July 27th, 2008

little review

Poem for Sunday

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Saturday morning we got up early to go to the St Louis Zoo when it opened at 8. On a nearly 100-degree day, this was the perfect time to arrive, before it got beastly hot and the animals started drooping -- we had the bird house and flight cage pretty much to ourselves and many of the birds were singing, and in the herpetarium, the snakes and lizards were wriggling in their enclosures. We had been told that this was a must-visit zoo for the penguin habitat, and it did not disappoint: Humboldts outside in a rocky enclosure with stone tunnels for nesting, where they swam and brayed and paraded around for us, plus Kings, Gentoos, and Rockhoppers inside in 45-degree air conditioning with an open enclosure above the waterline, meaning there was no condensation-heavy glass between us and the birds!

The St. Louis Zoo is free and large enough that it's impossible to cover in half a day, but we managed to see a lot: the amphibians and insects (including a butterfly garden); the big African mammals like elephants, hippos, giraffes (who had a baby), and zebras (who were expecting); the bears and great cats; the sea lions, prairie dogs and warthogs; and the 1904 World's Fair flight cage, as well as the puffins and polar bear housed near the penguins. We had lunch at one of the zoo's air conditioned sandwich shops and left around 2 p.m. when it was getting beastly hot!

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After several hours of driving and an hour lost crossing the timeline, we had dinner in Terre Haute, Indiana with mamadracula at an Applebee's where we all got the three-course meal deals so we could have dessert. Then we drove another few hours to Richmond, Indiana so the final leg of our trip would be less than ten hours. There's a Model T 100th anniversary festival going on at the fairgrounds here this week, so the hotel parking lot is full of magnificent old cars. Hopefully I'll be home by this time Sunday night!