Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting Ready For the Weekend

On Fridays Rob doesn't teach class, but he gives the students something to do. This time he was paying for them to go to the zoo. And the housekeeper was coming to our house to change the sheets and the towels and make up for having been locked out the day before. So when we got out of the house and the kids heard there were people going to the zoo, we took a vote: Joss - zoo, Sebastian - zoo, Will - KaDeWe if I can buy something, and Maddie - I forgot my money! You can see why we don't run the family as a democracy very often.
We decided to go to the zoo again. This time we started at the famous Elephant Gate.
All those McFarland kids do make quite a splash when we go out.
We went by the owls and saw the Hedwig in honor of the latest Harry Potter which we still haven't seen (I know, I know, we'll get to it soon!).
"How could pygmy hippos survive in the wild?" Rob wanted to know. "It looks like a ham on legs!"
I was more concerned by this view. Don't these hippos have German dental insurance? This guy needs some serious work done. And let's not even discuss the orthodonture!
There were several ducks hanging out in the hippodome and they liked to hitch rides. The hippos seemed to like it too.
We went low budget this time and brought a picnic to eat in the playground.
Fighting warthogs. A metaphor for my life this summer. No, not really a metaphor . . .
Another ugly grizzly bear.
The king and rockhopper penguins were getting special treatment at feeding time. The rockhoppers were especially entertaining because they actually did hop with their little nonexistent legs and their feathers bouncing.
The polar bears were quiet but affectionate.
Then we went to the petting zoo. We'd skipped it last time because there was a gang of marauding goats who had jumped on us and gotten us all muddy in 2005, but we decided to try it again.
Joss was in heaven with hairy things eating out of his hand.
He fed them until he was out of food and then he chased them around petting them.
He got the hang of the open palm feed.
He was ready to take home a pet goat or two.
We left in the early afternoon and finished packing for Dresden, even getting in a dinner with fresh vegetables which are scarce when you're out and about.

We met the students at the Hauptbahnhof, which we'd seen a lot of this week and they were all there on time. YAY! They loved the train -- it was a first for several of them and they felt like they were on the Hogwarts Express with their compartments and fold out tables and a snack cart coming by. Our family had one to ourselves. The kids laid down their seats and bounced around. Eventually I read The Wednesday Wars out loud and was really surprised when we pulled into Dresden so quickly.

We walked to our hostel in perfect evening weather and got checked in painlessly which is seldom not always the case. Our kids got this colossal room with game table and TV chairs. This is unheard of in Europe.
Rob and I got a little room next door. It was a perfect setup. Which didn't matter because Joss wouldn't settle down and go to bed.

Finally Rob went down and requested a pack n' play and once that was rolled in Joss bulldozed around until he fell asleep (which was midnight). But we were not off to an auspicious beginning.

1 comment:

Nedra said...

We just Skyped Maddie for her birthday. Yeah, Technology!!
Love, MOM/Grandma