Last night, as often happens around here on Friday nights, I lay sprawled upon my fainting couch, flipping through a cookbook. I decided earlier in the day that at some point this weekend I wanted to make some kind of soup, as I feel vaguely unhealthy after eating pasta for dinner four out of the last seven nights and sandwiches on two of the other nights remaining (the odd night out was corn dogs), so I found myself paging through 400 Soups and trying to decide between a carrot and orange soup and a pear and blue cheese soup. I went with the carrot soup, making a last minute addition of a little ground ginger while I was cooking it tonight, and ran out this morning to pick up the ingredients before I had to go pick up Kristin.
I was picking up Kristin because I decided to surprise her with a Saturday activity. Kristin will be leaving Knoxville in the next few weeks, so I thought about things that we should do before she goes, and I realized that there was one that she's mentioned multiple times but we have never done together. I informed her that I would pick her up at 10 AM, and that she should wear clothes to walk around outside in and appropriate shoes.
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise."
"I want a hint! I want clues!"
I offered two:
1) We would be surrounded by the laughter of children.
2) Our destination appears as a setting in the classic Val Lewton film Cat People but not in the sequel, Curse of the Cat People.
I worried that my clues might be too obvious, but somehow Kristin was unable to guess correctly until this morning, when we were two miles from the exit:
"WE'RE GOING TO THE ZOO! I GOT IT! IT'S THE ZOO!"
I took Kristin to the zoo, where we saw animals great:
and lots of animals in between. Now that I think of it, though, we didn't see any tigers, and I know they have them at the zoo. I'm not sure how we missed them, because I remember signs directing us to the tiger habitat, but nope, no tigers. Weird.
We went at 10 because the zoo opens a half hour before that, which meant we'd already be deep into the zoo before the crowds came and things really picked up. At many of the exhibits, there were only a few other people there, so we had good views of a lot of the animals, like the pink birds that I saw last time I was there but still haven't learned the name of:
We also saw prarie dogs:
various kinds of monkeys:
(I think that's a great photo; second best one I took today)
hogs of assorted types:
a lot of birds:
and a bunch of other, less photogenic animals.
I also laughed way too hard at this sign:
and was shocked to discover Dippin' Dots:
since I read an article a few years ago that said they were going out of business. Whether they actually did or not is irrelevant, because they still had them at the zoo, and they were delicious.
Just like the soup I made for dinner.