“Tour and Tea” at the Zoo, 05-08-17

Day 3 of my vacation: I had a ticket to go to “Tours and Tea” at the Sacramento Zoo, so I did that. The events are just for seniors, so there are no screaming kids around. Participants get a private tour of the zoo, and then go into a provide room at the café for tea and finger sandwiches.

CLICK HERE to see the album of photo and videos.

There were 26 people in our group – mostly women – and at 62 I was the youngest in the group. Most were in their 70’s or 80’s. Rather than dragging the big group around the zoo, they broke us up into small groups of 5 and had 2 docents come with us, so we could always hear what the docents were saying and could travel as slowly as we wanted to. The two docents who handled the group I was in were Jean (86) and her husband Bruce (who just had his 90th birthday last week), and they were great.

We walked around for about 90 minutes, but during the last few minutes of the tour, one of the ladies in our group fainted on her feet and hit the pavement. The zoo’s staff was there within seconds, making sure she was okay, calling for a golf cart for her. She never completely lost consciousness but was complaining about “seeing stars”, so we think that when she fainted, she banged her head on something hard enough to give her a concussion. The docent, Bruce, stayed with the lady who fell, and Jean took the rest of us through the last few parts of the tour and on to where the tea service was going to be.

At the café, they had tea, lemonade and coffee for everyone along with finger sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad and chicken salad), a green salad with dressing, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I was very nice; a nice :old lady” event that was low-impact and very interesting. One fun fact I learned: anteaters have no jaws. I didn’t realize that before.

On the way out of the zoo I got my requisite cotton candy and a soft-serve ice cream cone and headed home. It was a nice morning.

Posted by

Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.