Monday, June 20, 2016

Feel the Burn: The Cheyenne Zoo

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We woke up geared for our last moments at our Broadmoor Cottage, we ordered conservatively - a tiny room service breakfast to save on our funds... although I wanted that fancy french toast, I used my will power to order a small peach yogurt his grandmother a strawberry, I splurged for Luke who insisted on an omelette and his daddy had cereal.  A small but still lovely breakfast before we headed out to the Cheyenne Zoo and then making the drive home.

Luke I think detected that we were leaving.   Not tickled he was a bit of a handful to convince putting his luggage into the car.  I can't blame him, I'm fully grown and I wasn't really loving the idea of packing up and leaving this wonderful weekend behind either.  But as they say, all good things must come to an end.  Lots of guests were checking out the same time we were, many having personal driver's and their names labeled on vehicles who were patiently waiting on them curbside.  The hotel allowed us to keep our vehicle with us on property with remote entry, which was so nice especially given never knowing when we would need to come and go quickly with Noah.  I was so appreciative of their thoughtfulness to what would make us comfortable.

Once we had packed up and loaded the vehicle we sad our goodbyes to the staff who had coordinated such a peaceful and lovely time for us.   Feeling as if I've known them years and not just a few days.  People that I hope that I'll be able to remain in touch with throughout our journey as a special needs family.  Their care and tenderness certainly extended beyond just doing their jobs.  And I appreciated their genuine love and sincerity.
The drive to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was short.  It's very close to the Broadmoor.  I had been once before in my life as a child, but it either wasn't that impressive to me at the time, or I was too young to remember it.  Perhaps a combination of the two.  Noah adores the zoo, so I fully expected him to love the Cheyenne Zoo, but upon arrival he started to pout and cry growing more agitated with a zoo gift shop worker who wouldn't stop talking to him and delaying him from seeing animals.  His crying grew louder until his daddy had to carry him around the zoo for a while, hard to do in hot temperatures with such high elevations on the mountainside.  Noah finally calmed down enough for us to put him back in his wheelchair but not before realizing he needed to be changed.  Personal details I know, but it continues to frustrate me that there are no good spaces to change children like Noah in any bathrooms.  We have to either lay him on the floor, try to hold him while one person changes him upright or slouch him down in his wheelchair and pray he doesn't fall out of it while we try to maneuver changing him.  I'd like to believe that someday the law will require changing tables big enough for all disabled adults that must rely on caregiver assistance for incontinence care.
Noah never really fully regained his happiness.  He tolerated the giraffes who were overly curious about him.  He seemed to find their tongue exploration obnoxious.  The smells from the zoo were overwhelming, which was hard on Noah's sensory gag reflex.  And everything is uphill, and uphill and uphill.  In fact just when you think you're done... yep you guessed it, another hill.  When pushing a wheelchair you can certainly feel the burn in your legs.  Who needs to go the gym when you can find a really elevated zoo and push a wheelchair?  Nope not us.
Luke was rather board, it's hard to see many of the animals without stairs or an elevator.  It wasn't the most accessible friendly zoo, certainly it felt more crowded than our local zoo, it was smaller.  It does have incredible views on a walkway that makes it feel like you are floating on top of the entire city below you.  People whipping out those selfie-sticks to make it look like they are sitting on a cliff with the foothills and houses in the distance.
We decided there wasn't a real good option to eat at the zoo and made the decision to stop off and eat somewhere on the way home instead.  I don't think Noah was overly impressed with the Cheyenne Zoo.  Perhaps he was sad we left the Broadmoor (and let's be honest who wouldn't be?) and I know he probably was let down that it wasn't Santa's Workshop again... because well, Christmas rules.
We had a quick bite to eat, where Noah also had a meltdown because I couldn't order him a Frosty fast enough from Wendy's... and we headed home carrying with us sweet memories of our time together.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.