As a valentine treat we planned a trip to take the kids to Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas. After several weeks of planning and whispering and spelling out words, we managed not to spoil the surprise for Monk. We invited Dana’s sister and her family out to Waco to meet up with us for lunch, then the zoo. We ate at Buzzard Billy’s because I’ve been wanting this alligator dish that I had once before, about two years prior. Armadillo Eggs (chicken tenders stuffed with sliced jalapeno and pepper jack cheese, then wrapped in bacon) and Alligator Grand Chenier (alligator meat sautéed with mushrooms and green onions in a creamy Cajun cream sauce served with rice) are my favorite dishes. I was really happy when I tried my alligator dish and it was every bit as good as I remembered. After lunch our waitress said we could take the leftover french fries and bread rolls out to the deck that overlooked the Brazos River, and feed the seagulls and ducks with the table scraps. The kids had an awesome time feeding the birds.
We got to the zoo at around noon, and happily (for the most part) spent about four hours walking the grounds. The layout of Cameron Park is a giant circle, so you can walk the whole zoo without backtracking. They have a nice little playground for the kids to run around and get out some energy. Best times to visit the zoo is late winter/early spring or late fall/early winter. Any other time is just miserable. The hot Texas weather is not conducive to walking around for several hours during the summer time, and winters are a bit cold for the animals to be out. Luckily I brought a giant bag of organic lollipops, anticipating the kids would probably need a sugar rush at some point to get us through the day.
Highlights of the day: Dana got to see a gibbon slap a black swan on the head. Apparently the gibbon thought the swan was a little too close to its’ territory. I missed it, but I did hear the gasps from the little crowd on the deck that witnessed the scene. Monk loved being able to run around with her cousins (we don’t take trips with them very often). Squish just loved being out and about, he didn’t fuss once during the whole trip which included about two hours of car ride (45minutes one way) and four hours of walking around. My highlight was being able to spend some quality time with my little family. It’s seldom we get a chance to all relax and really just enjoy each others’ company. It really could not have been better. The weather was perfect, everyone had an awesome time.
Successful zoo trip. Hooray!