This morning we took it easy, SS woke up at 7:30 a.m. and we had a leisurely breakfast. P was obviously tired because when he was asked our room number for the breakfast voucher he answered 528. The clerk went "huh?", since the hotel has only two floors. P's brain was still at the hotel in San Francisco. At least we started the day with a good laugh. We did not leave the hotel until 11:30 a.m., we wanted to take it easy on SS because we did not want her to feel as horrible as she did last night.
SS's first visit to a zoo/marine park was in China at the Guangzhou Zoo. We have wanted to take her to a zoo since we came home but it just has not worked out for us. Spending time in Chicago was a good excuse to take SS to Lincoln Park Zoo. Even better, it is free, yep, no stiff admission price. The zoo is larger than we expected and we did not get through all of it. SS's favorites were the cows (at the barn), the lions, tigers, zebras, polar bear (a huge hit) and the penguins (of course).
We also rode the endangered species carousel. Last summer we rode the carousel at the mall in Connecticut but SS freaked when we tried to sit her on a horse. The three of us rode on a swing. SS's first ride on a Merry go Round a few months earlier did not go well either. P sat on the horse and held SS, while SS hung on for dear life and did not enjoy the ride much. I decided to ride with her this time and much to my delight SS was thrilled about riding, could not wait to get on the leopard with Mama. When the ride stopped we wanted to get a picture of SS alone on the leopard. P has amazing reflexes because SS freaked out in a split second but P still got his money shot (picture below). After screaming her head off in fear SS pointed to the gorilla P rode on and asked to have her picture taken. Leopard that she happily rode on bad, gorilla good. We are never going to figure out this quirky child.
SS gave me a heck of a scare. P left us at the gift shop (the only indoor place with AC) while he went to add extra time for parking (they do not have meters, you pay at pay boxes). SS and I were having a good time browsing and I tried on hats on her because we had decided to buy her one as a souvenir. SS was standing next to me when I turned to return a hat to the display. I turned to SS with another hat and she was not there. I was not worried because the displays are tall and SS is very short. I called out her name and did not get a response. I looked around while calling her name, each time a little bit louder. By the time I had looked through half the shop my hart sank. I knew she was not with P and the most awful feeling began to kick my stomach. I made it to the front (thankfully there was only one entrance/exit) just in time to see SS pushing the front door open with the obvious intention of walking out. I grabbed her, hugged her tight, then laid into her. I was relieved but I was also very upset because one thing I thought I had done right was hammer into SS's brain that she is never to leave our side. She knows that she must always be where we can see her AND reach her. Even though SS had her safety tattoo that did not comfort me in the least. The last thing on my mind was "No biggie, she has a tattoo on her upper right arm with our cell numbers so it's going to be OK." I do not ever want to feel that way again. P is an easy going guy and I sometimes complain that he lets SS get away with way too much and he dumps the discipline on me. But when I told him what happened he laid into SS as well, he was stern, SS knew her Baba meant business. He was really scared. That incident aside, we had a great time at the zoo.
I had to fight for her to wear that hat. She almost cried for her fedora but the hat looked so cute with the dress.