We all have a place that we love going. We could go there any time and be happy. This place provides us with simple happiness, a place where we can think and ponder on life and the world around us. At this place we can forget about our troubles and get lost in what’s around us. For you it may be a museum, a park, a special place in the wilderness or maybe a secluded spot in your home or yard. If you’re like me, you may have a few of these places. Here are a few textures from one of my happy places. See if you can figure out what it is.
This happy place is the Dallas Zoo. I love it there and have seen it morph over the past 20 years into one of the best zoological parks in the world for both the permanent residents and their onlookers. Since today was a discount day, my dad said he would take me. I had planned going a few weeks ago, but he said he would go with me soon so I waited. Even with the hoards of people because of the super discount, I was happy and forgot about my cares and worries for a few short hours.
I know this is one of my happy places because I could just sit for hours and observe the animals. I’ve done that before. I find a sense of peace when I watch chimpanzees bite their finger nails or the baby climb a tree. I find tranquility as I look into the majestic eyes of giraffes and the wisdom-filled gaze of gorillas. I find simple pleasure in seeing a family of river otters preen each other and play around. This is one of my happy places.
Today, we experienced new things during our Dallas Zoo adventure like the Ghosts of the Bayou exhibit that claimed the macaws’ rainforest aviary. The best new thing at the zoo though is the brand new Giants of the Savanna exhibit in the Wilds of Africa. There are several acres of roaming enclosures for elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, ostriches and a flock of guinea fowl and two massive enclosures for lions and cheetahs. While we were there, we had a special treat and watched a newly born impala (when I say newly born I mean within 30 minutes of when we saw it) learn how to walk and run as the herd taught it.
As part of the curation of this new section of zoo, there are animal “encounters” when keepers show visitors how they interact with the animals as a way to check on their health and take care of them. There is also a giraffe feeding area where visitors can buy some kind of leafy green and feed the giraffes.
This new exhibit follows several other outstanding exhibits that give the animals larger and more realistic enclosures and provide a better and more educational experience for the zoo guests. I remember when the zoo opened many of these exhibits over the past several years like the Wilds of Africa, the Kimberly-Clark Chimpanzee Forest, the ExxonMobil Endangered Tiger Habitat, the new more natural Primate Place enclosures and the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo.
Now there are two areas that I am very curious as to what they will do with them, the old large mammal house and the hill. The hill is where the cheetahs and lots of the hoof stock used to call home, but it is a very steep hill and the path is too treacherous for a wheelchair or stroller. One idea I had for the hill is to create a cave in the hill where the zoo can house cave animals like bats and then an elevator or escalator can take people to the top where there would be bears and mountain goats and snow leopards or other animals that live on hill tops or mountains near caves. They also need to sell patches in the gift shop again. I wanted one for Giants of the Savanna.
I can’t wait to experience whatever they add next. I’m sure it will be excellent as always. As I said this is one of my happy places. I even applied a couple of times to work there over the past few months, and I’m sure I will visit many times in the future.
Where do you go to have an adventure that lets you escape and find peace of mind? What is your happy place?