Archive for March 23rd, 2009

What’s in a name

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Visiting the Toronto Zoo in March is a MUCH different experience than a July visit. The crowds were non-existent, rather than starting before we’d even got to the ticket booth and the weather tended more toward frostbite than heat stroke. Okay, it was 3 or 4 degrees Celsius and frostbite was an exaggeration even though Reid was “so freezing!” by hour 3 of the visit. (Heat stroke in July was entirely within the realm of possibility.) Some of the animals weren’t on display due to the temperature – we especially missed the giraffes – but most were out and about and we enjoyed the ones we saw. Lunch was a bit of a challenge. Rather than looking for shade and a breeze, we were delighted to find that a Harveys/Mr Sub indoor restaurant had opened near the Beavertails outlet. I decided that the purchase of a coffee and tea would cover the “rent” on a table long enough for us to defrost and eat a bit of the food we packed. Another difference of note, though not necessarily related to the weather, was that the camel available for riding was a two-humped camel rather than the usual one-humped one Dylan and Reid rode in July. Unfortunately, for Damien, this meant that he had no buddy for his debut camel ride and it wasn’t an adventure that he wanted to embark on solo. Fortunately, for me, the fellow at the ticket booth was willing to refund me the cost of Damien’s ticket.

Damien and Reid each had a bit of trouble with the name of an animal while we were at the zoo. Damien was enchanted by the 6 Zebarbaras that we saw. Aunt Karin used the proper name when speaking to him about them afterward but not me! Reid was excited by the “eagles” on the ground and flying around at the zoo entrance but it was my sad duty to explain that they were, in fact, seagulls. So close in sound, so different in appearance. On Friday, Reid had referred to some pigeons as “hawks” but I think that might have been because her dad has a not-so-pleasant nickname for them that contains a unintelligible first syllable and a clearer second one. We’ll have to put a visit to a wild bird aviary on our “places to visit” list for this year.

Aunt Karin saw some goats bumping heads and she told Reid to look at them “head butting” one another. Reid giggled and worked at wiggling her head and butt as she talked about what Aunt Karin had said. Potty humour is alive and well in our family.