Last weekend was our last official weekend before school starting (see also shortest! summer! ever!) and having some working mom guilt over not really having any vacation time yet accrued at my new job I surprised the girls with a little girls’ day Saturday outing to the Nashville Zoo.
Little did I know that it was also Nashville Zoo Ice Day. Score points for mom! There was free ice cream (Blue Bell no less) and all sorts of cool frozen ice sculptures throughout the zoo. Even the animals got in on the fun with special frozen treats. Frozen carrot juice with vegetables in it is apparently the next best thing to Ben & Jerry’s for goats, for example.
After hitting all of the initial exhibits as well as the indoor area with amphibians and other creepy crawlers we headed toward the back of the zoo near the safari area and spotted a cute little train ride we’d never seen on past visits to the zoo. I thought this would be a fun treat and when you have an 11-year-old who agrees to do something that you initially fear she might deem uncool and too “little kid” then you jump on that parenting train and ride it. Literally.
The train cost three tokens each and I was initially taken aback as that totaled nine bucks. But I’ve been suckered into the overpriced bandwagon before. I still haven’t recovered from the $4.50 Icees I bought the girls at the movies at the beginning of summer. Plus summer coupled with family attractions equals total sucker brain. At some point you’re just too hot and tired and hungry and give in to paying out the wazoo for stadium nachos with nuclear orange cheese while you gloat at the eat clean foods mom who is unpacking a wagon cooler with carrot sticks and snap peas.
This train isn’t going anywhere, is it?
We boarded the kiddie train and it slowly chugged in a circle. I guess I was thinking that this train would take just partially around the zoo but then it only took a few seconds to realize that this truly was a kiddie train and was probably meant for 2 to 4-year-olds, not 8 to 43-year-olds.
We made a full circle and the train chugged forward again and for a split second I was hopeful that it might go in a different direction but here we went again in a glorified large circle which was basically the circumference of our front yard, or possibly our den. Miss C and I looked at each other and both had the same instantaneous thought. “This is a RIP OFF.” We whispered and started laughing uncontrollably as, you guessed it, we went around in another circle and another.
A few minutes later we met a local celeb and promptly forgot about our overpriced train ride to Nowheresville.
For those of you not from Nashville, Snow Bird is a local news legend. Forget Nicole and Keith…I’m all about a Snow Bird sighting! Although I could have sworn a woman’s voice came from the depths of Snow Bird’s plush physique and well, that just wasn’t right since Snow Bird is a dude. But I digress…
Speaking of birds, we also survived the Lorakeet attraction without getting pooped on.
Have you had a last hurrah of summer outing with your kiddos before school starts? I know we’re crazy early this year in Nashville with school. Plan something now. And plan to spend way too much on well…something. It’s a universal parenting rite of summer fun passage.