Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zoo Trip Summer 2010

We were feeling pretty bummed out this summer that we didn't have any family vacations planned. Sure we went camping a couple times and visited with the grandparents. However a fun day out of our norm activities - just too busy and not enough money.

Then Billy surprised us and said, "Wanna go to the zoo!?" Yay!
It was pretty funny when he asked the kids...he said, "Okay we can either stay home this weekend and pull weeds"....long pause, lots of pouting, frowning and NOOOOOOOO's..."Or" he continued, "We can go to the ZOO!". The boys jumped up and down for that one!

Billy Jr didn't know what a "zoo" was but he was sure it was excited. The next couple days  he kept saying "go to the zoo?"

We decided to just make it a day trip because we had obligations at church the next day. However we did make plans with my sister and her fiance to meet us at the zoo. They were pretty excited too, and soon-to-be Uncle Jeremy got us a great deal on zoo tickets.

We set out bright at early at 7am (we were supposed to leave at 6:30 but it was a pain getting those little boys - and big boys- out of bed!).

At the zoo, Billy Jr could hardly contain himself. This was the coolest thing he's ever seen! He LOVES animals and they were EVERYWHERE! Not just the normal cats and dogs either. ;)

We did bring a stroller for him, but he was running from animal to animal exhibit right along with his brothers. We thought he'd tire out, but...NOPE!

Unfortunately his excitement got the best of him and he was bulldozing through kids at each exhibit. It was a very busy day that day. In fact while I was trying to take pictures and Billy was sitting with the stroller, Billy Jr bulldozed through a little girl and the mother had a "talking to" Billy Jr. Oops! Yep...I have one of  "those" kids. ;)

 At the African Savannah, in the African school

Some of the African Savannah animals

In one of the African village buildings

See how excited Billy Jr is! Here he is in an hut of some kind in the African village

A full view of the hut

Such a cutie!

A bird in the rainforest exhibit

Riding the bronze hippo...the real hippos were hiding behind bushes :(

It was giraffe feeding time. Pay $5 and you can have the giraffe eat out of your hand! We just watched though.

King of the jungle (although Lions don't live in jungles do they? King of the...Savannah?)

He gave us a show and roared for us!

 An African Savannah monkey

The pretty Painted Wild Dog

Up close with an elephant (not really, just used my big zoom lens)

A Tapir - at once point, as told by my sister, a child asked her mom what that was and the mom responded, "uh umm that's uh....." in which Alex quickly stepped in and answered for her, "that's a Tapir" very matter of factually. haha

The komodo dragon was cool

The boys loved the komodo dragons

Merekat Manor! They are so small in person!

A pretty owl, not sure which type

The bears!

We spent the most time at the bear exhibit. I think they were brown bears? They were HUGE though. Billy Jr couldn't get enough of the sunken viewing room - where we were behind glass just above the water level with lots of big fish (trout?) swimming for us to see. Then the bears treated us to a show and one jumped in the water and swam right up to the glass, back and forth. It got pretty crowded then with people rushing over to see (wouldn't be so bad with just little kids but even the adults were cramming in to see!)  I couldn't even see Billy Jr or the other boys in the crowd, but you can be sure he pushed his way through to the glass to see that. ;)

 Billy Jr at the glass below water level in the bear exhibit

Bear coming closer to the viewing area

There were two bear in this exhibit, eventually the second bear got in the water too

Come on in, the water's great!

The last shot I got of the bear in the water before I was stampeded by kids and parents

We spent nearly five hours at the zoo and Billy Jr only sat in the stroller for probably 30  minutes! Gabriel just hung out in the stroller, watching it all, and not making a peep (well except his usual periodical shrieks he does! Thankfully he blended right in at the zoo though).

 A pretty snake, if you think snakes can be pretty

Elk? In the North American Trail exhibit

What do you get when you cross a Kangaroo with a Wallaby?....A Wallaroo! 

A sleeping crocodile..he slept with his eyes open. Super creepy.

The Penguins!!

Tropical rainforest bird

Feeding time for the black and white Colobus Monkeys

Brayden and Billy Jr checking out the fake cow...with real fake teats to pretend to milk!

After we were done, we decided to go the Rainforest Cafe as a fitting end to our zoo day.

The boys were amazed with the Rainforest Cafe and kept finding excuses to get up and look at the sharks in the big aquarium by the door.
The down side though was the "thunder and lightning" that happened every 30-40 minutes. It freaked Gabe out big time and every time it started he'd scream and try to scramble out of his high chair. That happened three or four times during our dinner. Also, the boys were just pumped up with excitement and not staying in their chairs. I think my sister and her fiance were more worn out then we were. ;) They were used to all of the crazy-ness.
We surprised my sister with a lava cake for her birthday. They sang her happy birthday to her embarassment and then we all split the yummy brownie and ice cream lava cake.

The boys were WORN out and I got a great photo of them all zonked out in the back.

It was a fun day!

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