We picked up Juniper, our almost 5-year-old granddaughter, at “Big Grandma” Chris’s house shortly before 9:00 am on Saturday, April 29, and left en route Erie.
In Erie we spent the day visiting the Erie Zoo, visiting the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, driving around Presque Isle and eating a late lunch at McDonalds.
We arrived at the Erie Zoo around 10:20 am. We lucked out by securing a parking space right in front of the main entrance to the zoo. I suspect our luck had more to do with Saturday’s weather (chilly and rainy) than our early arrival. After showing our membership card and ID at the gate, we were admitted into the zoo. We saw all the animals without getting too wet. We only got a quick glimpse of baby Otis (new orangutan) before mama orangutan covered herself and baby with newspaper and a sheet. A highlight of our Zoo visit was seeing a kangaroo and a baby wallaby and its mama on the walking path, rather than far from us behind the wood rail fence. Juniper rode both the Wildlife Carousel and the train. Bob rode the carousel with Juniper, and I rode the train with her. I put together this slide show to highlight our day at the zoo.
Before leaving the zoo, we purchased two bags of cotton candy, one for Juniper and the other for Harper. We spent approximately 1-1/2 hours at the zoo. We might have been there for a longer time if the playground was still there. The playground was removed recently. A new playground will be installed by late May.
From the zoo we drove to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC). The TREC, which opened its doors in May/June 2006, is the gateway to Presque Isle State Park. Its entrance is across from Waldameer Park. Bob and I hadn’t been there in a while, and it was Juniper’s first visit. There are more child-related activities there than we remembered. Juniper enjoyed her visit.
As we entered the lobby of the main entrance the first things to catch Juniper’s eyes were three floor-to-ceiling towers. Each tower was filled with carved wooden scenes about Presque Isle. Each scene had movable parts!
The next thing that caught Juniper’s eye was a HUGE fish.
The “Memories and Monsters” exhibit has the visitor walking through the middle of a HUGE fish into a small theater area. This exhibit takes you back in time to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s when things were very different on Presque Isle.
Near the big fish was a hands-on room, especially designed for preschoolers.
Do you wonder what everyone is looking at through the windows?
When we left TREC, we drove around Presque Isle.
It was after 1:30 pm by the time we completed our drive around Presque Isle. We stopped at McDonalds, located near Presque Isle, for a late lunch.
As we were leaving McDonalds, I telephoned “Big Grandma” Chris to let her know that we were running behind. We were supposed to pick up Harper at Chris’s house and take both girls to “Little Grandma” Sue’s house, where they would be spending the night. The plan was to pick up Harper and arrive at Sue’s house between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. As we were running behind, that wasn’t going to happen. Chris ended up taking Harper to Sue’s house, and we dropped off Juniper there shortly before 5:00 pm.
What a wonderful day we had with Juniper! We are looking forward to a similar experience with Harper in a few weeks.