Friday, June 12, 2009

Alaska Zoo

While the title of this post could just as easily describe life inside the walls of my house, it's also a hint of where we went this week. A pretty obvious hint.

I only take my girls to the zoo once a year. My thinking is that they will appreciate the experience more if it is rare and special. I call it the Chuck E. Cheese Principal. Kids who go to Chuck E. Cheese all the time don't think it's that fun of a place. Their parents spend over $50 on pizza and tokens, and are rewarded with the sweet voices of their little ones complaining, "Again?!?" My girls are allowed to go once every 6 to 8 months, and they love the loud, colorful, germ factory. But I digress. Back to the zoo . . . we usually visit in the spring to avoid the mosquitoes and crowds. This year, however, we ended up going in June. 

I'm going to be honest with you. I am not a big zoo person. But even I enjoy the Alaska Zoo. You can walk through it in an hour, unless you want to take your time—then two hours, tops. The nicely groomed gravel paths guide you past lots of pretty flowers and lookout stations to animals that are housed in their natural habitats. 

I appreciate all the foliage and space for the animals, even though it means that in more than 10 years I have yet to get a clear view of the tiger.

No, that is not my 3-year-old sticking her head into the tiger's cage.

She's just reaching for a plant. Don't ask me why.
It's there. Behind a fence. Must touch it.

Uh-oh. Now the other twin is getting in on the action. Better put down the camera and avert disaster.

My girls' favorite exhibit is the seal and otter pool. It was closed last year, and maybe even the year before,  while they rebuilt the viewing platform and made various improvements. You can stand down underground and look in through the water as the harbor seals swim around.

The zoo is filled with lots of animals that you would find throughout Alaska, like muskox . . . 

. . . and mountain goats . . .

. . . and polar bears.

And brown bears and black bears and porcupines and moose and caribou and foxes. I could go on and I could post a ton of pictures, but we'd be here all day. I'm getting bored with all the animal talk. This is why I am not a good zoo person.

One creature that appears in every zoo in every state across this great nation is the llama. Alaska is no exception. We have llamas in our zoo. And, Lord have mercy, they're ugly. I don't like 'em and I don't trust 'em. There's a malevolent look in their eye, like they're planning to spit their gross mucus on you no matter how quietly you try to tiptoe past. They make me nervous. 

Shaved llamas. Is there anything more repulsive?

Dinner last night: pizza

You might also be interested in visiting the Anchorage Museum.


Michele said...

I must admit, those ARE some of the ugliest llamas I've ever seen.

AK_Dug said...

Hey Kim, My kids sure love the zoo as well. You just can't beat strollin' the trails on the way to see the tigers on a sunny day!!

Helene said...

Llamas are said it! Aren't they the animals that will spit on you if they get mad?

I haven't taken my kids to the zoo in ages...probably because my home is a zoo.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

the shaved llama is hysterical. I have trouble taking my kids to the Zoo, a) cause I still haven't figured out how to keep them all under control, and b) we have a hill that would kick Lance Armstrong's a**. Try pushing my Mountain Buggy, filled with the boys,and cajoling Rachel along. Mmm .. much fun!

glitzen said...

Ha ha! We went to the zoo on Sunday! I even stopped and asked my girls "now I wonder who has the job of llama shaving?".
You can see a picture of the owl, Mr Peabody, on my blog right now. He's really pretty and scary both!