Our Anniversary at the Zoo

Hubby and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere yesterday.  Clear skies, temp in the low 90’s, bright sunshine – it was a perfect June day to head to the zoo!

We arrived a bit later than intended – at around 10:00 instead of 9:00 when the zoo opens, but that was okay.  We’d spent a leisurely morning together and the day stretched before us – all ours to enjoy together.

Upon arrival, we found ample parking near the entrance in lots just right of where vision is directed as you round the curve.

We assumed Monday would be a relatively slow day.  And, perhaps it was.  I’ve no idea.  I’ve only been to this zoo once before. The first was on a Friday and that Friday was  apparently Field Trip Day for several schools.

There was an abundance of short people yesterday, most were accompanied by a three or four wheeled pushed or pulled apparatus manned or womaned by parents or grandparents. And, only rarely was the apparatus empty.  Sometimes it contained 3 or 4 of these short people who struggled for position and possession and wailed loudly when they obtained neither.  And, sometimes wailed even when they did.  By day’s end I wished for one to ride in myself.  A nap would have felt good. 😉

Hubby and I watched these short people and their attendants with great interest.  Not only were they entertaining, they were dangerous.  If they escaped from their apparatus they were hellbent on one thing only and that was getting as far away from their keepers as possible.  And, apparently they had great delight in doing so as evidenced by the squeals produced from them as their keepers chased and caught them.

We had once been attendants of two short people of our own….

Hubby asked, “So how old does Granddaughter have to be before we bring her to the zoo?”

I laughed.  I was thinking the same thing.  We couldn’t go back and relive times with our own short people, but we could eagerly look ahead!

As I think back over yesterday, I’m surprised to find that the majority of adults present had small children with them. And, wisely had a wheeled apparatus as pulling or pushing is easier than carrying.

There’s a lot of walking involved at the Nashville Zoo. We walked up hill and down.  Accustomed to walking our neighborhood, we thought to get only a light workout as we walked the paved paths through the zoo.  But, we got more of a workout than anticipated.  Some of those hills provide quite a pull.

I watched with envy first and then with amusement as several small people escaped from their keepers and ran uphill.  Their keepers dashed after them but quickly showed and stopped – able only to gasp out the names of the little rogues and demand a swift return “or else” and begin a slow, loud count – “ONE”…”TWO”….  Upon hearing “TWO”, both short ones turned and ran as fast as their shortness would allow and with great abandon down the hill.

I’ll admit…I watched with both horror and admiration.  I wished my legs would still do that and my fear of falling was as non existent as theirs appeared to be.

I suddenly felt quite old…felt every one of my years and wondered what it would be like to descend the hill in a wheelchair…sans keeper, and doubted I would be able to make the curve and would probably land in the poison ivy just off the path.

Hubby’s hand found mine and we walked on to see what we would find atop the hill and around the next bend in the path.

Every moment at the zoo was filled with enjoyment.  There was ample shade, a great variety of activities, opportunities to cool down (air conditioned buildings as well as a “rain room” with huge fans and misting water), delicious food (the cheeseburger meal was large enough for Hubby and me to share!), clean and abundant restroom facilities, wide paths and plenty of room to wander without feeling crowded.

We had a wonderful time and have great memories of spending our 36th anniversary together at the zoo.  We walked around, hand in hand, and engaged in a little light smooching when we thought no one was looking.

By the time we made it all the way through and around the zoo, we were tired.  And, I knew why God gave short people to those younger than I. 😉

As we sat at the backside of the zoo watching the giraffes and short people, we realized our day at the zoo was nearly over.  The giraffes’ attention was drawn repeatedly to things beyond their enclosure and finally all four gathered near the gate – no doubt in anticipation of their keepers.  We checked the time and saw that 5:00 was nearly upon us.

Hubby asked, “Think it’s time to head toward the exit?”

It was and I said so. Not because I wanted to leave, but because I knew we wouldn’t be allowed to stay past closing. 😉

As we turned to leave the Giraffe compound, Hubby asked, “Which way is the exit?”

“No worries, Sweetie – it’s down hill all the way from here,” I replied.


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