4th of July
I haven't been to the Brookfield Zoo in years. We decided to go last weekend with a friend who works at the Arboretum (and could get us in for free, coincidentially). Besides the beautiful new Great Bear Wilderness exhibit, I noticed a few other things had changed as well. There are gift shops and junk food vendors everywhere. Kiosks, pop-ups, carts, huge retail "trading posts" — there was even an area selling VWs right inside the north gate. Why the fuck are there cars for sale inside the goddamn zoo?
Despite all that, it was still a fun time. We fed stingrays ($4 admission to the "touch pool" [which is borderline animal abuse] + $2 to feed them); watched bears, dolphins, and orangutans deficate; saw many truly aweful tattoos; and had some pretty good soft-serve root beer floats.
Oh, and they need and adults-only day. All those misbehaved kids in their double-wide strollers with their ignorant parents really put a damper on things.
I love colored light. We have string lights up all year, and many of the fixtures that we would benefit from having a soft white bulb in are replaced with red, orange, or ultraviolet. It's the easiest way to completely change the look of any space.
Good fireworks aren't legal in Illinois, but we still managed to get ahold of some courtesy of our favorite Chicago Avenue general store. The excitement of holding a Roman candle in your hand as it explodes is well worth a few minor burns and the possibility of losing a finger.