I had off from work on Friday, and so I opted to join P & E, and their baby girl, Rebecca, on a trip to the Bronx Zoo. This was particularly exciting as it was Rebecca's very first trip to the zoo. She's certainly too young to remember this trip, but regardless, I now get to say "I was there when...."
Rebecca has just mastered the fine art of walking solo for short spurts, and she can say things that sound like "Mama" and "Dada" though I am not entirely sure she knows that Mama and Dada means only one thing each. When Connor was learning to speak, he thought many things were "ball" and "fishy." Anyway, most importantly, Rebecca says "Wow!" when she sees something she likes. It's pretty damn cute. She said "wow" a lot at the zoo.
Giraffes and cheetahs were a big hit (the cheetahs were actually running around and playing). The lions were napping, and the peacocks were quite loud. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the elephants - for some inexplicable reason, the monorail was not running and that is the only way to see the elephants. We also had to skip the bears and the tigers because it started to rain pretty hard.
The highlight for me was the new Butterfly Garden - an indoor greenhouse with thousands of butterflies just flapping around. There's also a rock pond with waterfall and Japanese koi. Anyhoo, we saw a Zebra Swallowtail, many Zebra Longwings, quite a few Julias and some Monarchs. As I remarked, I typically hate bugs, but it's amazing what a large and beautiful pair of wings will do to turn my opinion around.
It hadn't occured to me, but I really relate the zoo with my childhood trips there. My mom used to love zoos (especially tigers and elephants, they were her faves) and when I was a munchkin, she used to take me to the Bronx Zoo. I have a wonderful and vivid memory of my mom getting me to ride the camel (they still do that near the Asia Pavillion) and how scared I was to do it, but how much fun (and smelly) it was while I was up there.
Back at the ranch, E fed Rebecca some yogurt and apple sauce concoction, a large part of which wound up on her face. While I was holding the Beckster and trying to make her laugh, she put her little arms around my neck and hugged me, head smooshed into my shoulder, and thusly melting my cold, cold heart. It's the first hug she's ever given me. "Oh.... she got yogurt all over your sweatshirt," Emma said. It was worth it. Thanks for the hug, Beckers.