Today we went to the Zoo of Acadiana. Bethel has been there three times, thanks to Granddaddy Dill, who gave us a year's membership. Sarah had to work today, so the girls and I loaded up and went in the red van. I worked hard to find clothes for them that matched, and eventually I had them in outfits that matched each other, thought not necessarily themselves.
Bethel talked the whole way. "Daddy, we are going on lots of dates! Me, you, and one baby. Auntie Anne has two babies. She calls them Caleb! Keep driving, we are late for work. Daddy, I will work at the zoo! That is a big truck. This bridge is fun. We are going down!" etc. Eden fell asleep.
As we drove up, Bethel saw the sign and said, "Z-O-O, that spells zoo. Daddy, we are here!"
The zoo here is pretty good for a town of its size. In the petting section we saw "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama", a donkey, a very pot-bellied pig, some goats, and three large tortoises. Next we saw the giraffes, which are Bethel's current favorite animal, and one of them walked over to the fence and leaned over. He was very friendly.
Around the corner we saw a "turtle school", and, as luck would have it, one of the pupils was just leaving. A peacock was following us down the trail at a safe distance, and as we rounded the next corner he saw a lady he wanted to impress and opened his feathers. It was pretty spectacular.
At the next exhibit, Bethel said, "Daddy, those are real alligators." Sarah told me later that last time they were there the alligators were not moving, and Bethel did not believe they were real. Finally, just before they left, one moved and she was convinced.
As we were leaving the alligators, Eden woke up, smiled, and went back to sleep.
Bethel's favorite place in the zoo is the playground. When we arrived, I discovered that Bethel's shoes, which she had put on herself, had been on backwards since we left home. She was not immediately convinced when I told her this.
The playground lived up to our expectations, and the slide was particularly thrilling. Bethel quickly determined that the path to optimal playground enjoyment was up only one certain steep ladder, through the green tube, around a corner, up an extra step, to the "really tall twin" slides, and down the far "twin" slide (not the identical near one, which was regarded with a distaste that implied its total inferiority). She followed this same route exactly umpteen times, often pausing to wait for the way to clear before continuing.
Eventually we had to continue our expedition. We were very interested to see some uninterested zebras, and we were uninterested in an interested white tiger.
Then we saw an ostrich with an anger problem. He was poking his head out whenever someone was within biting range. I tried to get a picture of one of these dives, but he was too fast.
We saw some porcupines and decided that their Daddy must have done their hair as well.
We were about to leave when Bethel said "Daddy, we have-ta gotta see the sleepy bear." I did not remember a bear, but sure enough the map showed that somehow we had missed a bear and he was sleepy.
Once again, I pointed us to the exit when Bethel said, "We didn't see the snakes!" This I had not forgotten, but I did not want to look scared in front of my two year old daughter, so off we went. It turns out she shares none of my phobia, and she had to examine each one of them as closely as possible. I stood back and took pictures. I am glad she is not scared of them, but by the time we left I was completely unnerved.
On the way home, Bethel fell into a contented sleep (Eden just stayed sleeping), and an hour and a half later we were home, full of mom's tasty leftover enchiladas, and taking our naps.