Saturday, August 27, 2011

Company picnic - a day at the zoo

The weather was so nice today - cooler than it has been and not a cloud in the sky. I thought it would be the perfect day for the ConAgra picnic and a day at the zoo. I was right, but apparently 20,000 other people thought the same thing. Seriously. I knew we were in trouble when we got to the 13th Street exit of the interstate and cars were backed up the entire length of the off ramp. But then I remembered the 24th Street exit was closed so that was probably the reason for the long line. Oh hell no. Apparently everybody and their uncle (and all the kids) decided it would be a nice day to go to the zoo. So, along with heaven only knows how many employees of ConAgra, the zoo was THE destination today. We left home about 10:30 and there was no parking anywhere close to the zoo. They only have about 20 handicapped parking placed to begin with and those were full of course. Steve dropped me off in front of the gate and went to park. About 20 minutes later he showed up. He had to park on the west side of the old Rosenblatt parking lot and clear down to the north. That's about as far as you can possibly go to park. Like somebody wants to park half a mile away and then traipse all over the zoo and then walk back to the car. Stupid. They need to have shuttle buses or something. Steve asked if I wanted a wheelchair, but I would have felt like an idiot, so I said no. Ha ha ha... Wishing now I would have said HELL YES! It costs $8 to rent a wheelchair from the zoo or $22 for a battery operated scooter. I would have taken the scooter, but I knew he wouldn't want to fork over that much money.

It's only been about 2 years since I went to the zoo last, but they've made some major changes - I couldn't get oriented once I got inside to save my life. We started with the Desert Dome, which is really neat and usually I like to go in there, but today it was so packed that half the time we were just shuffling along with the crowd. We did get some good pictures, but it was just too crowded. I'm not a big fan of crowds anyway and I was just getting antsy to get back outside. We did't even go into the Creatures of the Night exhibit, I had had enough of people by the time I'd been there 15 minutes. I wanted to see the Madagascar exhibit, but we made a wrong turn and ended up in the monkey house. Monkeys aren't that exciting, so we didn't stay long. Ended up going to the train depot and taking a train ride. I can't believe they can seriously charge $5 for the train trip - glad we got free passes. I wanted to ride the new Sky-- Whatever they call it, those little cars that go along a cable... I love that ride at the Iowa State Fair, but when we went by the entrance there was a huge line, so we didn't even try going

After the train ride, we walked down to where the food part of the picnic was being held. The food was okay. They have hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled chicken, potato salad, fruit salad and then Snack Pack pudding and Healthy Choice ice cream for dessert. It was okay, but nothing fancy. I had a hamburger and then filled the rest of my plate with fruit. Not much for potato salad that's been sitting outside for heaven knows how long. (Probably not long, by the size of the crowd, but still...) Of course all the picnic tables were full, so we went over by the seals to eat. I love the seals!

I was ready to go by then. We had also gone through the Aviary, which used to be a bridge over a small lake with lots of goldfish, but now is about a 6 block walk where the fish used to be (never did find out where the fish went). The flamingos were really pretty, but they were also pretty stinky, I was happy to leave that behind. I understand where there are animals there is going to be animal poop, but it was really bad. I just held my breath and walked as quick as I could. Nasty. Anyway, we got done eating and waited for the tram to take us back to the zoo entrance so we could leave. We just barely missed one, the next one was full, and the tram stop was in the sun, so rather than wait for another we started walking. Mistake. I love our zoo, we have a very nice one, but I can't for the life of me figure out why both of them have to be at the top of a hill. I was seriously hurting and in tears by the time we got out of there. Between walking all over the VA Home grounds on Thursday and walking for 3 hours except for a train ride and eating time today, I've had enough. My body is screaming at me tonight. To top it all off, when I was coming down the stairs by the seals, I took a huge step down onto my right ankle and came down hard with a small twisting motion, so that's hurting too. After today I really miss the old ConAgra summer picnics - each division used to have thei own picnic and they'd rent FunPlex for the day. It was great. I used to think those were crowded - I was wrong! (Mark you calendars.... That doesn't happen very often... Ha ha ha...)

That's about all we did today. The missionaries came over for awhile after we got home. Then I thought about taking a second shower today, but I really didn't think I could stand that long. Legs are very sore tonight - just wait until tomorrow! I decided to take a whirlpool bath, which would have been great if the whirlpool had worked, but the circuit breaker had tripped and I didn't find out until I was already in the tub. I hate when that happens. So I just took a regular old bath. And now I'm going to go to bed. Tomorrow may be a muscle relaxer day. I can feel my back muscles just twisting up tonight. I wish I had enough sense to know when something was going to be too hard for me and just not do it. One of these days I'm going to learn to just say no - and screw the consequences. I did have fun, but it would have been more fun if the pain had been a little less - and I don't have anyone to blame but myself. I didn't want to take my purse with me, so I took my pain pills out of my purse and then forgot to take them with us. I didn't have my first one until 3:30. Way too late to do much good, I had already done too much.

Hurricane Irene is tearing up the East Coast, from North Carolina clear up into Canada. It should hit New York City tomorrow and that should be very interesting. They had a bad storm a couple weeks ago with over 10 inches of rain and now 100 mph winds and up to 15 inches of more rain is coming their way. Holy buckets, Batman. Glad I'm sitting here in my nice cool dry house! I'm praying for my friends who live back east. It's ugly - already 8 storm-related deaths. Hopefully, it won't get any worse.

Guess that's it for tonight. I have more thoughts, but I think the Ambien may be working.....

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