Along with most of the rest of Northern Oregon, we decided to go to the Zoo today. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was in the mid 60s without a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, I made some poor driving choices. I followed the signs to the overflow parking lot only to find it almost full and the line for the shuttle probably 200-people long. The shuttle was a set of school buses. I couldn't imagine trying to lift my double stroller up onto a school bus while dragging my three kids on with me. I decided to drive to a MAX station and ride the MAX to the zoo, since it stops right at the zoo and would be easier than stuffing my crew and gear onto a school bus. I drove to the closest MAX station. It has a 2-level parking structure and a label on the traffic light leading in to the parking lot that lights up when the lot is full. It was not lit. But it should have been. We drove around the entire parking structure with several other cars only to have to leave in defeat. We finally headed back home. I figured we could either park at the MAX station near our house or call it quits and just go home and play on the swingset and eat the picnic lunch I had packed. That was actually my vote, but the kids had heard the word zoo escape my lips and they were not about to go home without seeing a zoo. We got to the MAX station by our house about an hour after having set out. Next time there's a sunny day on a school vacation, we're STARTING with the MAX, that's all I have to say about it. We saw a train pull out while we unloaded the car. Another passed us by while we tried to buy our ticket. While waiting for the next train, I got into a conversation with another mom on the way to the zoo. She looked down and asked where Becca had lost a shoe. AAAARGH! I ran to the car leaving the kids trailing behind, retreived the shoe and ran back to the tracks. The next train was decent enough to make me wait another 5 minutes before showing up, but at least we didn't miss it.
So we finally made it to the zoo. The line to buy tickets was horrible, but after about 30 minutes more I was able to take my hungry, tired, and cranky kids into the actual zoo. We rushed to the back of the zoo to meet the Istooks and then toured the zoo with them. We actually saw some neat things. The baboons were right at the bottom of the cage by the glass. Becca laid claim to the biggest as HER monkey and was thrilled when he sat and ate some leaves while looking at us. (My monkey is looking at me!) We saw the hippos and lions. Anna disappeared outside the lions' enclosure. We split up to look for her and Butch found her being escourted away by a zoo employee. We gave each other hugs and stuck her in the stroller for most of the rest of the tour. We saw a giraffe up close in it's inside enclosure. We saw the sea lions up on the rocks stretching their necks. The kids had a blast being together. Then we rode the MAX home.