Abe!
* each horse on this antique carousel has a brass plaque with its name on it. And one horse was named "Bob Dylan." Sadly, K didn't choose this one. I try not to hold this against her. Her one valid excuse is that she can't really read yet. If she could she would no doubt have chosen Bob. The name plate included a quote (we assumed): "I couldn't be anyone but myself. Whoever that is." (rough quote from foggy memory).