This past week we had a visit from our Indy Cousins! We crammed a lot of adventures into our almost 24 hours together - swim lessons, dinner out, and a bunch of board games. But our chief adventure was our zoo trip. We've gone to the zoo before, and wanted to make it an annual trip. Unfortunately, last year we were sick the day of our trip, and they had to do something else. But we revived the trip this year. We were also joined by our little neighbor girl. As you can see in the pictures, it was a cold day, so we bundled accordingly.
In the aquarium (the lighting is literally blue, so we all look a little off.
Watch out for the shark!
We took our wagon and we would pile all of the kids (count the heads, there are 4!) in to cart them around. We also grabbed a blanket to cover them and keep them extra warm (it ended up feeling colder than we thought it would).
Thankfully, there are several indoor exhibits. We would walk around and see the animals outside until we started to feel too chilly, and then we would head to an indoor exhibit (most of the animals outdoors were huddled somewhere hidden trying to stay warm anyway). One of the biggest hits were these monkeys (baboons? I never actually looked to see what specific animal they are...). A Daddy, mommy and baby. The baby was very active - jumping and climbing all over. The daddy was very still, but fierce looking (as you see in the picture below).
And second after this picture the mommy came within feet of the window and did something that was the talk of the trip (and still is almost a week later). She ate poo. While I have heard it isn't uncommon, that was the first time we have ever seen such a thing at the zoo.
We also spent some time being fierce animals ourselves.
Another noteworthy experience (of which I have no pictures - for Nana's sake) happened in the reptile house. It was starting to sprinkle (a surprise since the forecast had NOT mentioned rain), so we took shelter in the nice, warm reptile house. It turned out that we got there during feeding time (another first). I was a little concerned how my children would react to the sight of a zookeeper offering live rodents in tongs, but I couldn't draw them away from the novel sight. I was both shocked and relieved when Allie started cheering the reptiles on yelling, "Eat it! Eat it! Yay!" My children seem to have no problem with the food chain...
Chasing a peacock.
We wanted to get a picture of all of the kids in these leaves, but couldn't quite get them to cooperate. But I did get some nice pictures of M playing!
Another, surprising first (since we have been to this zoo so many times) was discovering, with our cousins, a whole part of the zoo we have never seen! It is called the backyard, and was an incredibly fun place to play.
Allie found a butterfly (made of plastic bottle/jar lids)
Ryan found a caterpillar.
In the eagles nest, cousin Lauren explained to everyone what the pieces of wood showed and what birds were represented by each color. Allie immediately tried to see which bird was her size (her wing span is similar to a crow, in case you were wondering).
They also had a playhouse and the kids had a blast in there. It took about 30 pictures to get 1 with all of the kids looking out the window at the same time, with no one's head blocked by a periscope or telescope, and with no one ducking down below the window.
Our last stop was the barnyard to see the chickens and goats. Before this, it had started to warm up and was feeling like it might get sunny.
We wanted a picture in front of the farm picture. Allie took off her hat...so M took off her coat. Then they all sang Old McDonald :)
While at the farmyard, the clouds came in once again and it started to get colder. We decided it was a good time to head to the exit and go in search of a place to eat.
Allie decided to be helpful and pull the wagon herself.
Just outside of the farmyard it started to rain. We stopped at an enclosed look through to get hoods and and get everyone covered and then took off sprinting to the next covered spot. On the way, it started to hail. We made a tent over the wagon to protect the kids in there (Ryan and Allie's giant coats protected them pretty well). and took off for the aquarium. Lauren and I took the kids in the aquarium (to get out of the weather and warm up), while the guys went to get the cars. By the time we left with the kids, it had slowed down to a slow, cold drizzle. The terrible weather was the final first we experienced on our adventure to the zoo.
Thank you for the adventure, Indy Cousins! We can't wait to see you again!