The snow kept coming all day, all night, no school. Fortunately, it was light enough that we got to stay at work all day my third and final day. I did a lot of barn cleaning and spent a lot of time playing with rhinos. I distracted an old male GOH by brushing him with a scrub brush while Dave worked on his feet. Indian rhinos tend to have foot problems that require filing and trimming. We had a bit of extra time so I finally got to go see the carnivore area. They had many cheetahs, each with a large yard, a pair of dholes (sort of look like big red foxes) and African wild dogs that I didn't get to see because of the deep snow. I was sad to leave. I fell hard for the GOHs and especially loved the baby white rhinos. I fell in love with this place and can't wait to return in the summer when all the animals are in the pastures and there is NO SNOW.
This morning I woke up to light snow. I packed the van and grabbed my final hotel breakfast and hit the road a little after 6. I made it to Cincinnati Zoo a few minutes after 9. I couldn't bring myself to call ahead for behind the scenes tours because I wanted to see the zoo and head home. This is yet another zoo I'll have to return to in the warm months. Many animals weren't outside. It was still a really great visit, though. I got to watch the Japanese macques (aka snow monkeys) play in the deep snow. I also watched a pair of very active red pandas playing in the snow. Oh, and the white lions playing in the snow. And they put a group of penguins into a makeshift area outside the bird building so they could play in the snow. My favorite parts of this zoo were the cat house with many species of small cats and other small carnivores and the insect building. They had walking leaves and more varieties of walking sticks than I've ever seen. They even had the scariest giant walking sticks that look just like the ones we have around here but 10 times bigger. EEEEEK!
I left the zoo around noon Central time and stopped only long enough to get gas in Indiana and then stopped at Barnes and Noble in Champaign because I was getting sleepy and needed to get out and walk around. I grabbed a sandwich on my way out of Champaign and was fine the rest of the drive home. I got home a few minutes after 5. I'm exhausted and have a nasty cold. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed. The kids and Tiger were happy to see me, but Simon had to warm up for a few minutes I felt a little punished :) I'm so glad I have my weekend to recover before I go back to work. I. Am. Tired.