Zoo a la Carte

We (Grandma and Grandpa) recently had the pleasure of taking Namine to Milwaukee à la Carte at the Zoo, and predictably, she had a great time. Local restaurants set up booths around the zoo where food could be purchased, so that in addition to seeing the animals, we enjoyed some tasty treats.

Zoo a la Carte

After consulting the guidebook and map, we headed first to the Caribou Village, on the far side of the zoo from the main entrance. There Namine had mac and cheese with hot dogs. Since the cup was so full of noodles, and the hot dogs on top were cut into “coins,” a couple of them made a break for it and rolled down the length of the picnic table and into the grass. Dinner and a show!

Dessert consisted of “bundtlet” cakes. Namine chose red velvet; she has sophisticated tastes for an 11-year-old.

Of course, we saw lots of critters along the way. Four black bears were out and about in their enclosure—the most we’ve seen at once—and at the Big Cat building, the male lion was outside and roaring. We witnessed that at close quarters through the window just outside the building entrance.

The effort apparently exhausted him, because by the time we were able to take his picture, he had already laid down on his rock.
Namine especially enjoyed seeing the baby giraffe with the rest of its family.

Maybe the biggest and happiest surprise was running into Stephanie and her mom, Cindy. Stephanie is sort of a “hospital buddy” of Namine’s: she was at Children’s Hospital recovering from surgery when Namine was born and in the NICU.

A la Carte is one of those things where you buy tickets and then use those to purchase food. At the end of the evening, we had a handful of tickets left over, so we made the most of them. Namine had funnel cake (one of Nature’s Most Perfect Foods!), and Grandpa bought fortune cookies to be shared. The fortunes were mostly silly, so we finished our time at the Zoo with smiles (and a little powdered sugar) on our faces.