We got to see some of the progress on the new elephant enclosure today, when we made a trip there to renew our membership, which, had expired in December - we just hadn't had a chance to renew...Kim would have loved to see the elephant's new home, which should open later this year. She felt very passionate about zoo's and the family enjoyment they provided. Many of our trips and dates revolved around zoo's across the country.
There was Trexler Game Preserve, near where we grew up - the famous site of Kimmy rolling down and hill and landing in a buffalo pie! We went there on days off, to see the animals, walk the beautiful grounds and sit next to the nearby creek. The Preserve was situated in rolling hills, surrounded by farmland.
The Philly Zoo, off of Gerard Avenue was another favorite. It's the oldest zoo in the country. We'd start the day, in town, grabbing a cheesesteak (Pat's? Gino's? Who cares!?! They are all good!) and then go to the zoo. They had a wonderful primate section and a lot of small lakes and fountains all shaded by large trees. Afterwards, we'd grab dinner and sometimes go see a concert at the nearby Mann Music Center.
We'd visited the Baltimore Zoo - second oldest in the country. This zoo is set in Druid Park and very nice, lush and green. The architecture in the old sections of the zoo is amazing. It is about the same size as the Philly Zoo, big, but not too big. The Washington D.C. Zoo - big, but too much concrete. The Denver Zoo, medium size, exhibits too stark. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs was a nice one - situated in the Rocky Mountain foothills, this is a smaller zoo, like Reid Park, with beautiful surroundings.
Kim and I loved the Phoenix Zoo and would go up in the afternoon, see a ballgame or hockey game, spend the night and take the kids to the zoo in the morning. We were members there for a few years, since it seemed we were going up there at least four times a year. The African portion of this zoo was our favorite. We also went to Out of Africa, up there, a natural wildlife zoo, focusing more on big cats - with live shows, featuring a trainer that would swim with a tiger! This was a fun experience.
Then, of course, there is the San Diego Zoo - beautiful, incredible, but just a little too big! It would take us two days to get all the way around and we'd still be exhausted! We never made it up to the Wild Animal Park...always telling each other 'next time'. I'm sure Antonio does not remember the San Diego Zoo - I'll have to get him out there to see it.
What other zoo's? I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two or more...well, there is a variation of a zoo...the petting zoo! Now, Kim always told me, she wanted to open up a petting zoo...seriously. Of course, there would have to be a donkey. And a duck (she once had a pet duck named Snoopy!). She had this idea, that we could put a tent in our back yard...or sometimes, when we were driving, she'd point out a 'great location for a petting zoo!'...for example...when you are driving north on Kolb, just north of Speedway, on the west side of the street, there is a newer gas station (is it Q Time or something?) and newer apartments behind it...this used to be a dirt lot...and, one day, Kim excitedly yelled out 'There's where we could open our petting zoo!'. Vail Pride Day - great petting zoo. Pima County Fair - BIG petting zoo - one year, they even had a zebra!!
Kimmy and her donkey at the Trexler Game Preserve, 1972. She was 7, Antonio's age...
Today, we ventured out to our Reid Park Zoo...with Betsey, Mitch, Hadley, Amy and Alex. It was a beautiful day, and incredible temperatures.
And, this evening, we watched 'Dumb and Dumber' starring Jim Carrey. After a wholesome day at the zoo, I figure I'd throw in some questionable movie to end our day!
What a beautiful, star filled night, again - no clouds, bright stars and the Big Dipper so high over head. Kimmy, the bambini and I had so many fun filled days at zoo's...I have so many fond memories of the various cities and zoo's we had the chance to share...