This past Sunday, we made a last-minute decision to go to the NC Zoo. We had the most amazing day. Everything about it was perfect. Despite rain off and on the entire drive there, it cleared up right as we got there, the temperature was nice and mild, and there was hardly anyone else there. We got there shortly after it opened, and surprisingly, we had almost every exhibit to ourselves for the majority of the day.
(Warning: major photo overload ahead)
Since Asheboro is about an hour and a half away from us, we don't make it out there as often as I'd like. For the past three(!) years, I've been saying we need to get back out to the zoo, but we just kept putting it off. It was always something—too hot, too cold, I was pregnant, Lorelai was too young...lame excuses.
A couple of weeks ago, Adam and I had talked about going since the weather has been so nice lately, but since we thought it was going to be raining the whole weekend, we kind of just dismissed the thought. Then on Saturday evening, the weather forecast was looking good, so we packed up the diaper bag and some snacks and set the alarms for an early Sunday wake-up call.
This was Lorelai's first zoo trip. Logan had been twice before, and Aidan had been several times (3 times with us and once with school). The boys saw some new stuff, but I think they also liked showing off some of their favorite things to Lorelai (well, Aidan did. Logan didn't remember much since the last time he went, he was 2). She was in awe of everything.
Since she's just starting to talk more, we got her to say hi to all of the animals. We're even shamelessly exploiting her new ability to say "love you," so we had her saying "hi bear, love you" and "bye lion, love you" (sounds more like "yuh shoe" and is the stinkin' cutest thing to hear).
Were super bummed that the polar bear exhibit was closed for renovations. But the seals put on a show for us, which kind of made up for it. They splashed, kissed and twirled around like they were trained.
We were sad that the giraffes weren't out because it had been raining (they're kept in a different area when it's wet since they're prone to slipping and hurting themselves). Ever since my family and I did one of those drive-through safari things in Texas when I was younger and a giraffe ate out of our hands, I've always loved them.
Thankfully, the aviary was very active. We saw some beautiful birds, and even got dive-bombed by a few.
We also loved the flamingos. We had to be quiet because it was breeding season and they're apparently easily startled. They were making some interesting noises that Aidan was able to imitate really well, due to a hoarse voice. It was pretty impressive.
Logan said his favorite thing would have been the rhinos, except we didn't see any, unfortunately. So instead, he said his favorite thing was the elephants because he loves the biggest animals.
Aidan said he loved everything and had trouble choosing a favorite, but Marlene the otter (the boys named her that from the Penguins of Madagascar show they love) was one of his favorites.
Despite my severe hatred of snakes, I was able to snap a pic of this horrifying creature (and a few other interesting ones) before making a swift exit. And fortunately we didn't have any other run-ins with snakes on the zoo trails, which are apparently common now that the weather is getting warmer and they're coming out to sun themselves. Bullet dodged!
We seriously had such and amazing day, I was pretty much giddy with joy. These are the kinds of memories I've been yearning to make with the kids that I feel like we've been missing out on. I'm glad we got up off our typically lazy butts and did something special, out of the ordinary. And I know the kids enjoyed this a heck of a lot more than our typical Sunday at the grocery store!
PS: I swear Aidan had fun, despite the grump face he's making in half the pictures I took. He was dealing with either allergies or a cold, which apparently rendered him incapable of smiling as soon as I took the camera out. Weird ;)
I agree with Aidan, it was so hard to choose a favorite thing. I loved the gorilla that puckered up his lips and drank from his pond of water, the chimps all snuggled up and grooming each other, the wrestling black bears, the momma baboon carrying her nursing baby on her belly, and the kissing seals. But most of all, I just loved watching the kids have fun and being able to take 47,536 pictures to remember it all.
I can't wait to go back!