Good morning, internetty people! Our Florida vacation is winding to a close. That is very, very sad. I don’t especially want to go back to work next week. But I suppose if I stayed on vacation forever, I’d be homeless and living under a bridge, and then how would I blog? And where would Dumbcat live?
Today was ZOO DAY. Remember months and months ago I blogged about how I’d found a nearby zoo and was very excited about visiting it? TODAY WAS THE DAY TA DAHHH!
The zoo is called the Central Florida Zoo. At first, Dad was worried it was some zoo in someone’s backyard run by killers, but research told him it was a real place so he was less freaked out. He wasn’t overly JAZZED about going to a zoo, but he still went. Because he knows I love animals more than people.
Now, I’m not going to say we got LOST on the way to the zoo and got in a fight and one of us was in tears by the time we got there…but I’m also not going to DENY those allegations, either. Keep this in mind, as sometimes it’s really hard to bounce back from that when you’re visiting the zoo. The story involves a GPS that was being a total asshole and trying to get us killed, a stubborn driver, and a passenger who uses a GPS because she doesn’t 100% know how to read a map correctly. You can kind of fill in the rest yourself. Oh, also, I haven’ t really been sleeping. Which is IRONIC, because I am on VACATION. But, no, I’m still not sleeping. Yes, yes, I know. I need to see my doctor when I go home about getting a better sleeping medication. On it. Thanks for your concern.
So we FINALLY got to the zoo and it was 900 degrees outside. What? What’s that? Surely I must be exaggerating? Oh, FINE, it was NINETY. At 10:45am. That’s hot, you guys. Not even kidding. Totally hot. Also, I was covered in sunscreen, because yesterday I forgot to put any on for a short drive and got a one-arm sunburn that stops where my shirtsleeve is on my right arm. PRETTY!
In the parking lot of the zoo, there was a HUGE sign that said “OTTERS!!!” with adorable photos of otters. Well, I love otters. And the website didn’t mention otters. So I was very excited about this otter development.
Until we got to the entrance of the zoo and saw this:
Don’t put up signs in the parking lot advertising your otters and then not have otters, ZOO. I’m not even the least bit into that at all.
We paid our fee and got another stamp on our arms (I think that’s the new thing, so if you wash your hands, the stamp doesn’t wash off? Smart, I guess, except this stamp looks like a jailhouse tattoo, especially since I sweated all over it) and got a map and went into the zoo.
The zoo was FILLED with screaming children.
I’m not saying, like, a handful here or there. I’m saying, probably there were hundreds, if not more. I’m thinking it was “schools visit free day” or something? And those kids were SCREAMING. I’ve never heard noises of such a cringe-inducing pitch coming out of any child’s mouth in my LIFE. And I taught summer camp for years, I’m not a child newbie, here. Also, they were SHOVEY. Like, they’d move in like locusts and just shove you right out of the way right in front of exhibits. I just started avoiding wherever I saw them congregated. Like dirty hippies. Or politicians.
Now, it only took Dad and me about ten minutes to realize that the map was wrong. We’d go one way, and the things there were not…well, there. Or other things were there. Or animals not on the map were there. It was perplexing. I think maybe it was a map designed to get you lost, so that you could be fed to the large cats.
I took a billion and a half photos. I won’t subject you to them all. Just most. Who doesn’t want to see zoo animals?
There was ONE MORE BIRD that we’ll talk about later, because it’s worth waiting for. It’s just that exciting.
Next…CATS! Listen, I was very excited about the cats. However?
THEY WERE ALL SLEEPING OR DRUGGED.
Dad thought “drugged” because he thinks everything’s a conspiracy theory. I think “sleeping” because it was ninety degrees today and those poor hot cats.
No, wait, well, a couple were awake. But most were asleep.
I would show you a photo of the caracal, which I was SO EXCITED TO SEE ZOMG, but it was not only sound asleep, it was hiding in a little ball in the back of its cage. And my photo was blurry. So, no caracal. I know. It’s a total disappointment. Also there were supposed to be black-footed cats, but they were “in a separate area for breeding.” I guess you can’t watch animal sex, dammit. If I was that guy from the Marine Center yesterday, I’d totally make a stink about that and say “YOU HAVE TO LET ME SEE IT’S THE RULE.”
Let’s see, what’s next. How about…AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES!!!
Then, this happened, and I laughed and laughed. The other people in the herpetarium (yep, that’s a thing, no joke) looked at me like I was crazy. Didn’t care. SO AWESOME.
Someone thought this was a good idea for the gila monster display. No, seriously. Someone thought about it, and was all, “Yep, the best way I can portray a gila monster is to put an empty bottle of liquor in with it!” SO FUNNY.
Speaking of funny, these signs were outside the camel enclosure. I didn’t take a photo of the camel. He was hiding in the shade. When it’s too hot for a camel, it is TOO DAMN HOT.
