Yesterday afternoon Nora and I headed over to my friend Kim's house for lunch, who lives just BLOCKS from the zoo on Seattle's Phinney Ridge.
It was wonderful to catch up with her and see her kids and husband Pat. I knew both of them in college, went to their wedding, and wow, was it cool to see both her kids, and let Nora terrorize the house. We didn't break ANYTHING! Although Nora did manage to spill or spread as much stuff around as possible to remind them of the joy of their older kids. Their daughter Cathy showed Nora her Barbie dolls, and they played with balls and found lots of fun stuffed animals upstairs.
We drove up to see Oma and Opa after that, with Nora just barely squeezing in a 20 minute nap on the way.
She needed the sleep too, since earlier in the day, we had had a rough start.
Well, for starters, it began around 5 a.m. when Nora woke up, and the next hour of me saying a gentle "shhhhhhhhhhh" trying to get her to sleep for at LEAST another hour.
Then it was a hellacious morning of her suddenly deciding that MOMMY WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD, and EVERYONE ELSE CAN JUST STEP OFF.
You know, that time when if you leave the sight of their little eyeballs, the melt down into a complete and total screaming panic?
Yeah, that was my morning pre-coffee, from about 7:15-8:21 a.m., when I finally looked at the car clock and we were on the road to Seattle.
(A special THANKS to cousins Erik, her 13-year-old cousin who gave up his room this weekend AND saved the morning with diaper garbage bag delivery and putting up with Nora...then John Michael, her nearly 18-year-old cousin who COMPLETELY pitched in and handled Nora, despite her complete freak-out while I loaded the car!).
So, my 8:21 a.m. departure meant that we had PLENTY of time to stop in to Starbucks (thank you to the gods who invented Drive-Thrus...), and then Nora and I headed up to Seattle, swinging into the Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo is a fabulous zoo, probably at least in the top 10 in the country. I hadn't been there in 10 years or more, and wow, have there been changes!
I didn't see a LOT of the zoo, but we did the loop down by the lions and elephants. A lot of stuff has been filled in, and near the African Savanna look-out which used to be a "Outback" part of the zoo (so far South and East that not a lot of people even made it that far) there was a beautiful peacock sitting right at the gold star with the dedication from radio station KZOK (102.5) for Jimi Hendrix, a Seattle native.
Nora and I then went and had a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, then headed into the Zoonasium I think it's called...it's a little indoor park for kids, VERY perfect for the toddler-5-year-old set who live in the soggy Northwest and need a place to get their little yah yah's out and still be at the zoo.