Wednesday, August 28, 2013

End of Summer Safari

The blog had a moment yesterday and wouldn't let me post, but let me assure you Issa is loving second grade and all that comes with--especially being able to read whatever she wants for her homework. Life is good.
Now, for a little flashback to the weekend. The weather was particularly gorgeous, cool and sunny, so Brad and I got the itch for a day trip. Enter the zoo.
We arrived shortly after it opened and managed to grab a prime parking spot in the first row. It was an omen of the perfect day to follow.
Our first stop is always the hippos:
Isn't every one's first stop at the zoo a statue rather than a real animal? The kids love the hippo garden just outside the entrance, and I love that they actually want their picture taken!
Evan isn't quite as graceful:
But he does love climbing on the baby hippo:
After we had enough climbing, we headed into the actual zoo, and I found a new favorite animal:
We have always stuck to the same path at the zoo--the short one because we were little and always managed to get there later than we planned. Since we are bigger and arrived way earlier, we took the long route and even had time to venture into the other half of the zoo. This new route put us much closer to the animals in the African side of the zoo, and I fell in love with the giraffes. I don't remember ever being so close to a herd that was so active. I now have a dream to travel to see them in the wild. I just have never seen a more majestic creature.

After the kiddos finally tore me away from the giraffes, we ventured off to see the elephants. After watching them for a while, we explored the exhibit that shows how they track elephants in the wild:
Elephants and helicopters--Evan was thrilled.

We also climbed inside ostrich eggs:
And then we climbed more statues and saw more animals:
But the real destination was the dinos!
Last time we went, Evan was feeling a little punk and didn't really enjoy his time. This time, both kids were all about it! By the way, Issa doesn't have a dramatic bone in her body:
This was Daddy's favorite dino:
We even had two very careful paleontologists:
Right before we got to the dig site, I might have gotten spooked by a dinosaur. We had remarked how one was tucked in some bamboo, and then right as I walked past he roared. I might have jumped and screamed a bit, and my family might be almost ready to let me live it down.

After a quick lunch, we made an amazing discovery. Evan is very big...big enough to ride the carousel without Mom or Dad:
Issa was a great big sister and made sure he was settled, and he thought he was pretty big stuff:
We wandered through North America and found all manner of new discoveries at the zoo, including this geyser:
After several attempts at a group photo with only one member looking, I decided the picture above was my favorite.

We left the zoo late afternoon tired but still very, very happy. I can't think of a better way to end summer.

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