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December 7, 2002
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

The Zoo and Chinese Food

Mom started our day with a waffle breakfast. She did the cool seltzer trick and got high-rising waffles. I'm still not sure about her waffle maker, as they seem to be much darker than I'd want them; but, as John pointed out, it also makes thicker waffles, so they may well have to be that brown on the outside for them to cook all the way through. I enjoyed mine. John had his with peanut butter. That made me giggle, as I'd mostly gotten the peanut butter for the very nice whole wheat bagels Mom and Dad had gotten for us.

It was a nice, filling breakfast, plenty to live on as the six of us went to the zoo. Yay! The San Diego zoo.

Jet had a blast. He also walked a great deal of the zoo. I was impressed, as it wasn't until halfway through that he finally got into the stroller. We went out to the gorillas and Jet got to peer into the area. Kathy had the great idea of going to the kids' petting zoo, and we went through a bunch of the outside exhibits, first. Amusingly enough, even with parrots, naked mole rats, and a mouse house made out of a huge loaf of bread, Jet was most interested in and amused by a big puddle out in front of the petting zoo.

He eyed it, and then stomped in it with both feet, happily. The sneakers were up to the task and he wasn't very wet when he finally went in and started chasing the pot bellied pigs, the goats, and peering at the donkeys and small horses in their own pens. There were a bunch of kids in there, and he seemed nearly as interested in them as in the animals. Especially the boys that were running around like crazy, as he liked following their lead.

Jet was cool, though, and very gentle with the animals he did get in range of, and he just patted them lightly and looked at them before heading on to other things.

One very cool thing about the San Diego Zoo's petting zoo is that there's a huge hand washing station right outside the gate. It has sinks that are kid sized, with soap, towels, and plenty of warm water. Jet was awed as he could wash his hand himself, without having to stand on something or stretch beyond his ability. He played and played with the water until we got bored enough to take him away from it.

After that, there was a transparent bee hive, and a few other things before a chick incubator and then a small pen filled with tiny chicks. There was a lady watching over them, and handing out feed to anyone that wanted to feed them. John and I both got a palmful of feed and lowered our hands into the downy, yellow mass, and it was very cool to feel the tiny claws stepping gently over my fingers and the tiny beaks pecking away at the feed.

Jet peered in. He didn't want the feed, but he really liked watching the ones that were in my hand. He very gently reached in and petted a chick on the head with a light finger, and pulled away when the chick pulled away.


There were river otters nearby, and loads of kids in the viewing areas, and Jet chased one little girl around until he suddenly saw an otter blazing by in a stream of silver bubbles. He cried, "Bubbles!" and stopped to look into the plexiglassed enclosure, and watched them tumbling by.

He went with John and my parents on the sky ride. Kathy and I babysat the stroller on our part of it, and we headed all the way to the other side of the park. Once there, we tucked Jet into the stroller with a sippy cup filled with water and plenty of Cheez-Its. Kathy and I were hungry, too, so we split a churro and I gave Jet half of my half, and he munched away at it hungrily. He was pretty hungry, but with food, water, and a chance to rest he was quite content. I was glad of that.

From there we went to the polar bear exhibit, and Jet watched intently as the two brothers played tug-o-war with a huge burlap sack. They were tugging, rolling, and shaking each other around. They were in the water, right next to the plexiglass, and they had fun slamming into the windows once in a while. He just watched with wide eyes.

By the time we left that area, however, he was asleep.

Mom, Dad, and Kathy wanted to ride the sky ride back. John wanted to really walk for a while, so we told them that we'd meet them up front in forty-five minutes. It was plenty of time, we thought, to make it up Tiger River, and John really wanted to see more of the animals, and take the exhibits in serially. Jet was fast asleep in the stroller and was good resistance for John. Jet was covered up nicely from the sun, and seemed plenty warm, so we just walked and walked and walked.

It was fun.

I really enjoyed being able to just stroll up the gorge, read all the signs, and look at everything along the way. We made it to the top in less than half an hour, so we thought we'd go look at the elephants and rhinos, too. That took a bit longer than we thought, and when we came back we found Kathy and Dad camped out at the top of Tiger River, thinking they should have given us an hour. Hee. We apologized for being late.

