Question: What’s the best way to dislodge me from a “case of the Mondays”?
Answer: A surprise trip to the zoo on a work day, of course! Hubby knows me so well 🙂
Tangent: If you have your own “case of the Mondays”, rent the movie Office Space – it’s hilarious!
So we took off Monday for the zoo, and we were torn between which side of the zoo to visit – Toledo Zoo straddles a major highway, the Anthony Wayne Trail, and we never visit both sides in the same day because it adds a TON of walking, much of it up long ramps pushing a heavy double stroller. We usually park in the back and opt for the larger side of the zoo, but we have been visiting a lot lately, and since it was a work day and Hubby had to get home at a somewhat decent hour to get back to work, we opted for the smaller side of the zoo. This side might not have many exhibits, but there is this almost-year-old baby polar bear that I’ve been wanting to see, so it seemed like the right choice – until we saw the sign at the gate that read, “Our baby polar bear, Siku, will not be on exhibit today.” WHAT?!? Well, we had already parked, unloaded kids, and walked into the zoo, so visiting the other side was no longer an option. We trudged on, determined to make the best of it.
And lucky us, it all worked out wonderfully! We may not have gotten to see a super-cute baby polar bear, but we got to see a full-grown male polar bear up close, nose to nose – I’m talking within inches. Sure, there was a pane of glass separating us from the polar bear, but that’s a given – look at this:
In case you’re wondering, Marty the polar bear (Siku the cub’s dad) has a bucket containing frozen fish in an ice block. We watched him conquer the first bucket and devour the fish, and then he bullied the 2nd bucket away from the other polar bear and worked on it for a good 30-40 minutes – we had to leave before he got to the fish from the 2nd bucket. I could not decide which video was best, so I’m just going to post all 4 – they’re all under a minute long anyway so they don’t take forever to unload off my camera. All of the videos were taken while Marty was working on the 2nd ice bucket. You can see how he dips the bucket in the water and even dives into the water with the bucket in his mouth in order to let the water loosen up the fish ice block for him.
In case you’re wondering, being up close and personal with a thousand pounds of polar bear (give or take a few hundred pounds) is really as amazing as it looks!!!
And my two little ones had a great time also – at first my son was afraid of the polar bear, but he got over that once he realized that Marty was much more interested in his bucket than some zoo visitors. Here are the kids posing in an “arctic cave”:
And the kids’ favorite part of the day? Climbing on and posing on this mock dung heap near the giraffe exhibit. Kids – gotta love ’em!