This past week we had the chance to go to the zoo with some family.
My sister, Valerie, her hubs Kyle, and my nephews, Mark & Russell invited us along on their outing. She even arranged a ride for us since we are a 1-car family.
My MIL came over that morning to pick us up. When Sarah answered the door she was so excited to see Gramma. I didn’t tell her what we were doing, so the whole thing was a fun surprise. After we got the car seats loaded Valerie arrived and we headed out.
It’s about a 40 minute drive, or so, and the girls laughed and played in the backseat the entire drive. It’s always an extra bonus when you don’t have screaming/crying kids in the car, especially when you are on the way to a special outing.
When we arrived we quickly realized that it was spring break. Since none of us have kids in school that sort of thing isn’t on our radar, but the packed parking lot was a quick and obvious tell. Thankfully it wasn’t crazy or anything, since we were at the zoo there weren’t any lines or anything.
Valerie got a few cups of animal food and Sarah was so excited to feed everything in sight. We started at the murky-water mutant turtle area. Obviously that isn’t it’s technical name, but if you saw these things up close you’d agree that they must have stepped in some weird goo. That, or they’re a weird prehistoric morph between a turtle, alligator and anteater. Weirdest nose-snouts imaginable.
You can partially see one of them below in front of Elanor in the water…
Elanor and Gramma
Sarah was so excited to see all the animals (or aMinals, as she calls them). The last time we were at the zoo was Memorial Weekend, so it’s been quite a while. Aunt Valerie showed Sarah how to feed with food in her open hand and while the first time she was a little weary that feeling quickly disappeared after she watched her Aunt do it a few times.
Gramma telling Sarah about the different animals on the train ride
Russell decided he’d rather sit with the ladies in the back
Here he is showing off his bellybutton
Trains are the best. Just ask any 2-5 year old!
Russell and daddy
Mark with Val
[cue sentimental mommy moment]
One day, not too far off, we are really going to miss those tiny hands. How much they clung to us and cried for us. Pulled our hair and wiped everything imaginable all over our clothes. I know it’s hard to focus on that, for me at least, but one day I know I will look back on this picture and remember how sweet, innocent and precious our children were at this age.
-Tiny wrist rolls included-
Kyle, Russell, Val & Mark
We went to Village Inn for lunch afterwards
Free Pie slice Wednesday!
There were a lot more animals compared to when we went last year. We didn’t get to see some of the bigger ones because some of the kiddos hit their no-nap wall, but that just means we have reason to go back again soon. Seeing actual lions and tigers just 8 feet away was nutty. They were really young too, so I know they will only keep getting bigger.
Next time I will try and remember to shoot some video. It is amazing seeing and hearing how little ones respond to the sight, feel and smell of different animals. Elanor was so excited to see so many different types of animals, and Sarah was pulling me from one pen to the next wanting to see them all.
It was such a wonderful day and I couldn’t be more thankful for our family. Family that we love and have amazing relationships with.
The first day of spring was amazing. Hopefully it’s a great sign of the days, weeks and months to follow!