Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Family day at the zoo...

Saturday was family day. We had planned to take the kids to the zoo. They were so excited to go and all woke up early. We were loaded and ready to leave by 7:00 am.
Of course, the first stop was Woods...there was no way we were leaving town without our coffee in hand.
We arrived at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle at 9:10. We were in line for about 20 mintues and we were so happy that we go there when we did. The line kept growing and getting longer and longer. It was Mom and Me day at the zoo...$10 t-shirts purchased in advance at Macy's was our ticket in...saved us just over $15!!
Once we were in the gates, we were immediately on the search for some very important animals that Ethan was looking for. Here he is pointing to the lions...or as he called them, "Alex" (from Madagascar).
The next stop was getting in line to feed the giraffe...which was right across from the lion! We were the first ones in line and Ethan was excited to be first to feed the giraffe that he had to call his Auntie Tanya. His words were, "I want to tell Auntie I am first." (Thank you Auntie for telling us about this amazing opportunity.) He was so excited to get up to the tower once the zoo attendant told him he could go up the path.
These animals are absolutely huge! This giraffe is a 3-year old male and was very interested in the honeysuckle branches that we had to feed him.
I can't believe how close we were to this giraffe. If you go to the zoo...this is something you must do with your kids! You get to spend 10 minutes up there and the zoo attendant at the top will tell you many fascinating things about giraffes and you can feed the giraffe as much as it will eat from you.
Once we were finished with the giraffe, we went to find "Gloria" and her friends...the hippos. Ethan kept yelling, "Gloria, wake up." (We went back later in the afternoon so Ethan could see the hippos swimming around in their pool.)
Our next stop was to see "Marty". The people around us were giggling as Ethan was saying, "Hi, Marty!" Of couse, it was only cute because it was coming from a 3-1/2 year old little boy.
This African elephant was really putting on a show for us. He was stomping around and throwing his trunk up in the air.
We were able to get a quick family picture along the way.
The other great activity you must do when you go to the zoo is to feed the birds...$1 for a seed stick. There was a zoo attendant inside who was great at making sure the younger kids were able to get up close and feed the birds. It was another great experience for our kids!
We found a great spot for lunch out in the big open grass area where all of the "extra" activities were. It was nice to take a break and let everyone rest their feet for a little while. Ethan did amazing! He wore his "Puppy Backpack" (child harness) and walked the majority of the day so he was definitely ready for this lunch break. We would mention riding in the stroller to him and he just kept telling us he didn't need to be in the stroller...great! Just meant that we could keep all of our stuff in it!!
Ethan was also "keeper of the map". He was so cute with it. Once his lunch was gone, he picked it up and started pointing to all of the animal pictures that we hadn't been to...planning out the rest of the afternoon. He took his "job" serious. Thankfully daddy and mommy had a second map so we really knew where we were going and could make sure we weren't missing anything.
The River Otters were another favorite stop. The kids sat forever watching these two otters. They are so playful and it was so fun to watch them "dive" into the water and swim and play.
The girls wanted a sister picture with the otter statues.
We then went to see the NEW penguin exhibit. This place was full of people and it was fun to see the penguins again. The last time we were at the zoo was when Ethan was just 2 weeks old and they had just taken the penguins away and closed the exhibit to rebuild it. So, it was nice to have the penguins back this trip.
Ethan loved seeing this Mommy Gorilla with her baby. He just sat right up to the window and got as close as he could. He was so cute sitting there.
All of the animals at the zoo were amazing. It was a wonderful day spent with just the five of us. It was nice to get away from "normal" life and have some fun, enjoying the beautiful weather.
We left the zoo at 3:30 with three very tired kids. Ethan fell asleep but woke up in Marysville when we stopped for ice cream. We thought it was pretty funny that he would wake up and not miss out on the special treat.
Once we arrived home, Ethan went straight to his room, grabbed his race car track and all of his "zoo" animals and set up his own "zoo". It was great. He begged us to not take it down...which was very hard to not do because it was right in the middle of the kitchen. We told him we would leave it up until we went to bed. That seemed to make him happy.
What a great start to Mother's Day weekend!


Janice said...

You know, we have a bird at our house just like the one in the picture with Etan!! He can come feed it any time for FREE!!

Tanya said...

Ethan monster is so cute.. Auntie loved his call to say he was first! Great to see all the pics, and know how much fun you all had. Seeing those van pictures reminded me of many road trips when I was their ages! Way to make some memories!