Someone told me it’s all happening at the Zoo…

At the Zoo, lyrics by Paul Simon:
Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo
I do believe it, I do believe its true
Mmm-mmm-mm-mm, Mmm-mmm-mm,
Ohh ohh ohh, Mmm-Mmm-mmm
Its a light and tumbled journey from the east side to the park
Just to find a fancy ramble to the zoo
But you can take a crosstown bus if it’s raining or it’s cold
And the animals will love it if you do – If you do nowSomething tells me it’s all happening at the Zoo
I do believe it, I do believe it’s true

Our last full day in Portland was spent at the Oregon Zoo. Susan had been up and at work by 5:30 am. D’Arcy had woken in the night, thinking he’d slept until 7:30, but it turned out his watch had somehow been reset back to Atlantic Standard Time, and it was actually only 3:30am Portland time. He did go back to bed, but was up for the day shortly after 6:00. The rest of us “slept in” until close to 7am! A record! Phil was in charge of breakfast and looked after us well. We poked around home until Susan arrived from work around 10:30.
We went out into the neighbourhood and caught the bus to transfer to the the train to get to the Oregon Zoo. It was the coldest day we experienced in Oregon, around 3-4*C. We spent six hours exploring exhibits and looking at animals, who were very active. For the girls, the zoo was the highlight of their time in Portland! I noticed a geocache on the ground beside one exhibit and made the “mistake” of pointing it out to D’Arcy. By the end of our time there, he had found and logged in to three of them!
Waiting for the bus to the zoo. Disclaimer: this photo was staged by their father. They do not have access to that many electronics!

Waiting for the bus to the zoo.

Black Bear

Black Bear

Sea Lions

Sea Lions

Polar Bears

Polar Bears

"Petting" the leopard

“Petting” the leopard

Hippo

Hippo

Rhino

Rhino

Lion

Lion

We stopped close to suppertime to have a little coffee/hot cocoa warm-up break in the cafe. By this time, despite the extra warm clothes Susan had provided us with, we were very cold – especially our feet. We were staying in the park to see the “Zoo Lights” a display of over one million LED lights set up around the park. By the time we got back outside, some cloud cover had settled in and it actually felt warmer. The lights were amazing and our photos don’t do them justice.

Susan, Phil, D'Arcy and myself with the girls at the cafe.

Susan, Phil, D’Arcy and myself with the girls at the cafe. Olivia is at that stage where every pose for a photo is a little crazy.

Playing on the sculptures outside the lion exhibit.

Playing on the sculptures outside the lion exhibit.

Some of the lights as dusk fell. Susan has asked Phil for one of the lit-up crocodiles for their front lawn next year...

Some of the lights as dusk fell. Susan has asked Phil for one of the lit-up crocodiles for their front lawn next year…

Christmas lights everywhere!

Christmas lights everywhere!

Our children in front of an LED display that reminded us of home.

Our children in front of an LED display that reminded us of home.

A dragon for Emily W.

A dragon for Emily W.

A Christmas wreath arch

A Christmas wreath arch

By the time we left the zoo everyone was tired and hungry. We took the train back into downtown Portland and the girls decided they were still awake enough to go out to dinner one last time. We tried to get back in to Pastini’s, but the wait was 45 minutes and we didn’t think the girls would make it that long. Instead, we went to a pub/sports bar called Buffalo Wild Wings. There, we had my favourite beer of the trip so far – a Butte porter that I’ll have to ask Phil the exact name of. They had an allergy menu and we were able to order “safe” boneless wings & sauce for Olivia with veggies on the side. She tried a couple bites of her chicken and decided she didn’t want it – which I should have taken as a sign. She did, however, eat her veggies. She also asked for a glass of water.

We took the bus home and immediately got into our pyjamas. We were just about to settle in to chat before bed, when Olivia came to me and told me her back was itchy. I looked and her upper back was covered with hives. We sprang into high alert and I gave her a Reactine (which she has been taking preventatively on this trip and it was time for anyway). About twenty minutes later, Susan gave me some Benadryl to top her up and we had the epi-pens on standby. We marked the hives on her back with pen to track if they were spreading, and I monitored to see if she developed any other symptoms of anaphylaxis. She fell asleep in my lap and I took her to bed, putting her to sleep between us so that I would know if anything changed.

One of my favourite photos - Phil & Sarah, deep in conversation at the restaurant.

One of my favourite photos – Phil & Sarah, deep in conversation at the restaurant.

Hives all over Olivia's upper back after supper.

Hard to tell, but a photo of the hives all over Olivia’s upper back after supper.

Luckily she had a good night; we think the hives were from cross-contamination. We suspect that due to the sheer volume of food going out, that her chicken was fried in the fryer rather than baked; her egg allergy recognizes the protein in any form. We consider ourselves very lucky that her reaction did not go any further than it did, and also that we were with two nurses who helped to keep us calm!

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