Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12th - Day 7 (Sweet Memories Zoo)

Things move a bit slower here in Wisconsin. I think truthfully it just the vacation attitude, but I was rearing to go this morning. And why not, it was ZOO day! I love visiting zoos. I guess it is because I went to see the Houston Zoo a few times a year growing up and it is one of the country's top rated zoos. One day I'll visit the San Diego Zoo which is the ultimate of them all. The zoo we saw today was such a cute zoo! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Like I said, I was ready to jump in the car and GO! But first we had to meet up with everyone at Betty's house, which can be a timewarp of visiting if you are not careful. Sure thing it wasn't until almost 11 o'clock before we were all on the road towards the zoo.

I was a bit curious of their name, The Sweet Memories Zoo. When we drove up to this little dirt parking lot with this old little building in front, my expectations went way down. I figured there would be a few animals and we'd still have a good time, but I didn't realize it was going to be a really great little zoo!! There were actually quite a few animals. They had camels, a zebra, an oryx, tortoises, bears, lions, tigers and so much more! They had a top notch petting zoo. Maddie, Izzie, Sabrina, Sammy (and myself) got to pet baby goats, lambs, chickens, turtles, bunnies and a fox! On the way to the train ride, we passed the peacock exhibit and the peacock opened his tail up and strutted around for all of us!

The train ride was something else that was quite an adventure. We all got on the train (which was more like a tram than a train, but use your imagination!) Then it started chugging along through the woods. There were some cages with native Wisconsin wildlife scattered in the woods and at each cage our tour guide would stop the train (tractor) and talk about the animal. I kept wincing thinking the thing wouldn't restart, and I wasn't wrong. After about the third stop it just whimpered a few times and then there was nothing. Our tour guide had to call her boss and they brought a second tram ahem... train around. We finished off the tour all in good spirits though. It really should have been a two person job. Our tour guide had to keep stopping the tractor, jumping off, going into the cages to pick up the animals. Then she showed them to us and talked and then started the whole process over again. She was also quite dedicated in catching the animals to show us. It was a fun experience, that was for sure!

During the whole thing the girls were really good. They started to get a bit fussy so I cracked out the goldfishes and raisins. This tided them over a bit. It was well past their normal lunch hour but the animals kept them mostly distracted. After the train ride we'd pretty much seen the entire zoo (except for the giant pig we saw as we exited) so we headed back to the cars. I know the girls had a great time seeing the animals with their Grandma, Grandpa, cousins, Aunt Julie and Uncle Chris. After a quick lunch back at Betty's house Izzie was asking to go night-night in her tent. Sure enough the girls slept until 4:30 when I woke them up. We took Jim and Judy out to dinner at a local Chinese buffet for dinner and then guess what? Back to Betty's to visit some more!

But as I was sitting on the couch next to John looking around at all the family gathered around and watching the three girls (Maddie, Izzie and Sabrina) singing Ring-Around-The-Rosie again and again, I realized that zoo and other excursions will be remembered, but the times hanging around Betty's house... those will be the memories.

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