I'll read the map, where do you want to go?
We are so lucky to have a really great zoo in our city. The Henry Doorly Zoo. Every year we buy a pass, so we can come and go as we please. It has it all from outdoor animal exhibits to a ton of indoor ones including a jungle, aquarium, desert, gorilla house and others. You can walk miles, so it's great exercise. Today I intermittently jogged (pushing 60+ lbs of kids) to get some cardio while we were there.
We spent extra time watching the polar bears swim.Bee chatted the entire trip. From the minute we left the house it was all about the zoo and the animals and what is my favorite and what is her favorite and which animal sounds like what and what animal family we should pretend to be. She barely took a breath. Her enthusiasm was contagious.
Her first request of the day was to go see the elephants "up close" because we only ever see them from the train. The elephants are on the opposite side of the zoo from the entrance and up a great big hill. Oh, what I do for my kids. My cheerleader wanna-be daughter shouted "Go Mommy! Go Mommy! Go Mommy!" as I huffed and puffed all the way up that hill. There two beautiful elephants and this one did not disappoint. He walked right over and when I told Brenna to wave, he waved his trunk up in a very grand gesture. Bee was impressed.
The best part of the day was that we were on no schedule. I had packed snacks and water, so we had refreshments. We even stopped at some picnic tables and were visited by some very friendly peacocks. I did my best to to shoo them (the mama bear in me feared one snapping at Buddy or Bee) to no avail. At one point, this peacock just hopped right up on the table I was sitting at! Close encounters of the bird kind!
I was silly and went into the petting zoo with graham cracker crumbs still on the kids' laps. The goats were super-friendly and Bee was a little freaked out at first. Once she realized that they weren't "mean", she was amused. We had to freshen up with some anti-bacterial wipes after that - goat germs!
We wandered on whatever path we wanted with no set agenda in mind. The day was perfect, hot but breezy. A perfect summer day. We had a really great time.
This may have been one of my favorite trips to the zoo yet. The older the kids get, the funner these trips become. There's so much to explore, I just feel lucky to experience it with them. To open this world to them.
One gross out moment - I watched a young female zookeeper feed a Haitian Boa today. The ew factor is already there because it's two big ol' snakes. What was their lunch? A dead white mouse on a long pair of tongs. Ewwwwwww.... I'm sure there is no salary or benefit package that would have me doing that, ever.
As the trip drew to a close, the kids' eye grew so heavy. Bee's temper got short. They were both so tired. We left the zoo feeling content and exhausted. Another trip to the zoo behind us, as we waved good-bye to the desert dome.