We had a really nice weekend, full of seasonal activities and a little bit of down time. Saturday Dan needed to print some stuff for a school project, so we went into my work and got a little taste of what printing our invitations is going to be like. Because yes, we will be printing them on the fancy color printer at work. Some of you will find out why! Bwahahaha.
We did a little shopping, then printed the 11×17 page at Kinko’s (after a big rigamarole/hassle), and enjoyed the snow and rain as it came down. Later, we bundled up and headed back downtown to watch the Parade of Lights.
I thought I might get some good pictures, but unfortunately my camera had other ideas. The night setting on my camera takes a lot of juice and the batteries died after just a few shots. But the parade itself was a lot of fun, making me feel simultaneously child-like and also completely jaded at the silliness of it all. The best part, as always, was the Colorado Fire Tribe spinning their poi and burning hoops and whatnot, but that was closely followed by the Taiko drummers and of course the blow-up Kermit and penguin and most importantly, the dildo-headed Rudolph. Dan and I wondered aloud to each other quite a few times about what some of the people did to deserve having to dress up in some of the ridiculous costumes. I also remember what it felt like to hate just a tiny bit when the Nutcracker float went by, and that one perfect blonde little girl got to ride up in the top of the float, waving to the crowd like a beauty queen. Somewhere, the first runner-up in that contest is seething.
It wasn’t QUITE as cold as it had been the last time we saw the parade, but it was still pretty darn cold. Unfortunately, our vantage point seemed to be where the marching bands took a break between songs, so mostly we saw instruments covered in all manner of decoration and lots of really tall kids marching in step. In one of the bands, the snare drums were covered in gift boxes and all I could think about was Justin Timberlake. Hee. The floats were floats, everyone was wearing those battery-operated LED lights, and two guys followed along behind the horses to pick up poo.
Sunday was sunny and in the 40s, perfect weather for walking outside. So we did. Who knows when we’ll get another sunny weekend day to be out walking around? We walked to the zoo, about 2.5 miles, so Dan could take some photos for another project. Also, we like the zoo. We were hoping it would be snowy but it was cold enough to keep most people away anyhow. Our first stop was the lions, which were in a smaller enclosure than usual (the lions and the African wild dogs trade off spaces I think). There were two gorgeous females, a juvenile male (about 16 months old) who’s going to be Really Big when he grows up judging by his paws, and an adult male. I’ve never heard or seen the lions do a whole lot at the zoo, but these guys were fully active and the male was vocalizing for most of the afternoon. Any time we were anywhere close to the lion area, we could hear him making lion noises. It was pretty cool.
We wandered around and saw the tiger, the reptiles (including this gigantic water snake that creeped Dan out, and some komodo dragons), the ungulates. The polar bear didn’t seem to want to show himself, and the otters were swimming too fast to take pictures of them. We headed over to the bird area, then visited the gorillas. We swung by the bears and the dall sheep and mountain goats on our way back to the lions, because Dan wanted more photos of them. We passed some leopards pacing back and forth along the fence that separated them from several kangaroos. You could just tell that those leopards were thinking, “Someday, someday we’ll get to eat those good-smelling hopping creatures!” We passed an enormous ridiculous-looking porcupine digging a burrow in the dirt. When we got back to the lions, the ostrich in the next enclosure over went a little crazy and chased the zebras around, which caused a great big ruckus. You haven’t seen ridiculous until you’ve seen an ostrich squawking, wings stretched, chasing 8 zebras around and around. The lions found it pretty interesting, and they all looked over to see what the fuss was about.
The best thing about going to the zoo in the winter when it’s cold (especially when it’s snowing) is that when there aren’t many screaming kids, the animals are much more relaxed and more likely to be playing/enjoying themselves. The gorillas were having a great time, the birds were playing, everyone seemed to be much more relaxed and happy than I’ve seen them in the summer time. The worst thing about going to the zoo in the winter is that it is full of canada geese, in addition to the peacocks and pigeons and runny babbits. The bad part about the canada geese is that they poop. Everywhere. I think the zoo staff is less likely to clean up goose poop when there aren’t many people at the zoo to complain about it, which is why the pathways were covered in poop.
While we were at the zoo, it got progressively colder and overcast. We walked home, crossed through city park, and I attempted to get some of the goose poop off my shoes, but it didn’t work because city park was also full of goose poop. By the time we got home I was both freezing and starving (it was 4 pm and we hadn’t had lunch) so we each had noodle soup for lunch to warm up a bit. Dan got a lot of good photos (he thought; we’ll see after they’re developed today). I’m just mad that my camera pooped out on me TWICE, for two specific occasions at which I wanted to take pictures.