Saturday, August 6, 2016

Toronto, Day Two

Day two was going to be spent at the zoo.  We debated a lot what to do which day, but the zoo won for Monday.  Little did we know, however, that it was a civic holiday in Canada, which meant it was a long weekend, which meant it was CRAZY.  We got a bit of a later start than I hoped, but on vacation it's hard to set an alarm or push too much because that's a bad way to start the day in our family.  Even still, I think we got there before 11am, and we ended up in overflow parking, which added an extra long walk to an already long day of walking.  There was a bit of a line to get in, but not bad all things considered.  However, it was HOT and I was dripping profusely before we even got through the gates.  We started out in a children's zoo area, which had a lot of cute interactive spots and some smaller animals.
Cutest baby bunny ever!

My little turtle!

This capybara was shockingly big!  It even had its own pool!
Of course, I was getting antsy about time and how we were going to get through a giant zoo before closing time or exhausting ourselves, so I was rushing us through a few of the activities so we could move forward a little more quickly.  By the time we got through that part of the zoo (just a tiny section), it was time to eat lunch.  Jacob picked a fruit plate and chips (I know, but better than nothing) and as a whole it was actually a pretty normal meal for a change.  We headed out to the next section and saw a pretty young baby polar bear, which was so cute compared to the big one!
Hard to tell here, but it was so much smaller than the adult!

One of the best parts was the Americas pavilion.  There were so many cool things.
Frog on the wall!

This snail was huge!  His shell was at least as big as my fist!

Ok, how funny is this lizard just hanging out on his log?

This frog looks a lot more real in the picture than it did in person, and it makes me laugh thinking of Carter with a giant frog :)

We love otters, but alas, this one was sleeping...but cute!  The beavers were sleeping too :(
We moved along to another area and saw this monkey, and I liked how he had his tail wrapped around the strap!

I loved this bird's hidden feathers underneath...

More jellyfish!

This picture sort of sums up the trip.  Jacob trying to photobomb (which he did all trip, even though I told him I was happy to take pictures with him), Carter looking away, and Craig just trying to keep us looking sane.

This camel was weird.  I've never seen a hump bent over like that...

After we finally got through one large section of the zoo, I decided we should try to do the pandas.  The line was no shorter, but I did not want to leave without seeing them.  So...we waited.  Luckily, most of it was in a decently air conditioned space with a few diversions.  Carter fell asleep right before we got there, so at least he napped through the entire wait, which only ended up being around an hour or a little less.  But we finally got in to see them!  They had baby pandas around 10 months ago, and they were so cute! 
Baby and mama


The other baby was sleeping!
The dad was in another enclosure, looking like he wanted to go hang out with the rest!  The highlight for me was when the mama bear pulled the baby down from the position in the first picture to wrestle.  So cute!  I would have loved to hang out for longer, but they had to keep people moving.  I was happy we got to see them, though!  Too bad Carter slept through the whole thing!

After he woke up, we headed to see the penguins.  Once again it seems we got proof our Rochester penguins are weird because they don't like swimming!  These ones had fun chasing each other through the water and up on to their beach!

After the penguins it was time for a snack.  It was really dinner time but we were attempting to finish up at the zoo then have a late dinner.  The kids both picked popsicles, which brought much joy on a hot day...


Back on the task to finish the zoo, we headed up to the Canadian section, which was a hike to get to.  We saw a bear...

If a bear poops at the zoo...
 And of course, we had to see the moose...none of which had antlers...all girls?

By this point in the visit, things were really starting to fall apart.  Jacob was getting to be impossible.  We were running out of time and he was desperate to get to the store, which was annoying but not unexpected.  It seemed to be a theme of the trip that he'd rather rush through everything just to go to the store.  Ugh.  When we got to Africa, Jacob had to pee (another theme of the trip) so he and Craig ran ahead and Carter and I wandered through to see what other animals were there.  
This pretty white lion looked so regal laying there.

I think this must be a different type of zebra than I usually see, because the stripe pattern looked really awesome on this one.  I don't know what it is, but maybe just crisper?  It's almost like an optical illusion, no?
 
We also saw baboons and a hippo before we finally met back up with the boys, at which point Jacob was rushing ahead and Craig and Carter were bringing up the rear.  We ran into another building and saw what we could as we ran through.  One thing we saw was a different kind of otter, and in that exhibit they were both running around...so at least that redeemed the otter thing!  We also saw the gorillas, but they were pretty low key.
 
By this point Jacob was desperate to get to the store, as there was only about a half hour before the zoo closed.  I really wanted to check out the last building, which had orangutans, so the boys went ahead and I literally ran through the building.  They were also pretty low key, but I caught this cute picture...

And I was pretty proud of myself that I got this clear picture of a giant fish, even though it was moving!

I tried to get some pictures of some cool birds, but they were too hard to get with the fading light coming from outside and a lot of walking around.  However, I did see the baby rhino on my walk back to the entrance!

When I finally got to the boys, Jacob had pretty much decided on his souvenir--a jeep, panda, and guy set he thought would pair well with G.I. Joe guys--but Carter was undecided.  He liked a lot of things but nothing really stuck.  In the end it turned out that he just wanted to ride the carousel.  So he and I did. 

Really pretty and unique!

I bought two tickets, but it turned out that I could ride free with him!  So, for our first ride, we hopped on this double-seated alligator!


And of course I had to take a selfie...pretty good!

For the second ride, he picked an anteater, and I sat on the lizard next to him...

After a long, super hot day, it was so nice to just have a few quiet moments with him and see him so happy.

We headed out, took the long walk back to the van, and were so happy to sit and recover in the air conditioning.  Honestly, of all of the big zoos we've visited, that was my least favorite.  I'm happy we did it, but I don't feel compelled to go back.  It was so large and spread out, and I feel like you do so much walking for so few animals.  It's almost like they should have a two-day pass, because I don't know how normal people (not crazy people like me) get their kids through the entire thing, ever.  Some of the exhibits were nice, but in others I found it hard to find animals, or even the sign for what was in there.  But the sheer size was a problem.  If it would have been condensed, it would have been so much better.  Oh, and in one spot there was a massive hill that even had a sign that did not recommend strollers, and it was a bear to climb back up!  That almost did me in near the end.  That's just not kid-friendly at all.  But again, I'm glad we did it...and hopefully never have to do it again. 

Back to the hotel we went, for leftover pizza for the kids and KFC for Craig and me.  We actually had a pretty functional night, with everyone on their electronics (and not fighting) and the Blue Jays game on the TV.  That was the night, though, where I woke up at 3am, got thinking about Jacob, and couldn't fall back to sleep until about 5am.  Luckily it didn't impact me too badly the next day, but it just showed me how difficult this trip was becoming mentally. 

We still had two days to go, though, and my big moment was coming...Chihuly!

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