Sizzling Spring and Summer Sundown Vacation – Going to the Zoo with author Trish Hubschman

Sizzling Spring and Summer Sundown Vacation – Going to the Zoo with author Trish Hubschman

Hey! There!
It’s going on Sundown in Patty’s Worlds!
And it’s WordPress Wednesday too!
Tonight, we’re kicking off a new spring and summer series called “Sizzling Spring and Summer Sundown Vacation.”
Whether you take an hour long walk in the park enjoying nature, a half-day trip like Trish and Kevin, or a year-long Safari in the deepest jungle, we want to go along.
Using the submission guidelines for submitting to Patty’s Worlds, send your stories to me at:

Here to kick things off in a big way is Sponsoring Member Trish Hubschman, author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series and Gayle’s Tales with her story on hers and her husband’s trip to a local zoo.

When I first saw the title of this essay, I got the song, “We Went to the Animal Fair” stuck in my head. Though it’s not Rock and Roll like Trish ad Kevin listen to on their trip, here’s a little music to enjoy as we get underway.

If you’d rather hear Kenny instead, check this out.

And now, here’s Trish with the Zoo News.

Going to the Zoo
by Trish Hubschman
May 2024

The weather report said it would be ninety degrees with a chance of rain on Tuesday, April 30th. I wasn’t concerned about the heat, but the possibility of rain that day made me nervous. Kevin had purchased us tickets online to the zoo and I was so excited. We had lived in South Carolina six months and this was our first excursion. I loved animals and zoos.

“We’ll leave the house early,” Kevin suggested. “And get to the zoo when it opens at nine. It won’t be that hot or crowded at that point.”

That’s what we did. We were up by six and on the road at seven-thirty. Siri said Riverbank Zoo was sixty-five miles from where we lived. That wasn’t bad. As we zipped along interstate 77, Kevin popped a Kenny Loggins CD into the car stereo, so for the hour plus we were driving, rock and roll music filled the air.

He abruptly shut it off. “Are we there?” I asked.

“Almost,” he replied. “We just got into Columbia.” A few minutes later, we pulled into a virtually empty visitors parking lot. It’s ten to nine. Doesn’t look like anyone else is here yet.””

I reached for my door handle. “Perfect timing,” I said. “We can go to the bathroom before we start.” I’m deaf-blind and in a wheelchair, so my using a rest room in public is a challenge. Kevin asked a woman who worked there if she’d take me into the bathroom, but she wouldn’t, so he did. No one was in there, so it was no big deal. He showed me where the Handicapped stall was, then left. When he heard the toilet flush, he came back in and got me.

We went inside. The first part of the zoo was an aquarium. It was pretty, huge glass tanks, n.
and blue. A sea otter was intrigued by me and had his nose up against the glass staring at me. Well, two could play at that. I put my nose up against the glass too and stared back at him. I think I broke the stare first. Kevin wanted to move on. We went outside.

“There’s a kangaroo,” Kevin said.

I felt like we were in a dark forest. There were all these trees hanging over our heads and no sunlight was peeking through. I wondered if this scene was simulated. “Take a picture of the kangaroo,” I told him.

“I can’t,” he replied. “She’s too far away.”

Just our luck, a shy kangaroo. “It’s probably too early for her to be up. She hasn’t had her first cup of coffee yet.”

We moved on. There were animals inside buildings and out in the real forest scene. We walked on a cement path like a sidewalk, but the animals were behind at least two fences, a low wood one and a huge barbed-wire one. They were in their own world, their own habitat. We saw a baboon, who had his own waterfall, monkeys, a tortoise, a rhino (there had originally been two rhinos but one died). We saw lions, tigers, apes, giraffes, bears. There was an indoor bird sanctuary, a botanic garden, a goat house. When we went in, six goats crowded around my wheelchair. They were wonderful, licking me, climbing on me. One was poking at the back of my chair. I laughed and swung around in my seat. “Hey, what are you doing back there?” I called. I forgot we had a plastic bag of snacks for us to eat at the zoo if we got hungry. One goat was poking my knee, obviously trying to get me out of the chair. “Hey, I’m sorry, okay,” I told the goat. “I can’t get out of this thing, not my fault.” The woman who supervised the goat house laughed. We had to leave and the goats had to stay. With sadness in my heart, I said goodbye to my new goat friands.

We went on a beautiful wood carousel. Kevin wheeled the chair up a ramp onto it and I engaged the brakes. We chugged around a few times. We went on a train ride around the zoo. I had to get out of the chair and climb onto the train, but it was easy enough. We had to leave the chair there, but the train stopped again at the same spot it picked us up, in front of my wheelchair.

We continued on. There was an alligator outdoors. He was on the other side of the wood fence across the water sitting on a ledge. “Let’s hope none of the school children here makes a false move. Gators move fast,” I said. A class of kids was on a field trip. I heard adults laughing. It all sounded like it was going well. The kids were behaving.

“It’s getting hot,” Kevin said. “And I’m tired and hungry.” He had that right. Going from indoors to outside, dark to light back to dark again, was killing my eyes, and I was helping with the wheelchair whenever we had to go up a hill.

“Is there anywhere to eat in here?” I asked. There probably was but it would be fast food. We went into a gift shop, always the last stop. Kevin picked up a stuffed kangaroo and handed it to me. I hugged it close. He didn’t like the price and put it back. I whined. “I want that. I don’t have a kangaroo in my stuffed animal family.”

I bought her and named her Captain. She had a baby kangaroo in her pouch. Kevin suggested Joey for the baby. And Joey it was.

We passed some delicious smelling flowers and an outdoor pool’/tank with a sea otter in it. I was tempted to put my hand in the water, but knew from experience not to do that. We left the zoo soon after. We were both exhausted and happy. It had been a wonderful morning.

*Reference Link*

Visit the Riverbank Zoo here.
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About the author
Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game, Uneasy Tides, and Gayle’s Tales.
Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a bachelor’s degree in English-writing. She is deaf-blind and lives in South Carolina with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, Henry.

More on Trish’s work…

Gayle’s Tales: Tracy Gayle Mysteries
by Trish Hubschman
Copyright December 23, 2022
The book is for sale from Smashwords (e-book only) and from Amazon in e-book ($3.99), paperback ($8.50), and hardcover ($16.50).
175 pages in print.

Find full book details on this and all Trish’s other work here.
Trouble clicking? The URL for copying into your browser is below.


Gayle’s Tales is a collection of Tracy Gayle mystery short stories.

Everyone’s favorite couple, Tracy and Danny, are still going strong, romantically and professionally, rocking and rolling and solving crimes.

Tracy has to locate missing persons who vanished decades earlier.

She gets tangled in murder investigations she hadn’t anticipated.

She digs into a coal mining town that’s been uninhabited for 40 years and discovers secrets and skeletons.

In the end, she brings long–lost family members and friends back into each other’s arms and lives.

Through all this, she and Danny are planning their wedding extravaganza at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Tracy narrates her own adventures in these tales, as she does in the books.


  1. Trish Hubschman Reply
    May 16, 2024

    This was so much fun. We would both say it was the bvest zoo we’ve ever been too.

    1. I think it’s wonderful how the two of you ggo and do things together.

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