Zoo Trip!

Just a quick word of thanks to the folks at Two Writing Teachers. I appreciate the work you’ve put into hosting this year’s Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thank you!


It’s been a while since we’ve been to the zoo, and yesterday seemed like a good day to go.

This week is spring break for me, and my wife and her fellow tax preparers are enjoying the breathing room of the extended deadline.  We just happen to have two granddaughters, so it’s not like we had to go alone.  The weather was certainly cooperative: sunny and 78 degrees.  Clearly, the stars were aligned for a road trip north to Nashville.

Now that it’s over, though, I’m not sure what to write about.

I could probably write about the morning before the trip.  We didn’t tell the kids ahead of time, so they learned of the plan an hour before we left.  Thinking ourselves clever, we played Raffi’s “Goin’ to the Zoo” for them as our way of sharing the surprise.  Fun fact: subtlety is sometimes lost on six- and seven-year olds.  We had to just tell them.  Craziness ensued.

Passing on the pre-trip action, I could write about the time on the road.  90 minutes in a car with two young kids provided plenty of topics.  The dialog between stuffed animals was cute–and lengthy–so that’s certainly an option.  I could toss in our conversation about the words “extraordinary” and “exuberant,” or I could even describe the need for snacks, because, no, lunch wasn’t eaten before the trip as craziness was ensuing.  

I could write about how “ensuing” is an adjective, and the need to claim literary license in order to use it in the previous sentence.

The zoo itself, of course, provided lots of experiences to share:  

  • The disappointment of seeing the kid in front of us claim the lion on the carousel, despite us being third in line and certain we’d get it.  
  • The realization that, as a seven-year-old, carousels are more exciting as a memory than they are in real life. 
  • How hard it is to hold one’s young hand still as two lorikeets are squabbling over the cup of nectar clenched within one’s fist.
  • Cotton candy vs popcorn?  Nana’s idea of a healthy snack instead?  Circling back to cotton candy vs popcorn?
  • My amusement at seeing the meerkats, almost certainly as a result of watching The Lion King countless times over the last 25 years (you know, bits and pieces I’d catch as my kids were watching it; not that I ever sat down for it).
  • Gift shop!

What about the drive back?  The love Lisa showed for our daughter as she worked to keep the kids awake during the last 10 miles of the trip?

I could write about the two of us finally getting home, absolutely ready to collapse.

Hmmm.  If I’m going to get this post done, I’m going to have to decide.

Or not. 

21 thoughts on “Zoo Trip!”

    1. Jennifer, that’s what they went with! One of them got popcorn, and the other got candy cane. The popcorn girl was a bit more eager to share, but they did okay. 🙂

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  1. We did the exact same thing yesterday (in Chicago)…..it is always fun to see the Zoo through the eyes of kids! Sounds like you had a great time!

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    1. The zoo is usually a good time, and we enjoy going. We’re going to try to get there more often this year, and I hope to write about it again. Thanks for your comments!

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  2. I loved taking a journey with your family to the zoo and a journey through your process as a writer. You sound like amazing grandparents!

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  3. We used to love going to the zoo with the boys. We tried to go to the zoo in St. Paul last week when we visited our youngest, but they are still regulating crowds and to get tickets (they are free – it’s just for numbers) you have to register at least two weeks ahead of time! (Who knew?!) Anyway, your day trip sounds like a lot of fun! Glad you were able to go and thanks for sharing!

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  4. In a word: Delightful. I think you should go ahead and write it. Using ensuing any old ensuing way you like. The joy of the children is palpable…worth the post-collapse, I am quite sure! So enjoyed tagging along for these zoo highlights and for the record, I choose both cotton candy and popcorn. It’s a special day.

    P.S. Isn’t Rafiki priceless, in the scene where he tells the grown-up Simba that… oh yeah, you haven’t “sat down’ to watch that movie. Alas. Never mind…

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    1. Fran, I think I will! Thanks, by the way, for permission to use ensuing–I appreciate that! I’m happy to say that the kids opted to each get a different snack and then share. Kind of like when TImone and Pumba shared their “grub” with Simba. I mean, that’s what I was told happened. (Thank you for the laugh!)

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  5. I’m still laughing about the attempt to reveal your surprise with the Raffi song and having it go completely over the kids’ heads. Of COURSE that’s how it would go down. Reading this string-of-pearls of a day reminded me about the times we went with our kids to the zoo, and the ensuing (see what I did there?) chaos. I’m also going to say this: meerkats will NEVER not be entertaining. Thanks for this post – and all of them. I’m glad to have you in my writing circle.

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    1. Lainie, the song brought crickets and a confused look–it was priceless in an epic fail (on our part) way. Zoo trips do lend themselves to ensuing chaos, don’t they!?

      I’m glad to be in a writing circle with you. Thank you for all of your encouragement and modeling through your writing–I appreciate it!

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  6. Writing about deciding what to write about–clever, again. I have really enjoyed your posts this year. Good luck with fourth grade next year and thanks for so many thoughtful comments on my blog. See you next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim! This made me smile so hard. Grandparents are honestly the best. I love watching my mom with our son – I don’t think I can name a comparable joy. Clever format, too! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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