Where the wild things are…

June 20, 2010 § 13 Comments

First of all, a big shout-out to all the dads in the world! It’s kind of weird for me to celebrate Father’s Day today since in Taiwan, Father’s Day isn’t till August 8. Why? In Mandarin, the number eight is pronounced “ba.” So, August 8 = 8/8=ba-ba. Clever right?

Since it’s a beautiful Sunday, the boyfriend and I decided to head over to the Los Angeles Zoo. Of course there was some noshing & munching to fill our bellies before some wild animal actions!

We bought a $20 coupon for $40 worth of food + drink at Cayenne Cafe from Living Social a few weeks ago, and decided today was the day to use it! Since most food items are $10-$15, we spent alot on drinks + dessert.

I ordered a cooling Moroccan Mint Tea and Vegetable Valencia:

A ridiculously large salad consisting of greens, grilled eggplants, grilled zucchinis, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, herbs, roasted peppers, and mozzarella.

Mr. Dman ordered a hot chocolate and Pizza Calabra.

Mozzarella, artichokes, sundried & fresh tomato, olives, peppers, mushrooms and herbs. Best damn pizza EVER!

For dessert, Dmitri ordered his favorite:

Soooo good! I had about 1/4 of it. The berry sauce was actually warm, which contrasted perfectly with the cold, creamy cheesecake.

I managed to polish 2/3 of my salad, the rest was packed into this cute box and bag:

GREAT service , GREAT food, FIVE STAR OVERALL! 😀

What perfect way to walk those food bellies off than a stroll in the zoo? Bear with me (pun intended!), there are lots of pictures to come. I probably took 50 more than shown here, but these are my faves!

This little guy was really vain. He was literally half a foot away from me, and just kept sticking his head in front of my lens. He stood there for about 2 min or so, and I snapped a good dozen pictures of him.

Did I just hear Hakuna Matata? 🙂

Pink overload.

This one made me sad…:-(

A bunch of chillin’ chimps. 😉

Hippoppopopoppopoppoopopoppotamus!

~~~

After a little bit too much sun a lots of walking, we came home with tired legs and hungry tummies! Dinner tonight featured Mama Pea’s Tofu Ricotta Gnocchi that I cooked up yesterday. I followed the recipe except mine wasn’t vegan. I used real ricotta instead of Tofutti Cream Cheese, and substituted parmesan for nutritional yeast.

Holy yum! I need to make more of this!

Post-dinner I settled happily with the HUGE bag of old-fashioned kettle corn that I got for $5 from the zoo!

Happy me 🙂

~~~

Despite the fact that I enjoyed admiring all these animals and learning about them, I realized today that my feelings toward the zoo has changed since I was little. When I was younger, I didn’t give too much thought about those animals behind the bars, and I just dwelled in my own pleasure. Today I felt pity towards the animals, cooped up behind glass walls, bars, or nets in areas as small as four square feet.

Everyday they have to deal with kids screaming at them to move, or people banging on the glass walls. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the animals themselves miss or remember what it was like out in the wild. Granted, some animals in the zoo were considered endangered, and thus the zoo kind of acts like a sanctuary for them. But the other animals? The orangutan clinging by the bar shown above was a sad-looking fellow. I was looking at it for a full 2 minutes, at its wistful looking eyes. The black bear above also looked very lonely. It was resting in its cave when I came around. When it finally poked its head out, the other zoo-goers were yelling at it: “Come out come out! Come on!“. Okay, since when did we get to decide whether the animal should rest or not? Since when did humans get the right to yell at animals?

Some of the animals have the ability to run up to 80 km/hr, or jump as high as 5 feet. But where in the zoo can they (re)discover their own capabilities? Where are they supposed to roam free?

It was a fun day and I didn’t mean to end on a downer-note. But I couldn’t help but wonder.

———————————–

+ Popcorn: butter or kettle? I’m a huge kettle corn fan all the way! I don’t really like the heavier, buttery popcorn that my boyfriends looooovvesss.

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§ 13 Responses to Where the wild things are…

  • Monet says:

    I can’t get over how good that pizza looks. I’m drooling as I type…really, I need one of those ASAP!

  • Lindsay says:

    Happy Father’s Day to yours a little early! 🙂 Great job on the gnocchi!

  • I’m trying to teach myself a little Mandarin (mostly unsuccessfully), and I think I’ve been pronouncing 8 as “buh.” Thank you for unintentionally educating me 🙂 And I totally get you about the zoos..not a downer, just a reality.

  • I don’t think that zoos are very humane. I’m not a fan of them; maybe it’s because I’ve never been to a “good” zoo where they treat the animals properly (but really, how can you treat an animal properly out of its proper home?) but I just don’t think it’s natural to keep animals behind bars. I also think it’s just plain rude and very likely hurtful and traumatic to the animals if people yell at them, throw things, or yes, even feed them (I just don’t think it’s right.) Maybe some “rough handling” is necessary to do the job of feeding, cleaning or moving, but I don’t like the look of it at all. Just my two cents. 🙂

    What IS that animal in the second photo?! Its long, graceful, but freakishly SKINNY neck is mesmerising me. See, that kind of animal should be in the wild, running free like those gazelles you see on Discovery Channel!

    Oh, and: I don’t know the difference between kettle corn and normal popcorn besides the shape, sorry. But I like both and I don’t know how I would decide. 😛

    Wei-Wei

    • I wish I knew but I don’t remember anymore 😦 I saw so many similar-looking gazelle-like animals that day so everything’s sort of a blur now. I think it might have been some funky name that I don’t remember 😛

      Kettle corn is usually the sweeter ones.

  • oh i LOVE rediculously LARGE salads!!! i would have loved this one so much! and that pizza would have tasted spectacular!!

    ZOO CREATURES!!! ive never been to a zoo.. k well i guess i wouldnt expect one here anyways.. but ive been to a sea zoo hehe. but octopus’s arent as cool as giraffes!!!

    xoxo ❤

    ps. that popcorn bag is almost bigger than you. haha adorable!

  • Beautiful pictures- I especially love the ones of the zebras & giraffees (spelling?) – they are so cute.
    That salad looks amazzzzinnngg! Grilled eggplant?! YES please!! 😀
    Looks like you had a GREAT day. What a way to end the weekend!

  • Hi there, just popping over to say thank you so much for the comment on my blog! I love hearing from new readers!

    These pictures are awesome although I do share your feelings about zoos.

  • thehungryscholar says:

    I don’t really like popcorn. I am lame…

    But a trip to the zoo isn’t. I haven’t been there in forever!

  • CourtandWhit says:

    Wow those flowers from the cafe are gorgeous! And omg that food looks to die for. I used to be a butter popcorn girl, but recently I have found a love for Kettle. If you sprinkle lots of cinnamon over the top of it, it is even BETTER!
    -Court

  • […] Western countries?), we celebrate Father’s Day in Taiwan on August 8th. Like I mentioned in this post, we celebrate Father’s Day on that day because August 8 = 8/8= Eight-eight = ba ba (same […]

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