Maddie's Big Zoo Trip

(note: for precautionary reasons, no current photos of Maddie are placed on this site)

In the fall of 2004, with Daddy's permission, I planned some special Sunday field trips for Maddie to take with members of her family. On Sunday October 9, 2004, Maddie went to the Griffith Park Zoo to see if the "real thing" compared favorably with 3,647 viewings of the "San Diego Zoo" video. Along for the ride were Daddy, Uncle Russell, Aunty Stacey and Uncle Pascal, Mark, Ann, and Mark's friend Melanie.

above: Aunty Stacey arrives to a warm welcome.

above: Maddie surveys the confusing situation. 

above: Since Uncle Pascal has the only map and immediately gets lost, (but remains in telephonic communication), "Unca Russa" comes to the rescue --- everything is straight ahead.

above: after being carried for 2 miles, Maddie spots something in the distance. Could it be .... an animal?

above: Yes indeed ... a wolf is "big doggie"!

above: Inexplicably, Maddie is underwhelmed. She has already seen many a "big doggie" in her day. But we assure her that there are bound to be more animals somewhere. Aunty Stacey takes the lead, and it is less than half a mile before we strike paydirt.


above: Joe Camel saves the day. 

above: Maddie is thrilled, and wants to ride him.

above: Aunty Stacey gloats for having led Maddie to a "real live" animal at the zoo! (In the background, Melanie is transfixed --- it is the first time in her life she has been to a zoo. Talk about a sheltered childhood!)

above: Now we're really in business! (Notice the look of "awe and wonderment" as she spots the next sight. Shouldn't Spielberg hire this kid for a sequel to ET? But she'll only work for him if Uncle Marky directs.)

above: I explain to Maddie that this animal is Jewish, and is only used on high-holidays as a horn.

above: Who is this strange blonde-haired woman?

above: On a roll now, Aunty Stacey and Daddy venture forward with Maddie.

above: The look on Maddie's face tells us that something good awaits less than a quarter of a mile away!

above: A light bulb goes on in Maddie's head as she sees it!

above: Now Maddie is giving the orders. Whom does she take after???

above: Maddie thinks Zebras are very cool.

above: Even Aunty Stacey is happy to see a Zebra. After an hour, we've finally found a few basic animals!

above: Undaunted, the entourage moves on.

above: There is now reason to believe that we are being stalked by someone who is trained in the elusive art of dodging the camera. 

above: Maddie is mezmerized by this next beautiful sight.

above: Does this portend that Maddie might have a future with NBC?

above: The lions were a great disappointment. Too much booze and Valium the night before!

above: Now this was really a fun sight!

above: Now THIS is an animal worth posing with. Aunty Stacey (far right) is too distracted to pose --- the Giraffes electrify her. Good thing Pascal was still lost, or he might have been jealous. :-)

above: The "awe and wonderment" are heating up again.

above: (He must have been partying with the Lions)

above: Next, Maddie thrills to the antics of the Chimps.

above: Maddie is reminded of her own antics at MY GYM. (Could the man in the background be the one who has been following us? Could he be Saddam out on a weekend pass?)

above: But nothing on the "San Diego Zoo" video has prepared her sufficiently for the next sight.

above: "WOW!"

above: Maddie is excited as she is about to see one of her favorites from the video.

above: The Orangatang! Maddie even eats ORANGATANG-Os for breakfast, (Mommy approved).

above: But the Orangatang is the biggest dud since the Lions. He just stays in the shade under a big piece of paper, in protest that ever since being upped to a management position in the Orangatang cage, he has not been eligible to receive overtime pay. Maddie will have to return in cooler weather.

above: And meanwhile, what of Uncle Russell?

above: He has been protecting the young women, lest a wild animal escape and make advances at them.

above: We conclude that we are being followed by the CIA.



NO PHOTO:  Marky holds Maddie, and she spills her drink all over him.




above: With all of us now very tired, we leave the Zoo having only covered a very small section of it. Uncle Pascal did better. He saw everything, including the Dinosaur exhibit. But we will return soon --- it was cost effective with our large group to buy a yearlong family pass!