:: warning!! photo dump ahead ::
Wednesdays are "reading day" at the Intensive and Saturdays are a day off for all participates, but we got wise to the fact that on Wednesdays most NY attractions are less busy (and often cheaper) than on Saturdays, so we swapped the days. Now Brad works through Saturday but mid-week he rests + plays with us. It's great because we can slip into a place like the Bronx Zoo on Pay-What-You-Like Day and feel like we own the place. Wonder if the Natural History Museum would have been less wretched had we gone on a Wednesday and not a Saturday? We'll never know.
The Zoo opened at 10am but since we had to go to Target and Costco (I didn't get any Warhol Campbells soups. Sadface.) we worried we'd arrive when it was already super crowded. We forgot that kids are back in school, so Wednesdays at the Zoo are pretty sparse. Even when it's the one day a week you don't have to pay the $15/person admission cost but can pay what you'd like. It was wonderful having no lines and being able to see whatever animals we wanted the second we walked up to their enclosure.
But best of all, it was great and much needed family time. I'm so much more care free with Brad is around and we're parenting together. Isn't every mom? Still, worth mentioning. I walked with Lily while he pushed Oli-pop. She LOVED running free, meeting other kids (though there weren't a ton), and saying "bye-bye" to each animal as we moved past.
We also taught Lily an important life skill today. The foot high-five.
There were baby giraffes, people. BABY GIRAFFES. This was the greatest day ever.
My favourite were the sea lions. They are so majestic! And this sea lion exhibit has been at the Bronx Zoo since the late 1800s! There was a whole section of the Zoo that looked like an Ivy League university - very cool.
Later we made friends with a volunteer who was quite possibly the nicest man in New York. He's retired and volunteers at the zoo once a week, in his words, so he can play Robin Hood.
See, volunteers can take anyone anywhere, and this zoo had a lot of separate exhibits that you had to pay additional entry for (which we were not doing!). After we got to talking he must have decided we were his family (slash poor villagers) that he was going to bless that day, so he took us around to every exhibit in the zoo! He and his wife married 36 years ago in Quebec City, so us being Montrealers may have lit a spark in his heart.
Unfortunately Oli finally decided to nap when we were about to go on the no-strollers-allowed monorail with our Robin Hood friend, so I stayed back with him while Brad and Lily enjoyed the sights. But I enjoyed my sights too. What a great day.