Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Child's Play

After a rainy day or two, we had bright, clear skies, abundant sunshine and almost no wind - my definition of heaven.  My Beloved, feeling that I needed a break from soggy cushions, ill sisters and fall chores, decided to give me a treat.  His idea of a treat usually involves a car trip somewhere, and this was no exception.

We went to the Zoo. 

At this time of year, the San Francisco Zoo throws a party called "Boo at the Zoo," where families with little children are invited to come in costume. My Beloved knows that I get a huge kick out of little kids in Hallowe'en costume, so he took me to enjoy all the princesses, fairies, Spidermen, mummies, ghosts and ladybugs.  My favorites are the toddlers who are so young that they don't understand why they are being dressed as Scooby Doo or a bumble bee but they are delighted with the change of identity. They are also thrilled and mystified by the gifts of treats.

As we walked through the crowds near the brilliant flamingoes, I remembered the train. The "Little Puffer" steam train!  Built in 1905, it had a long, complicated, and sometimes sad career before coming to the Zoo. In 1998 it was restored and converted from coal burning to natural gas and installed permanently at the Zoo. It's a little beauty now.

We were first in line. 

The engineer himself stopped to chat with us while the other cars loaded with excited kids and their grownups. A toot from the whistle and we were off. It took a few seconds for the Little Puffer to get up to speed, but then it sailed along at an amazing clip, flying through a tunnel and over railroad crossings, speeding along by the tiger pits and past a pond where the emus live, with little ghouls and mermaids waving at us all along the route. 

For sheer, undiluted joy, the Little Puffer is right up there with a carousel ride. The best $4 you can spend on a sunny day when you're being treated like a queen, even if you aren't dressed as one.


Blogger Greg said...

It's all happening at the zoo. Nice job on the video.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012  
Blogger katiez said...

What a fun day! I love zoos. It was beautiful here, today, too. I hauled firewood. I like your day better LOL

Tuesday, October 30, 2012  
Blogger nancy namaste said...

What a delightful post! I didn't know about this so will put it on my calendar for next year. And what a thoughtful guy you've got there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, thanks, my little camera is amazing.

Katiez, you and your mari are the hardest working people I know. Time for a weekend off?

Nancy, the train runs year 'round, but the little kids are only in costume at this time of year. I can recommend the train at any time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012  

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