Going to the zoo, take 2 (San Diego, day 5)

We called Daddy before breakfast but unfortunately had to talk to his voicemail. Still, Reid gave him a big hug, kiss and vigourous “bye-bye” wave in a message. I don’t know what this sounds like to the recipient and so I narrate what is happening. Daddy called back and Reid had the biggest smile when she heard his voice. They talked a bit and after another kiss and hug, I took the receiver back. Reid realized that she hadn’t waved and I had to turn the receiver toward her while she waved good-bye. Reid offered me good-bye kisses and hugs a couple of times despite the fact I hadn’t said that I was leaving. When I was ready to leave and asked for a kiss, Reid told me she had “did it” already and crawled out of reach. I’m pretty sure she isn’t traumatized from being left with Aunt Karin. Especially since I wasn’t allowed to push the stroller when we walked Monday night nor allowed to take a photo of the three of us wearing foam animals masks. (I read somewhere that you should bring Disneyland memorabilia when you travel so that you don’t have to pay full price for souvenirs and brought masks that I bought on sale so that Reid has some zoo loot. Cheap or thrifty, you decide.)

Reid and Aunt Karin walked to Denny’s for breakfast. Just outside the hotel, Aunt Karin spotted a snail on a low wall and pointed it out to Reid. Reid’s response? “Touch it.” And Aunt Karin helped her to do so. Next, Reid wanted a photo with the snail. Then, Reid wanted a photo with her touching the snail. And then another. And another. Finally they started walking again. About 20 steps later, they saw a cement truck pouring cement into a gigantic bowl that a very larger crane then poured into the building they were building. After the first time, Aunt Karin suggested that they should go. “Just one more time,” Reid said, holding up her finger. (I know just what that looks like; I see it often.) The construction workers were watching Reid watching the truck and crane. I hope they appreciated how cool their machines are. Well, after the third time through, Reid didn’t protest as Aunt Karin pushed the stroller away. At Denny’s they had a leisurely breakfast (sounds nicer than Reid is a slow eater because she doesn’t stay focused on the task at hand, eh) during which Reid ate all of Aunt Karin’s sausage, stealing two off of the plate faster than Aunt Karin could react, and had to take two potty breaks.

After breakfast, they took a cab back to the San Diego Zoo. Their first stop was the elephant enclosure, of course. At Reid’s request, they made two more visits to the elephants plus walked by on their way elsewhere one more time. The saw many other animals but didn’t see the zebras. Despite a zebra image appearing on the zoo map, the zebras were hard to find. After much walking, hunting, reading signs and backtracking, Aunt Karin and Reid took another ride on the guided tour bus since we had seen them on Sunday when we took a tour. Unfortunately, the driver/guide they had wasn’t interested in zebras and so Aunt Karin caught only the north end of a zebra heading south, as they say, and then too late for Reid to see it. When they got off of the bus, Aunt Karin offered to push the stroller back to the zebra pens but, after 6 hours or so of searching, Reid had given up and instead asked to go see the elephants, camels and giraffes again. At some point they bought a cheese and jalopeno pepper-stuffed pretzel. Reid spit out her first bite but persevered to eat a few bites later. Overall, she is an advenurous eater.   Aunt Karin left with the intention of going back another day to see those zebras – they would not elude her! – and also the primates. They hadn’t made it to the children’s zoo, either. They took another cab back to the “new hotel”, as Reid calls it, and read all 11 of the mini-books we brought. I bet Aunt Karin was glad for the rest, she has put many miles, a good deal of them on steep slopes, on her feet the last couple days. I’m glad they had time to read, we haven’t been doing as much reading on this trip as usual and that sort of worries me (I know Reid is getting other stimulation but still …) Ten of the mini-books were sold in a pack at Chapters and are intended for birthday “loot bags” – I hate that term – and are from Annick Press (Robert Munsch’s main publisher). I highly recommend picking up a set for anyone who’d like to have a variety of books without sacrificing much space.

I met up with Reid and Aunt Karin just after 6:00 (my conference has long hours) and she told me that she hadn’t been “Mama’s sister” all day. The first time Reid referred to her, though, she asked if my sister was coming with us. I led an expedition to The Fish Market for supper. The restaurant was pretty close but the winds were so strong that it was a difficult walk. Aunt Karin said that three people had apologized to her for the wind. When we got to the restaurant, which is right next to the USS Midway, we were told the wait would be 20 minutes and Reid was really “hung’y” already, as were Aunt Karin and me. A look at the menu revealed that the dinner entrees would cost at least $20 and so we returned to the pub in the lobby of our hotel. Poor Reid, it was so windy that she laid down in her stroller with her Legoland souvenir towel over her. (What a good investment that towel has been; we’ve dried with it, used it as a sunshade and also a blanket.)

Somehow, Reid tipped her chair backwards and both it and she ended up on their backs on the floor. As I leaned down to pick her up, Reid wimped a bit and held out her thumb for me to kiss it. I don’t know how she managed to hurt her thumb falling backwards out of her chair, but I was glad that that was all the damage that was done. She hadn’t been being rowdy and I don’t know how the chair went over and I’m glad it wasn’t serious because we giggled that Reid’s thumb was hurt. What would have happened if it had been worse? (It’s our mom’s fault that we laugh when people get hurt.) We ordered a veggie plate and sweet potato fries for appetizers. The veggie plate had the biggest green olives that I have ever seen on it. Reid ate three! She also had some fries. I rationalized that orange veggies are good for her.

Reid noticed that the sun was setting and she observed that it would be sleeping time soon. I agreed and she asked, “why?” as she does so often. I reminded her that her day had passed:
* waking up time with Mama;
* breakfast with Aunt Karin (and Aunt Karin’s sausages);
* going to the zoo time;
* napping at the zoo time; and then
* eating supper time.
Reid nodded and I decided that meant that she could see that her day had unfolded as it was supposed to but it was still gone.

As Reid’s supply of restaurant behaviour is finite, we ordered a brownie dessert to go to the room. In order not to get her shirt dirty, Aunt Karin zipped her jacket up before picking up her spoon to dig in. Reid must have had the same goal in mind because she peeled off all of her clothes before *she* picked up her spoon. We all enjoyed our brownie. The waitress was thinking when she packed three spoons.

Too soon, it was time for bed. It’s hard to believe how fast time passes. Some moments pass slowly, like watching the cement truck fill the gigantic bowl again, but at the end of they day it’s still surprising that the time has passed.

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