We ended up with some pretty nice weather this weekend, so it was an occasion for us to actually make something of our copious unstructured time and find some… structure.
To be fair, this hasn’t generally been a problem for us this vacation – the Monster’s been at “School Day Out” at the JCC for two of the three weekdays that we’ve been off (they weren’t holding it on Christmas), and he’ll be at it for most of this coming week as well (again, closed on New Year’s Day). But it’s something to do, and we have the membership to the zoo anyway, so… off we went.
Now, granted, there’s not a lot new to see at the zoo on any particular visit, and our family membership’s become a little less valuable now that it’s not including 100% reciprocity with other zoos. We used to have that before this year, but the AZA seems to have changed the criteria. The shame of it is that we did used to use that feature a lot, mostly when we visit my parents in New Jersey, at the Turtle Back Zoo. Alas. (At least they kept the reciprocity with the B&O Railroad Museum in January/February.) But since the last time we went, R is a bit older, and the new penguin habitat has opened.
My actual biggest concern was the possibility for the zoo being crowded due to the weather or for the Monster being thrown off since we’re so far off his usual schedule. He’s not had Gymnastics this week due to the holidays, and his therapies are tossed all over the place…
But in the end, it went alright. We had a few minor tussles as I’m figuring out more as to what the Monster considers my ‘yelling’ (which seems to be a trigger, if I get firm and refuse him something), but for the most part, it was a good outing that tired both of them out quite a bit, and we got out of the house for a day.
The best part, though, is that there’s a ‘farmyard’ area that’s at the end of the Maryland Wilderness walk, including an area where you can pet goats. They have brushes so you can brush their coats, and you can usually just let them wander over to you to pet them to your heart’s content. On various days, the Monster’s shown little or no interest in them, but… Saturday, he was very interested in petting this one black goat that was up on a platform. (Once we dissuaded him from his want to climb up on the platform himself, that is.) And that contented him for a good ten or fifteen minutes, before he decided he was done with the whole thing.
And that alone made the trip rather worth it, if you ask me.