Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One Day Off

In the days when I was a working woman, I'd spend my days off doing all the things I love to do -- the same activities I do almost every day now that I'm retired. Is it even possible, then, to take a day off from that? Wouldn't a day off from enjoying hobbies be a day spent working in some way? That seems right, but that's not what I did on my day off yesterday. Kim took off with me -- a traditional day off in her case -- and we went to the zoo.

It's been seven years since the last time we went. I remembered how to get there, but we took a different route, thinking we'd avoid traffic by traveling around Baton Rouge rather than through it. We got lost. Kim has a GPS on her phone, but what good does it do to read "go north" or "go west" if the sun is directly overhead and you don't know where the heck you are? We stopped and asked directions once, but the girl who was so nice about helping us assured us we'd see a sign that read "Audubon Zoo." Since that zoo is in New Orleans, well south of home, and the zoo we wanted was in Baker, well north of home, we didn't trust her directions. Finally, after retracing our tracks several times, we zeroed in on our destination.

The weather was perfect, weekday attendance was light, and it felt as though we stepped out of the car into a world of peace and calm. It was wonderful. (Don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.)

This is the entrance to the Greater Baton Rouge Zoo.

Through the entrance and over the footbridge, this lake awaits.

Then there's the koi pond.

We soon discovered we'd arrived at nap time.

The tigers were napping.

The alligators were snoozing.

The capybara was asleep.

And so were the bears.

We left them alone and spent most of our time with the animals that were up and around.

The elephant was siphoning water straight from it's source . . .

. . . like this.

The pelicans were feeling frisky.

The tiny dik-dik were aware and watchful.

The otters were having too much fun to hold still for pictures.

And the flamingos were apparently in
the middle of a rehearsal of some kind.

I'd like to thank Kim publicly for her patience while I took over three hundred photos. She didn't complain even when my camera was aimed at non-exotic animals like squirrels and redbirds. Some of the photos turned out better than I'd dared to hope, and those will begin showing up one at a time on my photo blog this coming weekend. 

Kim was also my partner in crime as we ditched our diets for the day to eat chili dogs at the zoo and ice cream treats from the Dairy Queen on the way home. When we take a day off, by golly, we take it off all the way.

Today everything is back to normal. Except it isn't quite, you know? I'm doing the same things as always, but I feel different. I was in a good mood before our zoo trip, and I'm in a better one now. The colors in my world seem brighter. The birdsongs seem louder. I think everyone needs a healthy dose of nature now and then.


  1. Oh how fun for both of you!! Glad you enjoyed your day off!

  2. The zoo is a wonderful place; peaceful, educational and renews our sense of wonder with the natural world. I love zoos, too.

  3. Oh it was almost like being there..Thanks for taking me along...on the way home we should have stopped at a mexican joint and enjoyed a margareta

  4. Holly, it was great. I hope it won't take us another seven years to get back there.

    Elizabeth, that's exactly the way the zoo makes me feel. I only wish all the animals could enjoy being there as much as the otters do.

    4th Sister, I would absolutely love to spend a day like that with you--and I don't like the taste of margaritas, but I'd be more than happy to indulge in chips and hot bean dip while you drink yours. We could both let our hair down and go a little crazy.


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