Week 12: Exploring the Phoenix Zoo

You’re all so encouraging! Since my last post, I’ve decided to go ahead and accept my grad school/TA offer! Beginning in August, I’ll be back in school again, while still working in baseball :) With that, we’ll head into last week’s “new thing.”

Previously, I had never been to the Phoenix Zoo. Nor had my parents (who were also in town over the weekend). After catching a few Spring Training baseball games, I noticed the backs of the A’s tickets offered a discount for zoo admission. With nothing on the agenda for Sunday, we ventured out and explored Phoenix. After my morning shift at work, my dad wanted to try a bar/restaurant that was noted in a local magazine as one of the area’s top 50 bars to visit.

This place was a total throwback to decades past. Not only did it feature a boxing ring, military surplus shopping, soda fountain and a vintage Airstream trailer that doubled as a kitchen, but there was also a full menu for brunch, lunch, dinner and an array of “vintage cocktails and beer.”

While we waited for our lunch to come hot out of the Airstream, we could choose from a pile of vintage (notice a theme here?) board games to pass away the time. My dad grabbed Scrabble, we chose a shaded table in the sunlight and enjoyed the afternoon.

(I won, in case you were curious)

Scrabble is serious business.

I don’t know how many times I need to tell you people how much I adore vintage culture and the 1950s, but this really hit it out of the park. The Duce was probably one of the best finds in Phoenix thus far! And we’ve been to some really cool places in the past eight months. I bet it’s crazy fun in the evenings and for happy hour as well. The best part is this is blocks away from my work ;) Needless to say, I will be back. If you’re ever in Phoenix you HAVE to go there!

Pleasantly surprised with our afternoon at The Duce, we set off to use those Zoo discount tickets and spend the three hours until closing looking at all the animals.

I loveeeee animals and enjoy going to zoos and water parks, etc. The Phoenix Zoo is supposedly one of the top five zoos in the country and I would completely agree. I’ve been to zoos in about half the States and even in Europe. The best part about this one was the monkey exhibit.

You literally are in the monkey habitat and they ran past our feet and jumped from tree-to-tree overhead. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.

Other things I thought were neat:

  • I finally got to see Black Swan

  • We were face-to-painted face with some baboons (who, apparently, have rainbow-colored hineys, I missed the opportunity to snap a photo of that one)

  • Witnessed a domestic dispute between two rhinos. That was intense.

  • Speaking of domestic issues, we got to hear a male and female lion roaring at one another. It’s crazy how loud that is! The lioness even rumbled and shook a little every time she yelped.

  • I watched a really big kitty bathe itself

  • I crossed paths with some peacocks. They were everywhere, I even had to wait in line behind one of them at a soda dispenser.

Is it weird I had the following song stuck in my head the entire time?! (Disclaimer, while I LOVE Katy Perry, I do think this is the weakest song on her Teenage Dream album)

  • Met a rude lizard (dragon, whatever)

  • And beat a golden eagle in a staring contest. It was like taking candy from a baby.

In all seriousness though, it was a really fun way to end the weekend! I had such a blast. I’m glad I’m challenging myself to try something new each week, or else I might have missed out on a great day! Now I’m off to brainstorm what to do this week…


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26 responses to “Week 12: Exploring the Phoenix Zoo

  1. J.D.

    You do like animals and Katy Perry…

  2. Oh I love the zoo! How “vintage” is that place with the scrabble and lemonade?! Thats my kind of fun!

  3. I’ve never been to a zoo before, how neat! I’d love to go – I can’t believe there’s an actual thing as a Black Swan! Soo beautiful looking.

    We have a “farm” or a “zoo” – I’m not sure what to call it, it’s a little area inside our small local park, which is just in the backyard literally, of our apartment building. They have bunnies, donkeys, pigs and peacocks. I’ve never seen a real one until then. It even flared up its feathers at me so I could take some photos of it. Sooo gorgeous.

    • Is it kind of like a petting zoo? I still go into those all the time, and I’m 25 ha. I feel weird being the only one in there with a bunch of little kids :)

  4. Wow, you got some great shots! The black swan is amazing! So weird because my boss was literally talking about black swans on Friday and how you never see them… maybe it’s a sign for me or you…

    And the Duce looks like my kind of place! Love that they have Scrabble. :)

  5. Our family takes Scrabble pretty serious… especially my g’ma- she does NOT mess around!!!

    • DUDE, my mom gets crazy about Words With Friends. To the point that I actually deleted the app bc I couldn’t handle it. She my dad and sister always play it on their phones/iPods.

  6. The Duce does look like a great place! I love places like that too.

    And I went to the zoo for the 1st time in a long time last summer to take M. It was so fun!

  7. The Duce looks like an awesome bar. I love that they had games to play while you waited! Also, great zoo pics! My favorite is the rhino dispute.

    • The male rhino literally stood the female down. They were passively fighting and all the people were nervous something crazy was going to happen. All I could think of the entire time was how prehistoric those animals look ha :)

  8. Meg

    What fun pictures! I’m a sucker for zoos and 50’s era stuff too.

    I love love monkeys so that’s cool they would run right past you! (And I agree Katy’s Peacock song is a bit ridiculous.)

    • What’s tragic is I LOVE that album! Oh well, at least it didn’t become a single :) And I wish it was ok for monkeys to be domesticated as pets. They’re sooooo cute!

  9. Congrats on accepting the grad school offer!!

    And looks like you guys had a great time at the zoo!

  10. I love your hair!!!

    Ok, I didn’t even know Phoenix had a zoo and never heard of that “establishment” I love the old school theme to it and any place that has board games is A ok with me.

    • Thanks! When I’m lazy I’ll shower and French braid it at night so it’s wavy the next day :)

      The Duce is literally two blocks from the Suns’ arena and three from Chase Field!

  11. Love love love the rhino photo! We don’t have any rhinos at my city’s zoo. And CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  12. You’ve motivated me to do something like this! It’s so cool. I don;t know when I would ever find the time but I guess that’s part of the beauty of it, right? :) Congrats again on grad school, so excited for you.

  13. Okay, that bar/restaurant looks awesome! What a cool place to hang out! I love zoos! There is something about them that is always so relaxing!

  14. :grin: Looks like a FUN weekend! I love that “restaurant” or whatever it should be called!

  15. Cute Animals! Okay, you look so much like your dad! It looks like you guys had a fun time. What a fun looking little restaurant/bar. I love that you could play scrabble. All restaurants should have games…it would help the time pass quicker!

  16. Great pictures! It must have been awesome to see all those animals up close.

  17. Beautiful zoo photos! Whenever I try to take them, I get bars down the middle in all of them, despite my best efforts. I know a lot of people are anti-zoo nowadays, but I can’t help but love to see all the exotic animals.

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