Sunday, April 15, 2012

Long-Awaited Zoo Visit

I'm not sure I remember the last time we were at the zoo.  Halloween, maybe?  We're members, so on one hand I want to make sure we get our money's worth, but then again, part of what's nice about it is the fact that we can just go whenever and stay as long or short as we want.  It's nice that we can be laid back about it and not freak out when animals aren't visible, because we know we can see it another day.  In hindsight I feel like we probably should have skipped our membership this past year because construction on a new exhibit closed off access to the elephants and the baboons.  Thinking back I feel like the original date when they originally said the new exhibit would be open was sooner than this, and I think I just wanted to be members when it finally happened so we could check it out without worrying about it being mobbed the one time we'd go if we were non-members.   

Well, there are two bits of good news in the coming weeks.  First, the new lion exhibit, which looks like it's going to be awesome, opens up in another month.  I can't wait!  Not just for the lions, mind you, but also to see the baboons again, in particular.  The viewing for them is up-close and they're always so animated.  The other bit of good news is that in the past year we came into a certificate for a free membership.  So we won't have to pay for next year (starting next month), which is nice since I'm always debating renewing, given our busy schedule in the summer--travel, pool time, etc.  Often I think that I'd like it next time we have a baby since it's a great, low-key place to take a walk and get out of the house.  I also think it'll be a little easier to go more often when Jacob drops his nap because right now we're stuck going first thing in the morning. Usually it's too late in the afternoon to go once he wakes up from his nap (only took about three years, but it's so nice to have a good napper!).  Anyway, the free membership means we don't have to make that decision this year!

The weather was pleasant Saturday morning and Craig had to work, so Jacob and I headed out for a morning visit.  And for a change, he was 95% good.  What a breath of fresh air to have a little boy that acted reasonably good for his age.  Seriously, it makes all the difference.  We also didn't take a stroller this time, so that was a big step, and fortunately it didn't backfire.  It was a very busy morning there, much busier than when we usually go, but all in all it was a nice time.  Here's a photo summary of our trip:

Different bird I noticed in the aviary.  I love that exhibit because the birds are so close and there are no cages or glass separating them.  Someday that will come back to haunt me, I'm sure.

This meerkat was seriously posing for everyone...then running around in circles.  Reminds me of someone else I know...

Given Jacob's obsession with his stuffed eagle, he had a renewed appreciation for the eagle exhibit.  They are so stinkin' regal, aren't they?

Jacob had a blast running around the playground.  He's gotten to be quite adept at it all, and goes down slides with a lot less fear than he used to.  I fully credit daycare's playground equipment and peer pressure for that.  I love this picture because I can see his dimple!

We always love the otters and were lucky enough to see one swimming outside.  This one struck a pose, too, but turns out it was pooping in the process.  Ew.

Another happy face, this time climbing the log bench in front of the tiger exhibit.  I was getting a little cranky about it because he wasn't supposed to be climbing it, but it was hard to keep telling him no when everyone else was climbing on it. 

Always fun when the zoo adds animals, and this is a new one--a crane.  So pretty with the red patch on its head!
We also saw the penguins, though the ones here happen to be the most boring penguins ever.  We got a couple good views of the polar bears, and while the sea lions were only a little active, we did get to see an odd sight of two zookeepers in a boat in the middle of the exhibit cleaning the glass windows!  We also had our first visit to the animal hospital.  No activity there, but we did get to see where they make the animals' food, examine them, and operate.  Anyway, it was a nice morning to be out and about, and with a well-behaved boy, it was a pleasure to be there with him. 

We came home for lunch and naptime (three hours--I spent at least half of it pulling weeds!), and then went outside for a bit.  While we were out there I snapped this lovely picture of a tiny little violet in our yard.  Just loved the brightness of it and wanted to share! 

We ended the day at the Knighthawks game with Lori.  She ended up not feeling well shortly after halftime, which made for an earlier night than planned.  But truly, other than missing the end of a big win, it turned out well because it got Jacob in bed significantly earlier.  I was hoping that would mean he'd be a more cooperative child again today, but no such luck.  He woke up way early and it made for a rough day.  Boo.  But at least we got one good day.  It gives me hope that we'll get more of those...someday.

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