Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

There is a golden rule when traveling that I forgot: charge the damn camera the night before the big outing to the zoo.

I didn’t.

We got about 14 steps inside and my camera informed me that my battery was exhausted. My $400, specially bought for this trip, 42x optical zoom camera that I bragged to my sister was better than her 26x optical zoom camera from the same maker. Except she was the one laughing all the way through the zoo as I said, “Please, sissy…you will share pictures, right?”

Love you, sissy! Thank you! (She did share, and more than that, showed what an amazing photographer she is.)

But this was the Oregon Zoo, and with or without a camera, it is amazing. The layout of the zoo is perfect, so that you can start at one point and walk around from one section to the next without a lot of backtracking. This is important when you’re herding your own group of wild animals. It’s completely wheelchair accessible, too, with the exception of a couple spots.

The fun of this zoo for me was that the last time I was there, Parker was 18 months old and Anika wasn’t yet born, so neither of them remembered it. Seeing their fascination with the animals and the fun they had sharing it with their cousins made the experience exceptional. Realizing that my sister is even more obsessed with animal watching than I am was hilarious. Reminiscing about going to the Boise Zoo (a fairly pathetic example of a zoo, but at one time with a display of Spider Monkeys that couldn’t be beat) with our mother, who would whoop and holler until the monkeys were in a frenzy, wondering if she was singularly responsible for the glass windows that were later installed to protect the viewers from monkey-poo. The monkeys here were just as entertaining, as well as slightly disgusting.

It was a fabulous day, made more special by sharing it with people we love spending time with. Utah is calling to us (my job is portable; Dave is a teacher still looking for work so the onus is upon us to do the moving).

We ended the night with a much-needed grown up night out, back at BJs for another delicious dinner and some watermelon mojitos that really hit the spot.

A perfect day.