Minnesota Zoo. It was a toss up between this one and the Como Zoo, but when i saw the Minnesota Zoo had a monorail, well that sold it. Besides a nice way to get an overview of the zoo, i'm probably more out of shape than i should admit to, and wasn't sure about walking it all. Well, that turned out to be true, i got to about half before my legs and back hurt like hell. The back is less being out of shape and more a continuing issue i've had with it since falling down the stairs. Good times.
Anyway, never having been there before, and wanting to take a more scenic route, i ended up getting lost. Lots of backtracking, thinking "where the hell am i??", and pulling over checking a map (yeah, yeah, i have a pocket gps that was out of charge, and driving solo isn't an easy way to get un-lost). Eventually got to a place where i recognized the road names, and got there. It was a gorgeous day though, and i wasn't minding driving around back roads enjoying it, so there is that.
Got in, and was surprised how busy it was there, figured a wednesday while other things were going on, the state fair, school starting soon, etc. that it would be less busy, but it was. Lots of groups of kids, and even more parents with kids. One quick gripe, there was a family with a freaking wagon, several strollers, and more, going through the more narrow passages, blocking areas, backing into people. Just made me notice more people who only think of themselves. Also lost count of how many kids ran into me while i was standing there, them not looking while running around, parents not giving a crap. I get it, the kids are over stimulated, but the parents should know better. Not to mention the ones tapping on the glass, when signs clearly said not to, parents un caring. Yeah, if it's not clear, the trip didn't endure me to people, that's for sure.
That guy up there in the picture is a red panda, rubbing his head on that branch. One of my favorite things there. Just too cute, even if sleep seemed it's favorite activity, heh. The otters were also one of my faves, as growing up there were some that lived near the river behind my parents house. So many awesome animals, a lot were sleepy, but it was pretty hot in the tropics area, and when i was there it was about that time most sleep anyway. Even though, i did take a lot of photos, filled almost two 16gb memory cards, about 900 pictures. Went though last night and picked about 138 of them and posted them to my flickr. I'm thinking about going to zoos more, at least trying to hit more. I used to go to the Milwaukee Zoo quite a bit when i lived more down there, and even made a few trips when i lived in LaCrosse. Which reminds me, i should go down to the Bristol Renaissance Faire sometime. It's been close to 20 years since i've been to it, and i prefer it's set up, more shade, less a big empty space, knew plenty of people who worked it, etc. I say this, and it's been years since i've even been to the Minnesota one, 2001 or so i think. Long story.
On an unrelated note, saw something that i wish i could have gotten a picture of on the way back. Nearing Hastings, a man was walking down the highway in tight short shorts, built like the hulk, and tanned to a very dark brown. It was so completely random and took me off guard that really wish i had a picture of it.