midwest trip - to the zoo

Having worked at an outdoor park, where people visit on 100 degree days & all the employees walk around asking, "WHYYYYYY ARE YOU HEEERRREEE???" I laughed a little as we all unloaded from the car into the 103 degree weather, & there we were... At a zoo. Thooose people. But a visit to the zoo is just part of visiting Missouri, & we considered this visit to be non-negotiable. & really, how much can you complain when there's frozen coca-colas, hippos and misting fans to go around?

My grandpa has volunteered at the St. Louis Zoo since I can remember, & as kids, we knew we had hit the grandpa-jackpot because he could call the elephants over to us. "Donnnnnnna, Donna, Donna!" he would call & it worked like a charm every time. Best grandpa ever.

Grandpa & Grandma McLean - The cutest.
Cooling off in the misting fan
Hey there handsome, mind if I take a selfie in your sunglasses reflection?
The new underwater sea lion exhibit
In the butterfly house, which are the most magical of places

It was really a pleasure to revisit this zoo as an adult & realize how much of my knowledge & love for animals came from my grandpa's tours as a kid. This realization came to full fruition that day when I teared up seeing the first baby elephant I ever saw (Raja, born in 1992) come out into the elephant yard with HIS newest baby. It was quite the full circle moment & when I say full circle, I obviously mean full circle of life & here is where I very loudly break into "NAAAAAAAAAAA ZIWET INYAAAAAA" which Google says are very much not the correct lyrics to the start of Circle of Life but whatever, right?

Up next: An afternoon at the City Museum

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because lezz be frandz.