Yesterday we visited the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange. Unfortunately, the Zoo is somewhat under construction and a number of the animals were still in their winter habitats where ever that may be and were not on display-- (case in point, alligator habitat? There was one lone duck, no gator, hopefully they'll remove the duck before the gator get's back...) But, there were also a couple of neat animals like these gigantic woolly buffalo things and some kind of mid-sized cougars. The cougar enclosure looked relatively new, but upon closer inspection I would have to say I was hopeful that the cougars were well fed as the enclosure looked to be really just a giant net with a two foot high electrified fence around it. I'm sitting there with Miss B about 15 feet away from a pair of cougars and it really didn't look like that much was holding them in. Big kitty plus little fence equals: mom and baby getting the heck out of there and back over to the llama section.
There was also a "petting" zoo, though arguably the sheep and goats looked a bit shop worn, so we didn't encourage any actual petting. Miss B did seem intrigued by the donkey and chickens, though and before leaving we went on a little train ride which she really enjoyed. I would have had a bit more fun myself on the train had it not been for Stosh and his mom sitting in front of us. Stosh (who is five but looked seven, at least) thought that every pile of sticks the train went by was a beaver dam but most importantly, Stosh's mom was clearly looking for someone to talk to. I soon learned when Stosh was potty trained, what his first words were, when he got his first tooth, how his school teachers say what a large vocabulary he has, even though some of his pronunciation needs work, and how Stosh's grandparents feel about all of these things.
After the zoo we hit up a lovely little playground in Millburn and tried out the swings which Baby enjoyed all of which resulted in quite a good nap on the ride home. So much so, in fact, that Baby even slept through my quick trip to the drive through at none other than White Castle.