Sunday, October 5, 2008

Corn maze? Check.

I have no idea why, but I've always wanted to do a corn maze. The two mazes I know of in the Peoria area are both at apple farms with so many other activities, we've never had time to bother with a maze. Today was my day. We went to the farm with fewer activities and headed straight for the maze. Unfortunately, we had to walk through the playground with the giant slide and the pedal cars on the paved race track before we got to the maze entrance. The kids were distracted and annoyed they couldn't play...

We excitedly entered the corn field and started wandering through the winding paths. It didn't take long for me to realize that whoopee, we're walking around a corn field. A hot corn field full of bugs. And stinky corn. And within minutes, bored, complaining children. The map had 30 fill in the blank answers for different questions posted around the maze. We found 6 before we were completely done with being in the corn maze and found our way out. I suppose I'm glad I tried it so I'll never be curious again, but I can't imagine ever bothering to do it again.

The kids had a great time on the playground. Logan found a wad of cash on the ground. No one was around to claim it, so we let him keep it. $16 bucks! Logan had no concept of how much money he found, but he did understand how jealous Kaylin was. He very much enjoyed allowing her to count the money while refusing to let her actually hold it. A happy moment for the younger child for sure :)

The farm had a new "gem mining" feature this year. It was a genius money-making scheme that was really fun. They sold you a bag of sand for $6, you dumped it into boxes with screens and washed away the sand in a wooden sluice. The kids loved it! I think we ended up with maybe 6 polished rock sized "gems" and a whole bunch of tiny ones like you would find inside a souvenir pencil. We also received a nifty postcard to identify our gems and a tiny ziplock bag to store them.

Thursday night was Donor Night at the zoo to honor all the donors who made our new Africa! area possible. I was stationed at the rhino house and my job was to talk to the many different tour groups about the rhinos that will be arriving next month and to point out all the interesting features of their barn. I'm not much of a public speaker, but it turned out to be a really fun evening. It was great to have so many people excited about the new area and it gave me an opportunity to express my enthusiasm. One woman approached me after her tour and complimented me on the fact that I'm a zookeeper, not a public speaker, but I managed to infect the entire group with my excitement over the arrival of the rhinos. That was pretty cool.

Tuesday and Wednesday this week I'll head to the Quad Cities for my first session of giraffe training. They have a nice little zoo with lots of great animals and I'm very much looking forward to working there two days. My coworker Roz will also be there and I'm hoping she'll force me to go shopping for something to wear to another coworker's wedding on Saturday. Or maybe I shouldn't go shopping with her... We're going to be together for several more days of training this month so perhaps I shouldn't annoy her too much! I'm quite possibly the Worst. Person. Ever. to shop with.

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