Friday, October 28, 2011

The Zoo Crew

After church on Sunday, Bob and I took the boys to the zoo.  It was a beautiful day, and the boys had a great time.  Our first stop was the walk through aviary.  The boys really enjoyed looking at the birds.
Ryan, our fearless navigator, held on to his zoo map for the majority of the day.  He only surrendered it after I plied him with juice and a granola bar.
Michael shows us the way to see more animals.  When I asked him if he wanted to see the sting rays next, he told me, "I want to see all of it!"
James and Ryan checking out the bird.  I was a wee bit concerned about the very minimal boundaries between my children (who have perfected cat chasing and I'm pretty sure that translates to bird chasing) and the animals.
The boys did a great job wearing their hats.  Michael is still rocking his Easter hat.  I just washed all three of the hats in hopes of them recovering some shape and removing various food stains.  I'm not sure how much longer these hats will last, but I'm pretty sure Michael will stretch as much life out of them as possible.
We bought an annual pass to the zoo, and for our first trip, we got all of the "extras" for free.  This is sting ray bay.  It is definitely not worth the $2 per person the zoo wants for it.  There really wasn't much possibility for kids to be able to touch the sting rays.  Despite the lack of contact, the boys loved putting their hands in the water and laying on the side of the pool.
Daddy maintains order.  The boys definitely thought that the pool would be fun to climb in.
Michael reaches out to touch a ray, but those guys are FAST.
The Jacksonville Zoo is somewhat strangely laid out or the signs are unclear or maybe it's just you don't think straight about directions while chasing three two year olds.  We spent most of our time looking for the animals and missing them.  I'm sure we'll learn where things are in time.
We did find the giraffes.  Michael has been talking about feeding the giraffes with Grandma at the zoo for months, and it's possible to feed them in Jax as well, but for some reason, he wasn't interested in feeding the giraffes as much as just checking them out.  Ryan spent most of his time near the giraffes trying to wash his hands.  He is just obsessed with hand washing.  If only I could get James to consider washing his hands, I'd be happy.
The Jacksonville Zoo reminds me of a small scale version of the Dallas Zoo.  It's even got its own metal elephants.  They are MUCH taller than the elephants in Dallas, and the boys didn't understand while Daddy wouldn't put them up on top of these two guys.
One of the random things I like to do with the boys is pretend that toilet paper rolls and other hollow cylindrical things are horns and sing "do ta do ta do."  Ryan in particular loves this, and here he takes the opportunity to "do ta do ta do" the elephant trunk.

Really Daddy, James needs to go UP.
After our elephant fun, it's time to move on.
This tapir is much larger than the one I ran across in the rain forest of Costa Rica, but he's also much sleepier.  The boys really liked looking at him.
Probably the biggest perk of the "extra" package we got at the zoo were the unlimited rides on the carousel.  James LOVED it.  I had to basically rip him off of an animal and make a run for it after our third trip around.
Michael was also thrilled to ride the carousel, but he was definitely unhappy riding anything but the horse once he realized that a horse was an option.  Michael is what I refer to as a toy terrorist.  He refuses to share certain toys with his brothers.  The best example of this is our ride on horse.  He will mercilessly harass, try to bite, pull off the horse, wound in a variety of manners anyone who dares to ride "his" horse.  I guess when you are a triplet and have to share everything, every once in a while you have to put your foot down.
James and Daddy enjoy the nice afternoon breeze and the spin.  Ryan absolutely REFUSED to get on an animal no matter how hard or how many times I tried.  He took issue with any and all attempts to get him on a moving animal.  After two spins around, he and Daddy headed out to watch the rest of us ride around.  He did enjoy looking for us and waving as we passed him by.
The photo-op carousel animal.  The boys were all happy to ride him (even Ryan).
The best surprise of the day was the penguin area.  The zoo has a "underlook" built in to the exhibit where the kids can crawl under and the penguins swim over and next to you.  James loved it.  He refused to come out for what seemed like ten minutes.  Ryan was also very excited about it.  Every time a penguin would go by, he'd run out and yell "penguin, penguin!"
Michael liked the undertook, but he preferred to run around and watch them from above.
All the boys check out the penguins.  I'm sure that we will be returning to the penguin exhibit in the future.
The zoo has a nice play area, but I have to say, it made me very nervous.  It's two levels, and you can't see the kids playing on the upper level.  It is a neat area, and it was packed.  I definitely couldn't take the kids here without help.  You need lots of eyes in this play area.
The play area is set up with a big tree in the middle.  The second level has a squirrel hole and a bird's nest.  James really loved both.
All of that hyper vigilance combined with tired, hungry boys prompted us to take the boys and head out.  They did a great job, and we rode the train from the back of the zoo to the front.  It definitely wasn't designed to be an interactive zoo exhibit as we saw the back of a lot of cages and gates but very few animals.  I don't think we'll ride the train again unless it's to soothe our tired feet.
It's nice that we will be able to go back any time we want.  I've been thinking about taking the kids by myself.  This week, we had a great time going to the library (it was a tad bit harry, but they are getting better and I'm relaxing a tiny bit - not much, but enough to remember to breathe), the park, and to the grocery store to buy a pumpkin.  Who knows, maybe I'll get brave this week and we will go.  Gotta put that pass to good use.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how BIG they've gotten!! They're so darn cute! Sounds like your library experiences are similar to ours ;)