We went to the Toronto Zoo today. Heading east on Highway 407, we tried to take Donald Cousens Parkway south to the zoo, but we got stopped by construction in a new residential area. After driving around on a wild goose chase, we stopped at a gas station and a nice man redirected us to the zoo. It's hard to believe that Toronto has any vacant land anymore, but we wound our way through the country until we finally found the zoo. We pulled into the huge parking lot and found a spot in the shade under the trees.
After a long wait in line, we entered the zoo. By then, it was lunch time. Rob and the kids ate hotdogs and I had a whole wheat baguette with tuna. Then we headed to the pavillions: Africa, Indo-Malaysia, Australasia, Eurasia, the Americas and Canada. We skipped the latter pavillion, though, because it involved an hour of walking just to get there and back with a steep hill (we figured we'd be doing enough walking with the other pavillions). We saw everything from spiders to butterflies and from hippos to polar bears.
My favourite animal was the mountain goat perched on top of a man-made mountain. I wondered which goat got to sit atop the mountain each day? Did they take turns or draw straws for the spot or was it the toughest goat that won the covetted perch? Rob's favourite creatures were the snakes. Jacqueline preferred the tigers. And Thomas seemed to enjoy all of the animals. He took several photos on his I-Pod. I tried to take one picture of the kids with the device and it took me about 15 attempts. Remember my post "Technology: In Forward or Reverse"?
We stopped at Coyote Jack's for supper (the McDonald's that Rob and I visited as kids is no longer there). Then our last stop was the "Zootique". Staring right at us as we walked in the door were two large tables full of stuffed animals. Remember my post "Stuffies Galore"? Well, Jacqueline was in heaven. One table was full of foxes and the other was full of leopards. We would have guessed that they cost $30 each, but they were on sale for $7.99. Jacqueline picked a leopard, saying that she would pay us back with money from her piggy bank. On the way out, I noticed that about 10 leopards had been sold just in the 5 minutes we were in the store. Jacqueline said she noticed another girl eyeing the leopards, but when she asked her Daddy if she could buy one, he said "No". Jacqueline's response? "I couldn't believe it!"
We made our way to the gates of the zoo and climbed back in the van. We thought we would have no problem on the return trip. We were wrong! We ran into more construction and the street that we thought would connect to Highway 407 didn't. So after several attempts, we finally got back on the highway. At least we missed rush hour, though. We made it home at about 8:30 pm. What a great day!
Photo courtesy http://farm1.static.flickr.com