I bet you thought it couldn't get worse.
No, you would be wrong. Our zoo escapades got even less fun. So this time, I figured since they don't kick you out right away when they close (at 5pm), I could pick the kids up from school at 3:30 and make it there in time to see a couple things and then be back in time for dinner. Anyway, we were supposed to be studying birds, right? And it's a lot easier to observe a bird up close when the bird is in a cage. So I figured we'd choose some random bird and I'd ask the kids a bunch of questions to help them observe it, and they'd draw it in their little sketch books and we'd be done.
I brought a ton of snacks to help prevent the meltdown we had had last time at the zoo, and after I got the kids we headed over. I knew the last entrance to the zoo was at 4, but I thought we had plenty of time, it's only 20 minutes down the mountain anyway. You see where this is going, don't you? It took a little longer than I expected, and then we parked and we had only three or four minutes to get from the parking lot to the zoo. I mean, it's pretty fast, you just need to swipe your subway card to get in, you don't spend any time getting tickets. And surely they're not that strict! Well, 4:02 saw me standing at the closed gate, begging them to let us in. You have to understand. People here follow the rules. Where we used to live, I would have told that lady to stop her griping and open the gate because I have disappointed kids here and what am I supposed to do about that? But, nope, not here. No exceptions. Two minutes late and it's closed.
Ugh, I was so mad. We stood there glaring at the lady for a good five minutes and I let the kids get out some of the snacks and they glared too. (I'm such a good role model.) Eventually she closed the blinds and left the booth and there we still were. So I told the kids we could at least go sit down on a bench and finish our snacks. Well, on the way over, G accidentally spilled half his little bag of crackers and what do you know, a mad rush of pigeons heads straight toward us to check out the new food. Ha! Birds! Right up close next to us! I busted out my nature study book and got asking. Notice the eyes, notice the nostrils, which ones are male and female? What happens to the tail feathers when it takes off? So many questions, and there were so many birds, and they were so close to us! We observed our little hearts out for a good thirty minutes, and when the kids each drew a pigeon in their sketch book, it was by far the best drawing of birds they had ever done. So, we hit rock bottom with the zoo, but it turned out to be quite a fun day anyway! Even M, who hates animals, said it was the best animal study she had ever done. Go figure. Pigeons when you're locked out of the zoo.