Saturday, 7 July: Last full day of our trip was probably the most laid back and relaxing. Major event was a trip to the <a href=”http://www.zoo.org/” title=”Woodland Park Zoo”>Woodland Park Zoo</a>. It isn’t a huge zoo, but it’s not a small one, either. They had a sampling of many types of animal kin, but seemed to emphasize the African savanna ecosphere and ways to help and preserve it.<br />n<br />nRebecca’s favorite part was the merry go round, but she also wanted to bring home a mama and baby penguin.<br />n<br />nToday we were to meet up with Wallace and Catherine, but Ellie was just getting over the flu, so only Wallace was able to make it. Ann and her two boys, who have a family membership at the zoo, also had the opportunity to join us, and it was good to spend a bit more time with them. Ben and William and the friend they brought along would take off on their own for a while, and our little one wanted to join them, but she took it with the right attitude when we told her she needed to stick with the grownups.<br />n<br />nThe WPZ is a non profit organization, as are many such institutions. This usually means there are subtle, yet significant differences in the experience at the site. One that I notice right away was that there is much less emphasis on the commercial aspects of attractions. For instance, at the exit of each exhibit, there wasn’t a gift kiosk selling stuffed versions of the animals just viewed, or other such trinkets. There are, of course, snack stands and a food pavilion, which are all priced at about what you’d expect at, say, Six Flags or Disneyland, but at least here you know that the profits are going toward maintaining the rest of the facility, including care of the animals and other genuinely good efforts.<br />n<br />nWe wrapped up the zoo early in the afternoon and headed back to the hotel, where we hung out in the courtyard, had snacks and a couple beers. This was certainly the most relaxing part of the day, and the weather was perfect.<br />n<br />nThe plans for the day next called for dinner at a tacqueria near Green Lake park, close to the zoo, on the other side of Fremont. We met up with Wallace, Catherine and Ellie, and their soon to be born baby. Some burritos, some chips, some salsa, some horchata made for a pleasant picnic in the park. A visit to a nice and well populated playground afterwards wrapped up the evening, and we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our trip home the next day.