Rumble in the Concrete Jungle

I have a NYC bucket list.  It’s a list of fairly touristy activities in the city that most residents take for granted and sadly, never get around to experiencing.  I actually got the idea from an ex-coworker who tried to get her entire bucket list done in one weekend before she moved home to Florida.  I can’t imagine it was a success.  So I created a spreadsheet of all the things I want to see and do before I bid farewell to this great city.  I don’t know when that will be, or where we are going, or if we are even ever going to leave…but it’s good to be proactive, right?  This weekend we got to cross off one of the big ticket items: the Bronx Zoo.

Sidenote, since I have a bucket list, Mr. S also has a bucket list by default.

I wanted to go to the Bronx Zoo last year, but last year’s August was brutally hot and Mr. S refused to take me.  Mr. S is ter-ri-ble in the heat, so I settled for the Central Park Zoo instead.  It was ok…small as far as zoos go and it didn’t have the more exciting animals the Bronx has, but it sufficed.  Best part about the CP Zoo is that it is like stepping into the Madagascar movie (you know, before the animals get lost in Africa).

This year I had a strategy: early May.  Not too hot for Mr. S, and since I knew that he knew that I was super disappointed last year, he could not say no.

Me: Can we go to the Bronx zoo this weekend pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!!!
Mr. S: Ok, fine.

I wish there was more enthusiasm there but ill take it.  On to step 2 of the planing process: visit the website.  By getting our tickets online, I saved 20% (told ya I never pay full price) and the zoo has a fun interactive trip planner.  Basically I was able to select all the animals/exhibits we wanted to see and the planner would tell me the best route and how long it would all take.  Genius!  Great news for me, bad news for Mr. S.

Me: So I did something today but I don’t want to tell you because you might not take me to the zoo anymore.
Mr. S (sternly): What did you do?
Me: I used this planner thingy on the zoo website and it said we would be there for 5 hours.
Mr. S: WHAT?!?!?
Me: But we’re gona get to see everything! Lions, rhinos, polar bears–
Mr. S: We saw polar bears last year!

Either he knew he wasn’t going to win this one, or he was already plotting how to speedwalk through the zoo, but he said “Ok, fine.”

On Saturday I woke up excited at 9:06 am.  This is impressive because we went to bed at 3:00 am.  I know Mr. S was excited too because it didn’t take too much whining to wake him up, he just keeps it cool better than I do.  Getting to the zoo was easy enough, just one stop on the express bus.  The trick was to actually make the bus.  I decided to sacrifice a stop at Duane Reade to buy tissues just to be sure we wouldn’t miss the bus.  Very bad idea. I have mentioned before I am allergic to dogs…I should have known I would be allergic to the zoo.  Not to mention spring had sprung this past weekend. Hello pollen!

Nonetheless, the Bronx zoo is beautifully done.  You completely forget you are in the middle of a bustling city, until you stumble upon the rare spots at the edge of the zoo where you can see the top of a high rise building or hear the block party going on just on the other side of the fence.  Besides the animals, one of my favorite features of the zoo was the “eco-friendly bathroom.”  Instead of flushing with water, the toilets “foam away” your waste.  I personally only had to go #1 while we were there, but I wondered how the foam would fare against a #2…

According to our planned route we started with the bison, saw the sea lions, then headed towards the aviary birds.  Up next were Madagascar, Tiger Mountain, big bears, and the African Plains. We did make it to every exhibit and saw every animal on our list, but the day was looooooooong.  We got lost somewhere between the Himalayas and Asia when I started to lose steam.

Me: I’m sleepy I’m sleepy I’m sleepy
Mr. S (very calmly): Come on, we’re almost to Asia, and then the Congo, and then we can go home and you can take a nap.

This is why Mr. S will make an excellent nurse.  I would’ve said, “Shut up kid, this was all your idea.  You’re gonna see Asia if it kills you.”  But then again, I’ve given Mr. S plenty of practice in dealing with difficult patients.  (I have already resigned myself to the fact that if we have children, I will have to be the bad cop and Mr. S gets to be the good cop).

Good thing he kept us going because the gorillas at the Congo were the highlight of our trip.  And it turned out 1.5 chicken fingers and a coke were all I needed to get my second wind.  And just like the website planner promised, we were ready to head back home 5 hours after our adventure had begun.  I checked my FitBit pedometer when we got home. 22,764 steps and 8.77 miles walked. I decided I had earned my nap.

Epilogue: Mr. S woke me from my epic nap at 10:30 pm with the promise of udon noodles.  While we ate we debated if it was better to be a rhino or a gorilla, I forget which one I voted for.  I was asleep again by 11:30 pm.