At the beginning of every month, we put out a new batch of sign-up sheets for that month. While some offerings are less popular, many others are spilling over with residents clambering for a spot. The Woodland Park Zoo is a Seattle favorite for many people – it’s a well-done, well-kept, large, happy zoo just on the outskirts of Seattle, in the Finney Ridge area. From Bellevue, it’s a good 20-25 minute drive, without traffic. Because of it being a decent drive from Bellevue, and it being quite a physical task of walking around for at least an hour, we were excited four residents were bound and determined to go to that zoo.
We were all extremely excited to get there and see the animals. Some of us wanted to see specific animals (giraffes being among one of the more popular requests), and some of us were just happy to get out and get some fresh air. We had just left the lemur exhibit when one resident turned and said “I am just so, so happy right now. This is amazing!” with near-tears in her eyes. I agreed with her that it was such a perfect day for this kind of trip. We continued on and saw lions, gorillas, zebras, and so many other amazing critters. As we were leaving, the same resident called me over. She wanted to thank me for planning this trip, to which I responded with a very flippant “of course, it’s fun for me too!” But she stopped, got a little more serious, and said “You don’t understand. When I get out like this, it just makes my heart so, so happy… Thank you.” Sometimes a small trip to a zoo can make a major difference in someone’s week. This right here is why it is so very important for retirement communities to offer many different types of activities, including outings. While leaving home tires some out, it also gives us all a different kind of energy boost. Outings are important, and it’s important to make the outings fun.