We kidnapped the grandkids today and went to the zoo. K had his water, G had her water, M and I didn’t. Oops!
We decided (meaning I decided and M shrugged and agreed) that the kids would design our visit. We got 2 maps and made plans. K, who’s a tweenager, is very focused on the distances, the heat, the ability of the grandparents to transit the walking looks and decides to go to the Desert Dome, but since little G doesn’t like the smell, we go only to the Kingdom of the Night and see the bats, the beavers, the snakes, and the alligators (including a white one!) G is upset because K ALWAYS gets to choose. She wants to see the Aquarium 1st and is mad because K chose the closest building. We tell her that we ARE going to the Aquarium, but just not first. K gets to choose because he’s the oldest, and she gets to choose where we go next. So she chooses the Aquarium and then whines because it isn’t first. I tell her that it doesn’t matter whether it’s first as long as we see it. She sulks. She’s 3rd grade.
We knew we wanted to go on the train and the carousel, but we needed tickets. The ticket booth was right next to the Skyfari, so we slipped that in between the aquarium and the carousel. Waaaaa! You said we were going to the carousel next. Oh, the unlimited energy of children! K said, “We have to remember distances because these guys are our Dad’s parents!” G sniffs. So we take the Skyfari up and over the rhinos and the sable antelope and though we didn’t see the cheetahs, we saw the enormous sundial, the brass rhino and elephant, and the lions sleeping on the rocks. The kids got to “fly” the helicopter, and we went to the lion compound but couldn’t see the lions from the ground. We rode the Skyfari. Unintended consequences: I have put both legs to sleep and my feet are cramping! It made getting off the gondola tricky! After maneuvering off the dread machine, we then headed for the carousel. It was a longer trek than M or I had anticipated!
K and G went on the carousel, then we went and picked up the train. We rode in the caboose! The kids wanted to be as far away from the whistle as possible. K can differentiate the trains by their whistles! What kid his age does that? I’m impressed! The whining has begun. I perceive that K is flexible and looks for opportunities. But he also seems to be checking objectives off and more interested in getting to the locations than enjoying what they see there. Hurry UP, Grandma! G tends to fixate on the plan and gets upset when it changes. This is interesting.
We finished the train ride at Glacier Bay…92 degrees, no glaciers, no snow, no mountains. I was shocked! By this time, M and I are dehydrated. K, G, and I go to the closed restaurant and sit in the shade while M looks for the tram to take us up to the gate. Whining ensues. “We wanna go to the gift shop!!!!” “Maybe…” We wait for about 15 min. We think this is where G lost her water bottle. The tram comes and we all get on and head uuuuuuup the hill to the Lied Jungle. We decided to eat there because it’s air-conditioned, darker, and you can watch the monkeys while you eat. They make a KILLING on food! OMG! $5.25 for a hot dog? This isn’t the meal, that’s just the hot dog. The fries are $5.25, the mac and cheese is $5.25, the fruit is $5.00 ($5.00 for an apple!), the fruit cups M and I had were $7.25 because they had to cut up the fruit and add 1 Tbs of yogurt. K’s commemorative cup of water was $9.50. So, lunch for 2 kids and 2 grandparents was nearly $100. That’s nuts. I could get a steak dinner for everyone for less than that! Kids are not whining. G finally finishes her hot dog. We’re cooled down and head out, but not to the gift shop. Awwww. Well, I asked when they were coming back and if they could wait until then to get their gifts. They reluctantly agreed. We then trekked up to the car.
K and G are saying “Best Day Ever!!!” Warms a grandparent’s heart. M and I are exhausted and dehydrated, even after our $5/$7 drinks. We have racked up 7,500 steps. But, we’re having to drink about 1 gal of water. I have severe cramps in the bottoms and TOPS of my feet, my calves, my hands? and my leg is complaining. I take a 2-hour nap, punctuated by cramping.
Maybe not the BEST day ever, but it was fun!