July 25th, 2008

little review

Poem for Friday

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We spent all of Thursday not devoted to travel at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, a terrific facility with an aquarium, a desert dome, an indoor jungle, a great cat complex, and the most amazing area of all of which I don't even have photos: Kingdoms of the Night, the world's largest nocturnal habitat, with a canyon region, an Africa region, an Australia region, a cave combining bats from around the world, and a massive underground swamp with alligators, beavers, nutria and other animals swimming and roaming free under the boardwalks.

We were at the zoo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and didn't cover the whole thing -- we skipped the petting zoo, parts of the great ape enclosure, the new butterfly exhibit, and the elephants, plus the Wild Kingdom pavilion. Nor did we take the tram or steam train ride. We did see the bears, monkeys, and aviary, plus the giraffes and ostriches who share an exhibit with the African penguins. The zoo also has Little Blue penguins in an outdoor exhibit near the seating area where we ate lunch, plus Gentoo, King, Rockhopper and Macaroni penguins in the refrigerated section of the aquarium indoors. It's a much bigger zoo than we had guessed from the map and absolutely terrific for kids -- I highly recommend it.

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The rest of our day was spent driving past Kansas City -- which is currently under a tornado watch -- to Blue Springs, Missouri, from which we will head tomorrow to St. Louis for the zoo and city museum. We had an unexciting dinner of sandwiches in the hotel room and the kids went swimming in the hotel's indoor pool. Now I must go collapse!