Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy turkey, peacock, warthog and grizzly bear day

Yes, the geekyfamily visited the zoo this Thanksgiving.

before regailing you with the tale of our trip, I must pause to think of everything I am thankful for. The list is long, but in the interest of brevity I'll stick to the biggies:

My family. To have two such wonderful children, Geekygirl so lovely, so bright and full of ideas and life, Geekybaby, so happy, and such a blessing to arrive through an easy pregnancy and joyful delivery, despite my advancing age, completing our family so perfectly. it is only on reflection that I appreciate how lucky I was to meet such a fine man, and to squeeze in our two incredible kids against the tick of the biological clock. I'm so thankful for Geekydaddy, the best husband and father any family could have. Though my dad thinks he does too much housework, I know I am fortunate to live every day with that rare creature, a man who is also a feminist.

Which brings me to my extended family. I'm thankful for my dear Mum and Dad, that they are able and willing to get on a plane and fly half way across the world to see us, and techno savvy enough to embrace skype, so we can see each other across the atlantic. And I'm thankful for my sister and brother, and their lovely spouses and families. I only wish that San Francisco could be located just a tad closer to the UK. That or maybe those NASA folk could hurry up and invent teleporting.

Our trip to the zoo reminded me to be thankful for the amazing and incredible variety of life on this planet (Warthogs are very weird looking animals), for the opportunity I was given, many years ago now, to live in this wonderfully diverse city, and for the great and true friends that I have made here.

As for our trip to the zoo, well I think we may have started a new tradition. There were two high points to an all round superb day. The first was that we arrived early enough to see the grizzly bear feeding. A crowd of small and large folk gathered around the glass window dividing us from the swimming pool in the grizzly habitat. When the zookeepers came they released live fat brown trout into the water, and we got to watch a National Geographic special, as the two bears, huge, golden, and well, grizzly, gallumphed through the water, one of them finally pinning his trout with a determined paw right by the glass. Nimbly transferring the flopping fish to his mouth, he proceeded to bite off its head, and crunch the whole thing down in a mess of blood, saliva and irridescant scales, inches from Geekygirl and I, who had a prime spot by the glass. Geekygirl was wide eyed, but surprisngly un-phased by this display of Nature in action.

As we left she told me "the bears have a restaurant in a swimming pool"!

The second high point of the day was our restaurant lunch at the zoo. Not in a swimming pool, but right by the flamingo pond, the 'leaping lemur cafe' is the only place to eat if you are ever at San Francisco Zoo. Geekygirl considers it the finest restaurant in town, since it serves lovely french fries and chocolate milk. Today it also put on a nice Turkey dinner, which, since Thanksgiving fare from my pescaterian kitchen is the "traditional roasted salmon" rather delighted geekydaddy, and was an unexpected bonus to an already wonderful day.

To top off the day, on our way home from the zoo, we picked up our darling geekydog from the vet. She was bright eyed and pleased to see us, and is now resting, shaved and be-coned, at home with us. Now all we have to do is relax and finish our wine, and look forward to three more whole work free days of kids and friends. And maybe a little shopping.