Los Angeles is not a particularly hilly city. I mean, there are hills surrounding the basin that so famously captures and holds the heat, but it is one of the flatter places I have lived. Chapel Hill, N.C., for example, is a place totally aptly named, as pretty much every part of that city is either up an incline or down one.
Despite the abundance of flat locations to choose from, whomever first conceived of the Los Angeles Zoo decided to build it on a rather steep slope. It is in Griffith Park, a lovely area surrounded by the hills that reportedly were used to film the opening sequence of M*A*S*H, which goes a long way towards explaining why every time we head out that way I feel like I am driving into Korea. The zoo itself has a flat parking lot, but it is all uphill from there. You have to trek about a half mile upwards, past innumerable concession carts, before you even get to see a single animal (other than the flamingos, which are positioned maybe a quarter mile from the front gates).
Now, I knew this because we have been to the zoo before. And I knew I was seven-and-a-half months pregnant. And I went anyway on Sunday. I even pooh-poohed the tram that could take us up because it wasn’t scheduled to leave for another ten minutes. Benjamin wanted to see the tigers. You know they put those damned things at the very top of the zoo.
Consequently, I am currently very close to immobile. I can only walk very short distances, due to some muscle or another I pulled or strained above the groin and below the belly button. (It is much worse when I have to pee – anyone with better anatomical training that I have want to hazard a guess as to which it might be?) Thank heaven we have a nanny to cover some of the hours when my husband isn’t around, because I am sure not showing my kids a good time right about now.
Naturally, when we finally got there, all four of those tigers were sound asleep.