This past June, I made the mistake of volunteering to chaperone my daughter’s fourth grade field trip.
- Her class was headed to the zoo for the day, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time together.
On the morning of the field trip, the outdoor temperature was already eighty-two degrees. I didn’t realize what a problem this would be until I saw that our transportation was a school bus. The school bus was not outfitted with air conditioning. For safety reasons, the windows only open a maximum of two inches. That bus was like an oven on wheels and the ride took forever. Between the lack of air conditioning and bad shocks, I arrived at the zoo saturated in sweat and with a migraine. I quickly figured out that the zoo is mostly an outdoor venue. The exhibits are located in direct sunlight. There was no access to air conditioning. There wasn’t even any shade or a breeze to cool us off. The kids were overheated and miserable. My group kept drinking too much water and needing to use the bathroom. When we finally wandered into the reptile exhibit, I never wanted to leave. Thanks to the needs of the snakes, iguanas and other creepy reptiles, the building was air conditioned to a perfectly cool temperature. My daughter and her friends were not all that thrilled with the reptile house. They wanted to go stand in direct sunlight and admire the lions. I bribed them with a trip to the gift shop. The gift shop was also air conditioned.