Well, fake it till you make it, is what we have decided and yesterday we went on a day trip to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.
The zoo features a most natural essence with lots of wooden bridges across streams, ponds, knotted rope, and bamboo for hand rails. Live bamboo grows all throughout the zoo and is used to preserve it as a habitat and to feed the animals as well. For a place that holds wild animals in captivity, it is a very natural looking and feeling preserve where the animals are well-kept and cared for and all of them look sleek and healthy.
We saw amphibians, birds, cranes, elephants, fish, flamingos, frogs, geese, gibbons, goats, kangaroos, lemurs, lizards, meerkats, mountain lions, zebras, and more. I think my favorites were the zebras. I don't know if Lillie would say her favorites were the zebras or the horses that were over in the historic farm area. I am not sure which Lydia would say were her favorites but I know which she would say were not...
From the time we got into the car (and probably even before) Lydia was talking about how she wanted to see the dinosaur exhibit. She explained to me that the dinosaurs were just robots to help me not be afraid. However, immediately after we paid the extra four dollars and entered the exhibit, she became uber quiet and wanted to hold onto somebody's hand. She would have no part of picture posing with them like Lillie did, either.
We were wishing we had our camera into video mode as Lillie made the climb to the top of this beast. Her long lanky legs and big bright sneakers did not make for easy climbing up onto this guy's hard plastic, slippery body.
Both girls were quite the troopers as we walked from place to place. I dare say our trek was a few miles through the park. It was nice that we could pause and park on a bench and watch at times. Nobody complained throughout the trip and that made it even nicer.
Lillie was testing out her reading skills and read most of the signs to tell us all about each animal. She was thoroughly interested and had a big time exploring it all. Lydia seemed to notice the snack stops. First, popcorn seemed like a good idea but her mother reminded her that we had just had a delicious meal and she could wait. Next, funnel cakes seemed to be calling our name but we were headed inside to the aviary and tropical house, so, we couldn't take food into there. Then, we passed a cotton candy stand on our way up to see the zebras and we were told to wait till we looped back around and we could snack then.
At one point, we were walking along and had almost looped back around to the cafe when Lydia's whole body just seemed to slump and she could barely plod one foot in front of the other. She informed us that she just about couldn't walk any more because she needed some "cah-un candy!" Bridgette and I laughed so hard we could hardly walk any more either. So, of course, the next stop was to get a snack.
Sticky, pink, sweetness wearing a smile!
Lillie wasn't into the cotton candy so much and opted for some "plain yellow potato chips" and a bottle of water.
A little salty to offset the sweet always makes the day fine!
Corey chose to try out the funnel cakes. As it turned out, Lydia was really wise in her choice. When she saw her daddy coming toward the bench to sit down with his snack, she quickly stuffed the sticky pinkness of her cotton candy back into the bag and cozied up to him and shared his powder-sugar-coated funnel cake. Ah...the best of both worlds for a little sweet tooth!
We really enjoyed all aspects of the zoo. The walk was nice and leisurely, the weather was cool, the animals and habitats were interesting. We also browsed the historic farm area and learned about how the animal preserve came to be. If you are interested in learning more or visiting the park, you might want to check out Grassmere Historic Home and Farm. There are also links to videos which provide more information about the exotic animals as well as the sheep, goats, Belted Galloway and Devon cattle, black Clydesdale, miniature pony, and Spotted Gypsy Vanner horse and the historic farm area.
We paused for a photo op in front of the flamingos. Bridgette claimed that they were her favorites and they did help to make the day seem a bit warmer. Lillie pointed out that they didn't really need a washcloth to bathe themselves and giggled profusely as we watched them dipping their heads into the water and splashing around.
The family is in the foreground and the spindly-legged ones in the background
are the flamingos - just in case you couldn't tell.
It was a fun day and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with some of the granddaughters. It was a great day for taking in local cultural attractions and spending time learning about the world around me as shown to me by a child. Thanks for letting me tag along, folks!
girls and grins