Yet another entry in the ongoing saga that is the destruction of all my childhood memories . . . Hogle Zoo edition.
(side note: skimming over those posts, it seems I get perhaps a tiny bit melodramatic when this topic comes up, no?)
A little background: the niece-phew . . . which I don't believe I ever mentioned turned out to be a nephew . . . finally came out west for a visit for the last two weeks. And since most of my family gets labor day off by default the others arranged to have it off too and we all went to the zoo.
Now. I knew going in that they had made some changes, and that things would probably not look exactly like they had the last time I went to this particular zoo. Especially considering I'm pretty sure the last time was when we still lived in Idaho. But still - I was not prepared to see all these big ole DAK Lodge-meets-Fort-Wilderness looking buildings where once there was a single rinky dink little ticket booth next to one of those rotating door grate thingies.
The first sign that this day was going to be nothing like I imagined it . . .
Anyway. You know that thing that's all the rage on pinterest these days? The one where they take the picture from, like, twenty years ago and get the people do pose the way they did then and it looks varying degrees so silly (and sometimes cute)? And you know how in those cheesy wedding reception slide shows they always have those side-by-side pictures of the bride and groom doing the same thing when they were little, like playing in the kiddie pool or covered in spaghetti or whatever? Now, I had the genius idea of combining those two things into some fun pictures myself. Namely, making Luke as an adult pose for all the pictures I took as a kid. So you can imagine by devastation upon walking in and discovering that the gopher hole picture wasn't going to happen. Because the gopher holes are now a pile of dirt on their way to becoming the new African safari exhibit. Yeah, I am so not okay with that.
On the plus side, the lion fountain still exists, although it's not in the same place.
And the gorilla exhibit hasn't changed much, although it kind of feels like it has since everything around it has changed.
So now mom just needs to dig up the pictures of me from whatever abyss they've been sucked in to.
The change I was probably most prepared for but most disappointed about was the lack of those wax molded animal making vending machines things (that google has oh-so-helpfully taught me are called Mold-A-Rama machines. and you'd better believe I'm working on a road trip to collect them all!!) Because seriously, I loved those cheap, crayon-smelling, melty, not-quite-toys, not-quite-display-things that must have been really cheap considering I remember getting them on, like, every trip to the zoo we ever made. Even though they come out of the machine still hot and therefore still kind of flexible and just a little bit of a push on them and they'd give way and I'm pretty sure not a one ever made it all the way back to IF with the bottom stand or whatever intact because we'd break them into a dozen pieces. I don't remember the elephants and gorillas lasting much longer when got them home either, but they always smelled like crayon and we always seemed to get new ones the next summer. Dude, what I wouldn't have given to have been able to get just one more of those this week.
Anyway. It was different, and that was somewhat distressing, but things made up for it. Like the part where it started as the perfect day to get out of town because when we left it was pouring buckets . . . literally. I kid you not, that was the scariest drive through Sardine Canyon I've ever experienced. But by the time we hit Ogden it was nothing but clear skies - well, rain wise at least. It was a little cloudy and a little gloomy, but it really just meant that it wasn't too hot or too bright out and generally made the day better. Until about mid-afternoon when the sun decided to come out and it shot up, like, thirty degrees in about half as many minutes. That part was not fun. And I guess I'm allergic to the sun or something because more or less right as the sun came out my eyes started itching and not long after that they were the epic waterfalls they were last year at Yellowstone. Blargh. So we gave back this guy:
And headed on out. Of course, it being September we had a couple of other stops to make - for which I shall just say: ORANGE. LEMONADE. LIFE. MADE.
And we stopped for dinner at In'N'Out. Now, I had quite deliberately not eaten since breakfast so I wouldn't be full when we hit Centerville on the way home. (the bad news is that that led to some slight dehydration and a mild headache all Tuesday . . . the things we do for good food . . . ) And can I just say - In'N'Out is delicious anytime, but when you're hungry it is AMAZING! I'd love to have one closer by.
And so slammed another door onto my memories. The elephants are mostly the same, the giraffe building is the same (although those are both going when the new exhibit is done) but nothing else is left of the zoo I used to go to. I wonder what other mental images will get mucked up before we're done.
P. ost S. cript
Seriously. Coolest things ever.
Except this one. Maybe. Maybe cooler.