Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cox Family Bi-Annual Fishing Trip (Part2)

The Zoo - On Wednesday, September 1st, a group of us went to the Wildlife Park in Minocqua (, WI and had a very nice time. I generally enjoy going to zoos, but many times, I make comments about how poor the condition of the animal's cages are and how sad they look. This was the first zoo that I'd been at were the animals seemed to have adequate space, were well taken care of, and had clean stalls. I was very impressed on how well kept everything seemed to be.
Uncle Scott showing Gannon it was okay to pet the goats
 as Cameron looks on.
 As soon as we came out of the entrance, there were goats that we were able to pet and feed. One of the baby goats jumped in the wagon that we had rented for Gannon, and another naughty goat grabbed some papers out of the side of the backpack, which I had placed inside the wagon. I wrestled the papers out of the goat’s mouth, then shooed it away. I also nudged the baby goat out of the wagon, so Gannon could sit and ride. Within the petting zoo area, volunteers were there that were able handle some of the animals for us to touch, and pet. Although, I had my hopes set on petting a porcupine, I was unable to because the volunteer that was working had not handled that animal much, and didn't feel comfortable holding it while people were petting it; However, I was personally was able to pet a skunk, and a prairie dog! Royce and some of the others were also able to pet a chinchilla too. I thought that that was amazing. The group of children also was able to enter a bunny house to snuggle with the little creatures. 
Giovonnie loveing up one of the bunnies.
 For a zoo that is a smaller than that of a big city it still had many unique animals to look at such as zebras, tigers, and tortoises. The zoo also had a deer protection area were deer could roam freely, they could get in and out, but the people were kept out of their area. The zoo also had a number of different species of birds, and one of my favorite areas was the bird aviary where people could hold out their arms and the colorful little birds would fly over to perch themselves on it. I do have to admit it was a bit creepy when the birds would fly close to my ears and I could feel the tickle of the wind rushing by with each flap of their wings. Gannon would try getting the birds saying, “Shoo, shoo!” and waving his hands toward them, or he would try to stomp on them if they were on other peoples shoes.
Giovonnie watching the deer.

Royce letting the birds peck at his shoes laces as he
 covered his ears because when the birds
 flew close to his ears it gave him the creeps.

Some of the pretty little birdies.
. It was the perfect ending spot before making our way back to the entrance/exit of the zoo. We passed through a cute gift shop, which surprisingly had some fair priced items, as we headed out to the parking lot where I allowed my boys to spend the money they had brought to buy a souvenir. Royce picked out a bag of magnetic “rocks” and a few snake skins, Giovonnie picked out a plush armadillo to add to his ‘zoo’ collection that he keeps at home on his bed, and Gannon picked out a little plush red fox that he decided he didn’t want after chewing on its nose. (I bought it anyway. How could I put it back with wet bite marks on it?) They even had a fishing pond were a few of the cousins went fishing and each caught a nice size fish before we left to go back to the resort.

 The Children's Museum -  
Royce, Andrew, Giovonnie tring to catch some plastic fish
while Gannon looks on.
 On Thursday, Sept 2, which was another rainy day Kelly (my sister-in-law) and I took the children to the Children's Museum in Eagle River, WI there was so many things for the children to play with and explore from dressing up, to crafts, playing pretend, reading books, sliding down the slide, and standing in bubbles. There were so many things for them to do that I don't think they got to everything before we had to leave, although we had arrived around noon that day and didn't leave until closing time, which I believe was 4:30pm.
Gannon takes his turn down the slide; one of his favorite activities there.
Royce was listening to a story being read to him over
 the phone while he was inside the story tree. 

Giovonnie playing with the dragons and the castle.

Royce inside a bubble.
Friday was our last day at that the resort, and unfortunately I had yet to get my homework done for my online classes, so most of my day was spent in Eagle River, WI attending online classes, researching and writing papers. Before I returned to the resort, I peeked in the local antique shop where I found a neat gift for Joe for our anniversary, a jack knife from around the 1940s and an old lighter make out of a large bullet shell casing. Once I returned to the resort, I couldn’t wait, and gave Joe his gift. Shortly afterwards was time for dinner, then we started packing up some of our things because we were scheduled to be checked out by 9am on Saturday. One the children were put to bed Joe and I stole away for a little while to have some alone time and celebrate our 11th Wedding Anniversary, and then later joined some others to play a board game, and hang out some more.

The Trip Home - Saturday morning after waking up was a rush about the place trying to get everything packed up and cleaned up before we headed back home. In the rush of things, we ended up leaving two of Gannon’s movies there, one being his favorite Curious George movie that includes a few Toad and Frog cartoons. We also forgot one of our duffle bags there, which was a piece to our suitcase set we got for our wedding that had all of our toiletry items in it.

Due to our blunder of leaving things behind, on the following Tuesday, after our return home, Joe called the resort to ask if they could ship us our missing items. The resort manger was kind that he spoke with, and agreed to ship the bag, as we were going to pay for it. At this time, she also brought to our attention that our group would have to pay extra cleaning charges due to the cleaning staff having to work longer then what they were hired on the three cabins in which we stayed. (This after I cleaned out the refrigerator, swept the floors, cleaned and put all the dishes way, and made sure all the trash was taken out of our cabin (as their request), and I also put some blankets in the wash due to a bed wetting. Not only was there going to be charges for the cleaning, but we would also have to pay for some damages done within the house first for the blankets (that I didn’t wash correctly (ok, my fault)), but also for other damages that occurred. One broken lamp (which no one in our cabin claims to have even seen), which was supposedly switched with the lamp that was in the room my boys were sleeping in. I only seen one lamp in that room the whole time we were there which was a metal yellow-based lamp with a square bottom. A toilet paper roll holder in the basement bathroom, which I know was broken when we got there because I used that toilet, a thought “What the heck? They didn’t fix this before we got here.” There were other things damaged as well in the basement, scratches on the tabletop, TV remote cracked, crocket set with missing pieces, and a cracked handle (this we saw on the first day, and stated how we wouldn’t be playing because of the missing pieces, and a chair with a cracked leg. The owner that spoke with Joe admitted that the listed damages were caused by other renters, except for the blankets, the wet beds, and the broken lamp. Joe and the owner agreed on a price, although Joe did not except that our family broke the lamp, of $75.00 to cover those charges. After a few weeks, and phone calls to the resort with no return calls, we finally receive our bag without the two DVDs and with a receipt with an amount charged greater than $100.00. We ended up being charged an extra $25.00 for a gauge in the wall as well. Joe called the resort to find out what was going on. He was told that they believed we were the ones who caused the damage to the wall, although neither Joe nor I saw the gauge in the wall the whole time we were there, and it was not spotted during the cleaning and inspection of the place after we left. It was discovered by the owners of the cabin. Now most people would probably think 25 bucks let it go, but we felt it was an unfair charge. Joe called a number of times after the initial call, without answers or return calls. There was no agreement to this extra charge, and no call to discuss it, or to notify us. We believe with the number of other damages from other renters that were not fixed before our arrival it could have been damage from other renters. Yes, our children as well as other children within the extended family enjoyed hanging out down in the basement, so they very well could have cause damage to the place, which we would be willing to pay for if it was brought to our attention. They did not do that in this case, now we feel as if they stole from us, and we can’t do anything about it. It’s so unfortunate that such a nice place left such a sour thought in our minds; where once we thought the mangers were kind and helpful we now feel like they violated our trust.

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