Austin, Texas Day

Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is a fabulous city. Although Austin has always been a fun town, it has grown exponentially in the past 15 years and is now the hip place to be. There is the SXSW music festival, the bats, Lady Bird’s Wildflower Center, Eeyore’s annual birthday party, Barton Springs pool, and Kirby Lane pancakes. Such was the inspiration for Texas Day.

My family sent t-shirts, hats, newspapers, magazines, cups, pom-poms (burnt orange & white, of course), maps, and laminates. Stickers included “Keep Austin Weird” (the campaign to preserve small, local businesses), and the Texas flag with the word ‘home’ on it. CHCI intern Lani Gusman made and painted cardboard cutouts of Texas, a guitar, and a cactus.

The Texas-Express special shipment also included cascarones, which are festive, hollow egg shells filled with confetti. They are a Mexican tradition at Easter. They are meant to be broken over someones head (usually as a surprise from behind), and this is said to bring the recipient good luck. Judging from the amount of confetti at clean up, these are some lucky chimpanzees! Dar was spotted carrying one around in his mouth.

Jessica Southwick (from the nearby, but not nearly as cool, state of Oklahoma) and I spray painted a giant Texas flag. To create a “hurricane,” we attached 2 white sheets from a hulahoop, strung it up in the shaky tree in East (thanks to Lisa Schuster Lyons), and twirled the sheets down to the floor. Tatu climbed to the top of the shaky tree, leaned way over, and peered into the eye of the storm.

All of the chimpanzees inspected their new enrichment items, and foraged for the bananas and grapes hidden around the room. The day was not complete without some Tex-Mex tacos (of corn, tomatoes, & chives) and salsa (courtesy of Rachel Halberg). Overall, Texas Day was a fun chimpanzee and human enrichment day. I’m hoping the next shipment includes some of those pancakes. Cheers, ya’ll!

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