OZ is the new "cool" advertising gimmick used by the Oregon Zoo......
I gotta say, this morning my enthusiasm for this field trip was pretty darn low. I had left things to be done in the morning (always a recipe for feeling stressed) and walked out of the door knowing I'd forgotten at least one thing. As it turned out, it was three things - gloves, my Russian Tea, and warmer clothing.
With that in mind, we did make it to the school on time and I was assigned a very pleasant group of kids to keep track of. In addition, one of the boys' mom came along, so pretty much it was Brayden, one of his birthday-party buddies, and a sweet little girl. I could totally handle that.
The bus ride up was tolerable - a little chilly, but I did manage to start a fun chick-lit book and nod off for a while. However, at the Salem rest stop I was acutely aware of how very cold it was outside and how under-dressed I was (despite two Northface jackets). My only saving grace, one of those Thermacare patches I threw in.
By the time we had toured the primates, elephants and African Safari, it was seriously raining (or should I say hailing), and I, without even a hood, was losing feeling in my fingers. We had lunch next to the bathrooms, apart from the rest of the group because 1) we didn't want to travel in the rain and 2) we weren't even sure the Elephant Pavilion had covered space or tables to sit at. On my trip to the restroom, I discovered it actually had very hot water and I nearly ditched my group to spend the rest of the day under the faucet.
We then hightailed it to the Gift Shop as it was a mandatory stop for some point in the day - and it was heated. What do you know, but for $9.99 they sell a fleece hat/gloves/scarf set. And, despite the fact that it didn't match my attire it was one of the best $10 purchases I've made in a long time. The rest of the day improved dramatically from there.
Perhaps my favorite part of the day isn't even included in these pictures. On the way home, Brayden and I worked through a workbook with wordsearches, mystery riddles, and word scrambles with Brayden's teacher sitting across the aisle, helping out and chatting. How rare for me to spend 2 plus hours totally consumed with positive Brayden time (not to mention the time spent at the zoo). Just goes to show that those experiences we find ourselves dreading, can turn out to be absolute blessings.