Syd took the map in hand immediately, declared that she wanted to see the camels--
--and then navigated us there perfectly!
Somehow our zoo brochure missed being stuffed with the day's shows, events, and activities, but we had plenty to do, regardless. Nevertheless, when we passed the giraffe exhibit *just* in time for the giraffe feeding, and when it was discovered that yes, indeed, I *did* happen to have two dollar bills in my wallet, well...
I'm still not shelling out so much as a penny to feed those petting zoo goats, however:
After having gone my entire life without seeing a gorilla in person, since June I've now seen them in TWO separate zoos!
I think I've told you before, many times, that Willow loves animals. LOVES animals. Her love isn't always expressed exactly as others would understand--a favorite pastime of hers is feeding worms and butterflies, two animals that she loves very much, to her chickens (whom she also loves very much, of course...)--and sometimes her love is rather expressed as intellectual curiosity, as with her plans for a mounted butterfly collection, but she truly loves animals, all animals, more deeply than even most kids do.
And animals love her. Animals notice her, even zoo animals who are used to the comings and goings of hundreds of thousands of visitors to their habitats. I always take lots of photos of my kids watching the animals at every zoo, but it's recently struck me that I also seem to take an unusual amount of photos of zoo animals watching Willow back:
I'm a big budgeter, and thus an early planner, and I've begun, recently, to plan a list of must-see's for our big Out West road trip this summer. I want to see the Laura Ingalls homestead. Syd wants to see Lakota campgrounds (Thanks, Buffalo before Breakfast!). Matt's seen everything except for the dino dig stuff.
And as for Will?
Dinosaurs (of course).
I think we're also going to Yellowstone!