Friday, February 18, 2011

“Looking down and looking up”

The Exotic Animal Paradise, in Springfield, Missouri, is one of those places where you stay in your car and drive through the animal exhibits, buying expensive bags of wafers to feed the deer, ostriches, and camels who stand in front of your car holding you hostage until you give them more treats. During our vacation of 2001, my husband and I arrived at the animal park shortly after they opened at eight am. Our plan was to get there before it got too hot and the animals were all bedded down in the shade somewhere.

Unfortunately for us, but probably lucky for some family of pre-adolescent children, in addition to the many upright animals, we also found a dead burro at the side of the road. We sat in the car staring at the carcass for the longest time making sure it wasn’t still breathing, but the flies hovering around it were pretty much a dead giveaway (sorry for the bad pun).

Halfway through the park was a stopping off place, an area to buy more wafers or purchase a t-shirt, stuffed animal or other random souvenir. We tracked down an employee to report the burro demise. She thanked us, but did not seem terribly surprised by our find.

When we left there, we drove up to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch. It is really big. I mean, really big. I've seen lots of towers and monuments and things, but this one was really big. We would've taken the ride in the little tiny car inside of the Arch to the top, but just because the Arch is big on the outside, does not mean it is big on the inside. Another revelation about me – I am very claustrophobic.

We did, however, take the riverboat ride, which was all right. At least we were outside in the fresh - and hot and humid - air.


Diana Lesire Brandmeyer said...

The Arch it stands mocking me all the time. My mom lives 'across the river' and I go past that huge silver thing often when I visit. I've been to the top. It is not a trip I want to ever repeat. The car is tiny and the view is good but the Arch sways in the wind. Then there is a trip back down. I do like the museum below.

Chris Loehmer said...

While we were considering whether or not we could handle the trip to the top, we heard that the Arch does sway in the wind. That helped us to decide. No thank you.