Jet stayed asleep, even for the transfer into the car, and then out again, as we stopped at El Indio's for lunch. He looked like a little, old senior, napping under one of Mom's straw hats. We bought him some Spanish rice, if he woke up, and he never really did. I enjoyed my tamale with chile beans, and everyone had their own thing. I also got the Jamaica drink that I like a lot, and Mom tasted it and said that it really tasted a lot like the sour plum drink that we used to have in the summer. I guess it does, as it's pretty tart and sweet. I got to explain that it was brewed with hibiscus, which seemed to interest Mom. That was cool.

Home again, home again, and a long nap.

Kathy got to show us some of her DVD collection, which I was pretty impressed with, and we just lazed about. Jet, John and Dad played in the backyard. Mom and Dad had gotten him a little push bike that he loved, especially when Dad attached a rope and started pulling him around the yard. He could go fast, then! Yay! Jet also seemed to like the tree back there, that he could 'climb' (okay, get put up in), and look around all of San Diego. Jet seemed very proud of that.

For dinner, Mom and Dad took us to the Chinese restaurant that Kathy really likes. Jet did great, at first, as usual, and sat in his chair and everything. When he got rice, I gave him my soup spoon, and then, when a smaller spoon was available, I gave him that, as well, and he happily shoveled rice into his face. He just loved it. He really liked having two spoons, too, as he could use the little one to shove food into the big one and then eat it all up.

I was really happy that he tried a lot of stuff there. He ate shredded, dried tofu, the dry-cooked string beans, and the shrimp!! Normally he doesn't eat shrimp, but he chowed down on the little ones that they cooked with the peas, and he seemed to love it! I wonder if it's 'cause it was a smaller shrimp, which is tenderer? I'll have to try that on him at home. It's good to know that he liked the shrimp. He also loved the sauce that was on the talapia, and ate loads of rice with the stuff.

I was pretty impressed.

I was even more impressed after I heard some growling, looked over, and saw Mom trying to take one of the spoons from him. He actually growled at her! He wanted the food enough to do that. I was impressed by that, a lot.

After eating until his little tummy was bulging, he got bored, and wanted down. I was thankful that Kathy was done, as she was quite willing to follow him around, looking at the talapia in the tank, and fiddling with the bubblegum machine out front. It was fun watching Kathy's head wander around the restaurant, as I couldn't see Jet as the tables were too tall, and it was easy to know where they both were. She just let him do what he would, explore where he will, and I was very glad of that.

Jet happily talked to me the whole way to 99 Market. Mom was cool and showed me how to tell which kind of dried tofu was the kind that Jet actually ate. It is hard to tell without the actual characters, so I had Mom promise that she'd write them down for me. I can tell, now, at least, that it has to have a five in it, as it's a five spice tofu, which is what gives it the color and flavor it has. I can, at least, tell the character five from a lot of other stuff. I was glad of that. Jet ran around and around at the market. He loved racing around the produce, looking at all the meats, and then peering and pointing at all the live fish and seafood.

On the way out, we saw a lady making... well, their English translation was 'custard waffle'. It is in a kind of two-sided iron, but the iron is only a bunch of cylinders, and they put batter in each cylinder, put a blob of red bean paste or vanilla custard, put more batter on top and then put the top on. They cook to the top, so the top and bottom are crisp and eggy and cooked through, and it has this tremendously hot inside. It's very, very tasty. But they're basically a filled cylinder of baked batter.

We bought some for Kathy, John, Jet, and I, and I carefully nibbled mine on the way home, as it was very hot. Jet happily ate his, piece by piece, as he loved the texture and flavor of the waffle, and would eat the custard as well, so he had a good half a one.

I've been very impressed with how much Jet's eaten tonight.

When he got home, he was very energetic from all the food. Happy boy. We played the Baby Van Gogh tape for him, and he was galloping and dancing to the William Tell Overture. Happy boy. I may have incited a riot, though, by dancing with him. I spent some time with Dad's Mac, and was informed that Jet was getting way too wild with the video, so they turned it off for him, and took him out to the Christmas Tree.

When I joined them, Jet was demanding that they turn the lights of the tree off! That surprised me, as he'd been asking for them to be on, yesterday. But tonight, he really wanted them to be off!! So we flicked them on and then off for quite awhile. He was getting pretty tired, though, as he started crying whenever the lights were on.

At 10, everyone left to go to sleep. Jet drank a whole 10 ounces of milk on top of everything else he'd eaten and then nursed as well, no problem. I was pretty impressed with that, and I can hope he has a good night tonight, as he'd actually done much, much better than six ups in a night, yesterday. I think he'll be okay, with all that food in him, he should be pretty content tonight.

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