Monday, May 11, 2009

A trip to the zoo

I've loved going to the zoo since I was a wee little girl. Back then we lived in Detroit and the Detroit Zoo was a wondrous place! Except for the snake building. No me gusta nada!

Before my kids hit the teen years we'd go to the zoo at least once a year, and usually more. Living where we did in south central Michigan, we had four or five zoos within an hour and a half drive in any direction. Our favorite was Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, small enough to be do-able with little ones and big enough to have plenty to see.

We have some great zoo memories, and funny ones too. Like the first time we took our son, who was two-years-old, to the Ft. Wayne Zoo. Midway through, the hubby left us on a bench while he went to get/do something (memory is hazy on the exact reason). Anyway, our son spied a man wearing pants like his dad, thought it WAS his dad and ran over to the man, grabbing him around one leg yelling "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" The young man who was there with his girl friend had the most horror stricken look on his face as I pried our son off his leg ☺

Or the time at the Toledo Zoo when we were in the hippoquarium and a group of little first and second graders had their noses pressed right up against the glass and a playful hippo swam over, turned around so its bottom was pressed against the other side of the glass and then pooped. Oh my word, that was funny! All the little kids screamed and jumped back.

All this to say, we went to the zoo yesterday. It was a fun little outing but un poco triste (a little sad) because they obviously don't have the wherewithal to keep it up. Aside from the general unkempt appearance and pungent smells, some of the pens and cages are just too small. It broke my heart to see an eagle in a cage that was barely big enough for him to spread his wings, to say nothing of ever actually flying. His cage was near the front of the zoo and when we came back by a couple hours later on our way out, he had not moved at all.

Hubby also took me out to lunch. We went to a favorite place in Cordoba (which was conveniently near the zoo) and I actually ate something other than pasta ☺ They have the most amazing fresh ravioli stuffed with squash and mushrooms with a mushroom cream sauce. Delicioso! But yesterday I opted for the white fish baked in lemon with mushroom sauce and a vegetable side dish.

The vegetable side dish was really interesting. They cooked and pureed vegetables, then pressed them into a loaf pan, chilled until firm (I'm guessing this process but it's what makes sense considering the end product) and then sliced and heated it back up. My plate appeared with this gorgeous brilliant fuschia pink and orange slab of savory goodness. I'm pretty sure the pink was beets, the orange I'm not so sure about...could be carrots, could be squash, could be a combination. But the colors weren't mixed in a muddy mess, the bottom and sides of the loaf pan had been filled with the orange vegetable and the bright pink stuffed into the middle. It looked more like dessert than a vegetable.

And I didn't take a photo! I know. But it's a nicer restaurant and there were people right next to us, so it just seemed to awkward to whip out the camera and start snapping away.

We tried to run some errands while we were in Cordoba yesterday but the places we needed to go were closed so we're heading back this morning. The hubby needs drawer slides and some other things for various building projects that are in the works -- including a desk for the study! Woo hoo!

I really do think that by the time we've been here a year, we'll have most of the big stuff in place. Poco a poco we are getting settled. I sure never expected it to take this long! But then again, I didn't expect to get so sick either. Having it take longer makes us appreciate each and every bit of progress ☺ With as much of a kick I get every time I look at the shelf in the kitchen with the toaster oven and water dispenser, and the crockpot sitting on the cabinet underneath, can you imagine what I'll be like when he gets the pantry cabinet built?!

That man knows the way to my heart is with organizational items. Forget the flowers, bring on the containers and shelves and cabinets ☺

And chocolate of course.


Mari said...

Orginazational things are right up my alley too! We love binder Park Zoo!

skoots1mom said...

one day i'll get to michigan...i've been to lake michigan, though.
i love the otters at the zoo..they make me laugh and they're so cuddly together.
funny story about the hippo...hope you were standing behind them when the kids scattered.
i'm with u on the org stuff...i'll be cleaning out my closet in our bedroom tomorrow and adding a few hanging shelves, etc.
we had chorus banquet was fun. would loved to have tried your vegetable pate'...i always like finding new ways to do veggies...did they taste roasted?

my hubby builds great things with wood. I know u'll love the new desk ... a place to put many little things so they're not on top of all your counters...woo hoo!!

have a good day 2morrow...think of me while i'm figuring out where to put everything once i pull it out of the closet :)

rita said...

I long for organization, a major goal in retirement. However, the calendar for the summer is already filling up quickly: AP Spanish exam readings, eight days; a Basque exchange student for a month; Cornerstone music festival, one week; a tandem-vacation, and only God knows what else.
BTW, great idea for something to do with our Basque 'daughter'--go to the zoo!