Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Free’ zoo admission adds up fast

May 3, 2000

We went to the St. Louis Zoo over the weekend. There were others reasons for driving across Missouri, but a zoo with free admission was at the top of my list.

After driving more than four hours, the trip was anything but free.

There were bathroom stops and "Emily needs out of the car" breaks, which resulted in snack and drink purchases that could have paid for a week of groceries. There was the obligatory run through McDonald's for lunch I have convinced myself, for Emily's sake, that french fries are a vegetable. And there were the new toys bought for the trip with hopes of occupying Emily for more than 5 minutes they didn't.

If the first few hours of a three-day trip could add up so quickly, we would need to do some financial planning before our "real" vacation to Wyoming in June.

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  • We didn't even get to the zoo until Sunday, because it was raining on Friday, when we planned on going to avoid the weekend crowd.

Instead, we became part of the tangle of parents, children and strollers vying for the best spot to view the animals. I quickly learned to settle for seeing ears and an occasional appendage while Emily squeezed in between adult legs for a front row view.

She liked the active animals the best which there weren't too many of on the sunny 80-degree day. The polar bears, gorillas and the goats in the children's zoo were the stars of the day.

However, the hit of the weekend was a simple playground near our hotel, and the loud, busy Hard Rock Cafe at Union Station.

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  • It's May, and that means Baldwin City is busy. The weekend kicked-off the month's busy schedule, with a community street dance sponsored by the Phi Mu sorority, a spring carnival at Marion Springs Elementary School, a field day at the Baker Wetlands, a Friends of the Library plant sale, and the Relay for Life at Liston Stadium.

There would have been plenty to do here, had I checked my calendar before planning my St. Louis excursion.

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