Saturday, April 11, 2009

The SC Zoo (I know it has a "real" name, but I don't know it...)

On Saturday, we headed to the zoo!! The cool thing about their zoo is (well, it's very close by...), but also, it's connected to their botanical gardens. So when you pay your admission, you can go to both sides - they are connected by a walking trail or you can ride a tram over. What a great deal! And their botanical garden was named one of America's top 20 most beautiful gardens by HGTV! Go figure! The boys and I had been to the zoo on our very first trip down to SC. We went with Kelli while David had an interview. But we had the WHOLE day this time, and David had never experienced it, so we were very excited!

There are a MILLION pictures - I'll apologize up front. David had the camera and loves to take pictures of EVERYTHING. I sort of only care about ones with our "people" in it, but some of the animal ones are pretty cool. The kids love to look back at them and remember. (I'm probably going to overwhelm most people with pictures for the next couple of months. Mostly it's for David's benefit so he can see everything we're up to!)

My kids are obsessed with maps. Seriously. I guess it's one thing they won't have any trouble with on the SAT test!

Aren't these the cutest 3 little flowers in the garden?

We had parked on the garden side and walked through just to sort of see an overview. You wait by these fountains for the train. I was hoping for a "nice" picture of the boys - this is what I got. I think some kind of Kung Fu Panda pose. Good grief!

Riding the train over - they LOVED it!

You see that smile on Jacob's face? You'll notice he didn't often leave David's side...

Waiting intently for the sea lion show/feeding to begin...

David and the kids waiting at the penguin exhibit...waiting for their feeding show.

Grizzly bears rough-housing....probably 2 brothers! :)

This says it all at about this point in the day. We were sitting and waiting at the gorilla exhibit...feeding/show was about to start, and the kids were starting to wear out. It was lunch time, and we were planning to eat right after the show. In hind sight, we probably should have gone back to the hotel and put everyone in bed for naps and then come back later if we wanted to. But we pushed through...

Jacob and Callie right up at the glass for the gorilla exhibit. It really was amazing.

Did you know that gorillas are herbivores? Only eat vegetables and fruits. The trainers climb up on the roof and the animals are trained to sit in certain spots where they are thrown food. Like whole heads of lettuce, celery, carrots, it was fascinating!

This bird place was Jacob's favorite from the first time we came. The birds were comparitively mellow this time. You can buy little cups of nectar and feed the birds (you'll see that Jacob wants to feed and/or touch anything and everything he can get his hands on...he'll be a zookeeper one day I'm sure). Last time we came, the birds FLOCKED around us as soon as we came in. Landed all over our head and arms - it was nuts! This time, they told us the birds weren't all that hungry, and so they just were on their ropes and perches. Jacob was sort of disappointed I think! (And for the record, Josiah had NO interest in feeding any of these things. None. At all.)

Jacob touching some snake that some zoo guy had out. Gross.

Watching something...I think the giraffes. We got their too late to feed them. We fed them last time - handfuls of lettuce. it was amazing. Next time we'll do it again - and get their earlier! :)

Then we stumbled upon the HUGE galapogos (sp?) turtles. They were amazing. Jacob and Callie sat their forever "petting" them. And the turtles sat so still - people were walking by asking if they were statues!
there's that big, happy smiling Jacob gain! See how close he is to that turtle? You'll notice there are only fence posts - no actual fence or wire gate or anything. Made me very nervous. Mostly because I just knew Jacob was going to climb in on top of that turtle or something!

This Icee cup was the best purchase of the day. Free refills ALL day long!!! YUM!

Milking a "cow" in the barn...
Callie the milkmaid Callie passed out while we were waiting to ride the train back to the garden side where we parked. We were all pooped by that point.

It was a very fun day. But a long one for the kids. It had been a busy week for them, long drive the day before, late/short naps yesterday, then a full day at the zoo. Like I said, we probably should have gone back to the hotel for naps, then come back later if we wanted to. I was trying to make it the perfect weekend, lots of fun and memories. I struggle with that sometimes. I used to struggle with it when we first married and David was with the band touring all the time. He'd be home only a few days of the month, and I would put all this pressure on me for those days to be ABSOLUTELY perfect...and then I was a basketcase.
Anyways, we got back to the hotel, and I left David with the kids to give baths. I ran out to try and find a shirt to wear for church the next day and then picked up a pizza to take back to the hotel for dinner. David had told me that he was going to sleep at his house that night since he had to be at church super early the next day (his house is right next to the church property). After such a long (whiny!) day with the kids, I was worried about having to get everyone up early, washed, dressed, fed, and at church on time for the early service - and then being there for all 3 services. I also knew that I had to get all our stuff out of the hotel room and the car loaded. Again on my own. I started panicking.
But it worked out. The boys fell asleep after dinner as we were driving David back to his house. I wheeled them into the hotel on a luggage cart, and then just kept it in our room to load up our stuff the next morning. I got Callie settled in bed and then took a nice, long shower just to get myself back under control. I was able to pack up most of our stuff and iron the Easter clothes. I got to bed early that night after spending some time in prayer for David and his big day the next day. I felt terribly guilty for feeling like a distraction to David rather than a supportive wife, but was finally able to pull myself together! A good night of sleep definitely helps with that!


Heather J said...

I laughed out loud about the 'kung fu panda' pose - we get that alot around here too!! what a busy couple of days!

Laurel Conrod said...

Riverbanks Zoo!!! I used to take Nandry there alot when she was 18 months old (I think Tuesdays were free in the winter months). Wow, you are amazing and I'm impressed with your stamina...there's no way after all of that I would have had enough energy to iron the clothes! So glad that the kids got to spend time with David and that you all had a great weekend.

Judy said...

The last picture is the sweet. I'm glad you're going to overwhelm us with pictures over the next few months! I love to seeing what you're up to!

The Stein Family said...

Love the pics -- Glad you got to have some time with the whole family together again.

anthonyandbeth said...

i remember you saying how perfect you wanted to day to be. looks like it was a wonderful time. i know everyone was tired. it breaks my heart that you felt like a distraction. i KNOW David didn't see it that way. you were surely being too hard on yourself. :) won't be long you'll all be together and i know he can't wait. you do supportive VERY well. :)