This past weekend we celebrated a granddaughters' birthday at the San Antonio Zoo.

Now obviously I love the animals but I've got to admit there is a certain smell at the San Antonio Zoo that keeps me especially excited about coming back year after year.

Let me literally wax nostalgia. I've loved this smell since I was a kid. It's not the permeating popcorn, the musky monkeys or the fact that young elephant tinkle smells like licorice...nope it's none of these smells.

It's the smell of the MOLD-A-RAMAs!

Created in the 1950's the MOLD- A -RAMA, with its signature clear dome frame was considered both a hydraulic and plastic wonder for fascinated children and adults alike! If you could handle the scent of plastic heating up to 250 degrees, that unique smell was just a bonus! For me it was EVERYTHING!

Fun Fact: Until the late 1970's you could find Mold A Rama's in restaurants, dime stores, gas stations, etc. spending quarters to collect a vast array of cast and characters. Some of those molds are worth hundreds of dollars now. 

With granddaughters and family in tow, we headed to the zoo passing the time on the drive talking up all the animals we would see. I made animal noises and sang animal songs on the road, but I had a secret agenda. I was determined to find and collect every animal in the Mold-A-Ramas smelling my way into melted plastic bliss. I had almost convinced the adults in our group that this was all for the " granddaughters" when we got there and I started feeding dollars into the magic molding machines, but as my family will attest there were times when I was either racing ahead or holding the granddaughters up for the Mold A Ramas molds grabbing them impatiently out of their dispensers, still hot, breathing in that intoxicating plastic

No one in my family, including my granddaughters, liked the smell or appreciated my enthusiasm as I skipped around the zoo knowing a Mold- A- Rama laid ahead.

At the end of the day, I had collected all but one of the molds, a hippo, which I had actually thought I molded earlier in the afternoon. I sadly discovered this fact after we had left the zoo exit. I tried to convince my group to let me go back in but they refused

I was still pouting on the drive home, but the granddaughters were content in the backseat playing zoo with their molded animal set. They didn't seem to notice they were missing one.

No matter. We're going back as soon as we can and the hippo... I mean the hippo mold... is where we will start our next zoo adventure.

First the mold kids, then the animals.

What smell brings you back to your childhood?

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