Los Angeles, California: Gramps and I have a mission this weekend: babysit Leo while his folks go out of town for a wedding. Leo only. Lucy must go wherever her Momma goes, as the baby still (7 months old) refuses to take a bottle.

Before driving over Friday afternoon, I baked a Buttery Pound Cake with Salted Caramel Glaze from Martha Stewart for our Shabbat meal.

Not gonna lie. Not the best thing to ever come out of my kitchen. It was a lot of work. Too much work for the result. Still, it is disappearing from the cake plate in Lisa’s kitchen…

Lisa, Lenny and Lucy hit the highway early this morning and left us to tend after Leo. Not that a nearly-four-year-old can fend for himself… but Leo is certainly easier to mind than a baby. Especially because of that whole “I can talk to tell you want I want/need or how I feel” part. Whew. Leo also knows the lay of the land. The neighbors. Where to find the tape. Exactly what he wants on his pizza.

You may think us mad for going to the Zoo in Los Angeles on a Saturday during Spring Break. We may be, but “spring break” takes place continuously all spring in Southern California. Not every school in American takes their break the same week, but it seems a whole bunch of American families descend on SoCal during their vacation. It’s Spring Break here much of March and April.

First stop after entering the zoo? Lunch.

Turkey with sprouts, cucumber, cheddar, tomatoes and avocado on whole wheat. California on a bun.

Leo posing under a beautiful flowering tree at the LA Zoo

Flamingos!

Our grandson loves to ride the carousel. Today, he rode twice. Once on a bee (wasp?), and once sitting in a chair.

Sorry that you can’t see that I was riding a Jaguar. (Sorry you missed this old short gal climbing off said Jaguar. It was quite a sight. What we won’t do for our grandchildren.)

Well, we are not perfect – we may have given Leo some candy.

Dave and Leo consult the zoo map – where shall we go next? Primates!

We saw THREE baby chimpanzees today. Adorable and mischevious.

This Lowland Gorilla was ignoring her visitors

We also saw elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, several species of ruminants, birds and so many animals I can’t seem to recall at the moment. It was hot. I was getting tired. One of our last stops was to the reptile house. Leo loves the lizards and snakes:

Green Mamba

Lizard

More reptiles

Boy Rides Gator

One last cool snack for our tired guy:

Enough. Let’s go home.

We were at the zoo for more than four hours. My pedometer read over 8000 steps – that’s nearly four miles and I didn’t “exercise” today (as Saturday is my rest day). 

I don’t think there is a rest day when you are caring for a toddler.

OH MY GOODNESS, do we have a special occasion planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Until my next update, I remain, your weary correspondent.

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