I decided to skip off work the next day and go to the zoo.
Toronto has a fantastic zoo. However, I do not visit frequently because it's way the heck out in the middle of nowhere. For a non-driver like me, it's reeeeeaaaaaaally inconveniently located.
The zoo website offers transit instructions, but they're confusing. It's kind of like, if it's before Labour Day, and it's the third Thursday of the month, and the moon is 1/4 waxing, take the eleventeen X bus, then get off at the corner of Not Even Close to the Zoo and Wherever and transfer to the square root of negative one bus (just make sure it's not short-turning at pi).
I did my best. I thought I could catch an 86A bus from the train station close to my house. The schedule online said that I could. When I got to the station, the "next bus in x minutes" monitor said that I could. But in fact the only buses there were 86 buses. The driver said I would have to transfer to an 86A down the line. So I did. I got on, sat on the bus for a long time, until the far station, and transferred to the 86A. Then I sat on the 86A forever.
Just when I was about to ask the driver "Are we there yet?", the 86A got short-turned and became an 86S. I had to get off again and chase down another 86A when it was stopped at a red light. Then I sat on that 86A forever.
When I was beginning to believe that we would never get there, that third bus reached the end of its line and dropped me off at the transfer point to the actual Zoo Bus! And the Zoo Bus showed up and in just another few minutes I was AT THE ZOO!
With happy turtles:
And a hungry giraffe:
This is the baby giraffe. She's only 18 months old. (Click on the photo to see her better.)
The cheetah was on the prowl. (Note how far along spring has progressed in Toronto, i.e. not very far; all the trees are still bare.)
That pale thing on a rock that looks like a discarded banana peel is a lion all flaked out in the sun, napping. (Click for bigger.)
This is a tur.
This is a lazy snow leopard, curled up against the plexiglass of its enclosure.
Red panda, pacing determinedly:
It was super-great to get away from work and have a stroll outside with all the animals. There were dozens more, but I don't like to take photos through bars or mesh, so I skipped the tigers, for example.
The best part was meeting the keeper in the giraffe house. (Despite it being a warm day, the giraffes were indoors because their outdoor pavilion was being improved.) I learned that giraffes are not very smart. When they were first introduced to the new giraffe house with the savanna mural, they tried to browse leaves from the painted trees. The baby likes to eat applesauce and peanut butter out of the feeding station; that's what she's doing in the photo above. The plastic ball is hollow and contains nommy treats. The momma giraffe's favourite snack is a whole raw onion. She must have killer breath.
At 4 o'clock I went back to the bus stop and rode the bus (just one this time) forever again to get home. But it was worth it.