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Our Anniversary and Lincoln Park Zoo

October 26th, 2015

Friday was our ten year wedding anniversary so Joe took the day off work so we could spend it together. We didn’t have anything too exciting planned – just a relaxing day and then a nice dinner to celebrate. In the morning we participated in a gummy vitamin taste test and a research facility. It was about an hour of our time and we each made $25 so that was nice.

We tried a new Thai restaurant in Wheaton. Well, it was a Thai place before so I’m not sure if it’s new owners and the old owners changing the name and trying to garner new clientele, but it wasn’t that impressive.

After lunch we made a trip to the arboretum to check out the fall foliage.

Morton Arboretum

We also stopped at a forest preserve called Churchill Woods but the weather was turning more grey so I didn’t get any good photos there.

Churchill Woods

We debated over whether to try a new to us, but expensive steakhouse, or stick with a place we knew. We opted for the latter and had it narrowed down between Claim Jumper and Lonestar, deciding on Lonestar which required us to drive out to Elgin. The meal was disappointing to say the least. My filet was way overcooked so I had to sit there watching Joe eat his (I insisted since I didn’t want it to get cold) while they prepared a new filet for me. The new one was at least cooked like I requested (medium), but I need A1 to make it tasty, which in my mind means the steak sucks (never needed A1 at Claim Jumper). I have no idea if this is a fluke, the location we visited sucks, or if Lonestar in general has gone downhill, but it ruined that chain for me. I’ve always loved their inexpensive food but I’ll think twice before ever eating there again.

We decided to get dessert and went to this Mexican ice cream place that had high ratings on Yelp. I didn’t care for it at all. My chocolate ice cream tasted like Hershey’s syrup. Ick. Needless to say the eating portion of our anniversary sucked.

Saturday we drove down to Oak Lawn to pick up E for lunch. We went to Culvers out in Orland Park. After dropping E off at home we hit the Walmart where I was finally able to find a pair of jeans in my desired size and color so I can wear my Cuddl Duds underneath them at work from now until April.

We had planned to attend a Halloween flea market Saturday night but changed our mind. It’s $7 to get in and all outdoors (for some reason I thought it was indoors) and it was drizzling. A few people online complained about the long lines last year which really discouraged us. So we went home and binge-watched some more Modern Family instead.

Sunday we decided to visit Lincoln Park Zoo. They had been bragging on their social media sites that the two red panda cubs born four months ago had just made their public debut and encouraged everyone to come visit them over the weekend. So we came, but we didn’t see squat!

We arrived to the zoo early and found free parking on Cannon Dr. which was awesome. The zoo gates were open already so we walked over to the red panda exhibit but it was empty. Thinking perhaps they wouldn’t be out until the official 10 am zoo opening, we checked out some other animals, including the lions where I got some great photos.

Lioness

We made our way back to the red pandas just before 10 am. By then a crowd had formed but we were able to secure a spot in front just to the left of the exhibit. I had just learned that my SLR’s battery was on one bar so I vowed not to use the camera again until the red pandas came out. In the meantime, two cute little Eurasian Lynxs were let into their exhibit to our left. I wanted to get a photo and/or video of them but didn’t want to miss out on the pandas, so I reluctantly waited some more.

At some point after 10 am a zookeeper came into the exhibit to prepare it for the red pandas. Why they didn’t do that before the zoo opened, I don’t know. We waited almost an hour before an employee informed us that one of the panda cubs wasn’t ready to come out yet and they weren’t planning on opening the exhibit until he was and had no idea when that would be (and their indoor habitat is not viewable to the public). By this time the lynxs were back in their non-viewable to the public den so I missed that opportunity as well. To say I was disappointed, not to mentioned pissed off, is an understatement. Sorry, but I think if you’re posting all over social media asking the public to visit your zoo to see the pandas you better damn well put the pandas somewhere they can be seen. Seriously!

We spent another two hours at the zoo checking out the rest of the exhibits and returned to the red panda one several times but they were never out.

Finally we gave up and drove to Rodgers Park to this great Thai place to have lunch.

Monday I had an early doctor appointment to go over some stuff and she sent me for some routine blood work.

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