Let’s see, what else. RANDOM THINGS!
Now, let’s talk about the worst part of the zoo. THE MONKEYS. Listen, I didn’t take a lot of photos of the monkeys. Because I hate monkeys. They creep me out. They have little cunning HANDS and they fling POOP and I think I told you, but once, I went to Parc Safari in Canada and monkeys tore apart the car of the person in front of us, in like a HUGE CROWD OF EVIL, while the people inside just sat there in abject horror. I think monkeys are plotting to take over the world, honestly.
So there were these EVIL EVIL MONKEYS that looked like creepy little old men. I stood in front of their cage and I told them I KNEW what they were up to.
So I stood in front of the tamarin cage and I told him, “Listen, monkey that looks like a creepy little old man. I am ON to you. I know you’re planning on taking over the world with your mean face and your cunning quick hands. I WILL NOT ALLOW IT. Do you hear me? You think you’re so wise. YOU AREN’T ALL THAT, TAMARIN.”
Dad said, “Amy, don’t tell the tamarin you’re on to him. He’ll make you a priority and exterminate you.”
Then we read that on the tamarin’s sign, it said he was from Colombia, so we were sure he was a Colombian druglord. This is getting worse all the time. This tamarin is BAD BAD NEWS. No kidding.
To clear my palate, I saw a fun photo op. Dad was not amused.
Me: Dad, take my picture in this thing.
Dad: What? NO. That is for BABIES.
Me: It doesn’t SAY it’s for babies.
Dad: The steps are TINY. This is for kids. People will LOOK at you.
Me: I don’t care. What, I live at the zoo? I’m never going to see these people again.
Dad: You’re going to put this on your blog, aren’t you?
Me: Why else would I do it?
Finally, he grumblingly did it.
Then he was all, “ENOUGH” and I said “NOPE MORE” so then made some fun faces.
OK, so then, THEN, it was time to see THE MOST EXCITING ANIMAL YET. Are you ready?
I have been obsessed with kookaburras since I was in third grade and we learned the “kookaburra lives in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the woods is he” song. I used to sing it to Dad and it made me SO HAPPY. I never thought I would get to see a REAL kookaburra. This zoo had TWO kookaburras!
First, the kookaburras were far away like this:
And that was sad. Even when I zoomed in:
But THEN, the kookaburra FLEW RIGHT TO WHERE WE WERE. So I sang him his song. Then he went into the pool of kookaburra-water, came out, fluffed up all big, shook all the water off of him, and LAUGHED. He totally laughed! He LOVED that I sang his namesake song to him!
Here’s the kookaburra all close-up:
Finally, after Dad could pry me away from the kookaburras, we were SO SO LOST but we made our way to the gift shop through a lot of trial and error. And we were SO SWEATY AND HOT. But – guess what’s outside the gift shop?
Listen, Ken told you all once, you can’t always expect goats? I did NOT expect these goats, you guys. It was a nice surprise.
Finally, we went to the gift shop. It was a little bit of the suck. BUT, outside, there was this machine? THAT MADE WAX ANIMALS. This made me happy because it reminded me of the show Wonderfalls and the wax lion that would talk to the lead actress. I WANTED A WAX ANIMAL.
Dad: That’s dumb. No one wants a wax animal.
Me: I DO. On a show I watched, a wax lion from a machine like this talked to someone.
Dad: Do you think this animal will talk to you? I think that’s highly unlikely.
Me: I don’t know. It might. I WANT THIS.
Dad: UGH, FINE. I’ll wait over by this weird rooster that won’t shut up. (SIDE NOTE: I didn’t take a photo of that rooster. You all know what a rooster looks like, sheesh.)
HERE IS MY WAX ANIMAL!
My wax animal was MONKEYS. It says “Central Florida Zoo” at the bottom but you can’t see that. I do NOT want this to start talking to me. Who knows what it will start saying? Something evil, no doubt. However, don’t tell anyone? I kind of love this for how heinous it is. It’s like the grossest souvenir ever. I ADORE IT.
So overall? I think it was just too hot to go to the zoo today. Also, don’t mislead me about otters. And don’t yell at me in the car about getting lost, I get lost finding my own HOME and I’ve lived there for almost three YEARS. I have NO SENSE OF DIRECTION.
Tomorrow? We are doing NOTHING. I plan on going to the beach and looking for more shells and relaxing. Also we’re going to get more margaritas. Then, Friday? BIG EXCITING FLEA MARKET. Then the weekend. Which means going-home-time. Sigh. SIGH.
Happy Thursday, all!
(Title from Simon and Garfunkel’s “At the Zoo,” which makes me laugh. Here’s a YouTube thingy. It’s not a video. There’s no such thing. It’s old, give me a break.)