May 4th, 2008

little review

Poem for Sunday

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Saturday we took our annual trip to the Maryland Zoo's Breakfast With the Penguins, for which we had to get up very early and at which we got a bit sunburnt but it was worth it as always! This year there was a lot more food...in addition to all the breakfast meats and eggs and pastries, they had about eight varieties of bagels from a local place with several different flavored cream cheeses, plus fresh fruit and fruit juices as well as coffee for the adults and penguin squeeze bottles for the kids. (The penguins get smelly cold fish, so it's just as well there was no lox. *g*) There were two penguin ambassadors waddling on the grass and most of the zoo's 45 African penguins swimming around the penguin enclosure, along with some greedy gulls and a cormorant. This year, instead of bidding on a penguin painting, we bid on a private tour of the penguin enclosure to be held at a later date, and even though someone outbid us at the last minute, they offered to let us do it too for our bid price so we will be going back to see the inside of the enclosure soon!


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We walked around the zoo a bit because there is a baby African elephant, Samson, who only just began appearing in public this week, as well as a young giraffe and lions, cheetahs, cranes, a porcupine, chimpanzees, rhinos and lots of other animals in the Africa section. We stopped by the Arctic zone, but we didn't see much of the rest of the zoo because we had plans to meet my in-laws at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I had never been before, and was expecting a bunch of local sheep and a couple of craft tents -- I had no idea of the size of it, and it's entirely free, even parking! We walked through four enormous barns of sheep, alpacas and llamas, several of which were being sheared and primped for judging, as well as dozens of craft displays and at least three musical stages, on one of which Maggie Sansone was playing. My in-laws are just back from three weeks in the UK and brought us Cadbury, Scottish souvenirs and a bunch of little Vikings in honor of their Swedish heritage.

On the way home we stopped at Ikea to get a bookcase -- now that we know where it is in College Park, we can't seem to stay away -- and had an early dinner there since the food is so inexpensive and we'd skipped lunch due to the size of our breakfast. It would have been a perfect day except that against my better judgment I watched the Kentucky Derby when Paul put it on, though I'd said after Barbaro that I was through with horses racing, but I didn't stick to it after we visited Churchill Downs two summers ago. Now once again we have had to watch an animal die for a big-money race, this time on the track after coming in second -- "It's not supposed to happen," the trainer said, but it happens far too often and I'm done watching the sport and supporting that kind of treatment even passively from my living room. Older son ended up with an upset stomach from our crazy eating and hectic hours today, so it was a quiet evening at home with the kids.