A (frigid) day at the zoo...and my good-sport family.
Owen's class made a trip to the Atlanta Zoo in May. Since, she's been wanting for us to go as a family. She wanted to show it to us.
So when a Groupon for an Atlanta Wyndham hotel came across my desk, I hatched an idea: The girls were out of school the whole Thanksgiving week; I planned to take a couple of vacation days to be with them; Paul only taught on Monday. So...why not an overnight to Atlanta and the zoo.
What I didn't plan for was an early-season cold front and snow in November. Nonetheless, tickets were prepurchased, nonrefundable hotel reservations made, so we went anyway.
Tuesday night in the hotel (with a heated indoor pool), Wednesday zoo day. Temps in the 30's with a cold wind, most of the animals were not out. But the gatekeeper told us the baby pandas would be brought out thirty minutes after out arrival. So we zipped through the elephant house, past the kangaroos, and arrived at the panda pavilion just in time.
So it was cold, yes. Very few animals out, yes. But my family was happy to be there, happy to be together, and happy that we bought a family membership so we get to go back in warmer days.
We drove home through city traffic, playing auto bingo, arrived back in our mountains in the blowing snow, made some hot chocolate, and settled in for a family movie (Arthur Christmas).
Flamingos trying to stay warm
Tara the Elephant
And the babies
It was warm in the reptile house
Red Panda pacing to stay warm
Didn't get to see the gorillas but the girls were happy with this guy
Paul & Chris have been best friends since college--in the mid-eighties. They've supported one another through so much living--broken hearts, fulfilled dreams, marriages, adventures, misadventures, tremendous losses, aging parents, growing children, cross-country moves. We may go for a year or more without seeing them, so when we are able to bring our families together, it makes for a deeply satisfying and joyful weekend.
It didn't hurt to add a lovely (albiet cold) hike, some icicle fun, and my dad's warm delicious chili.
We are thankful, indeed, for long-time friends.
Ice and icicles for everyone
Heading back for some hot chocolate and my dad's yummy chili