Monday, June 7, 2010

The Zoo is WAY more fun with friends! :)

On Sunday night, our long-awaited visit with the Williams was finally here! Beth and her kids drove down to celebrate the end of school and beginning of summer break with us! HOORAY!! To say it was long-overdue is an understatement!! We like to pretend that we still live 10 minutes away (in our heads, we're both still in denial that we live in different states now!), and it had been too long since the last visit. We spent New Years with them, but then our next visit at the end of February got cancelled at the last minute. We were ALL so excited!

We woke up bright and early (the kids were apparently too excited to sleep past the crack of dawn...) and were off to the zoo! It's one of our favorites places and we've been dying to show Beth & her kids. We were excited to try out our new membership perks too - we recently renewed our membership and decided to go "up" one level to get the "explorer" pass. I went back and forth about doing it, but am now totally convinced and SO glad I did! It enables us to do all the "extras" - the giraffe feedings, bird feedings, carousel, pony rides, train rides, rock wall, etc, etc - for free! They all used to cost $1 (this year they are $2), but now it's included in our membership. After I checked our family in, we put the wristbands that come on our membership on all 5 of the big kids so they could enjoy all of the activities and they had a blast!!! It was really fun seeing the expressions on my kids faces when I got to say "YES" to all the things I always used to say "NO" to! :)
We had barely walked into the zoo before the kids all had to stop and look - they found a few frogs "swimming" in one of the fountains on the botanical garden side. I say "swimming" loosely because Beth & I think he was dead...but the kids were convinced he was alive...hmmm..
The whole gaggle of our kids! :)
Jacob (10 mo.), Josiah (7), Jackson (5), Callie (3), Jacob (5 1/2), Harrison (8), Addison (2)

Josiah, Jackson, and Jacob wanted to sit in the FRONT seat of the tram on the way over to the zoo side.
Addison - this girl cracked me up! Her faces and expressions (and squeals :) ) were hilarious to watch!
Their best "growly" faces while sitting on "Happy the Tiger"
Harrison & Josiah feeding the lorikeets
Remember how I said Josiah ACTUALLY fed them last time we went? Well, this time I had the camera with me to prove it - he was so excited about it! He's finally turned the corner on some of these animals freaking him out I think! :) (I think he also likes feeling like the "teacher" - the "experienced" one with his friends...)
Jackson and Jacob - these boys look like twins in this picture don't they? They are an awful lot alike! :)
I can't remember whose nectar this bird stole - but he took the cup right out of one of our boys' hands! :)
We got to ride the carousel (one of those "always-used-to-be-a-no-and-now-i-get-to-say-yes" things!), and it was fun watching them choose their "favorite" animals to ride! :) They rode this a few times, I think!
Can you see Josiah's smile? :)
Harrison was insistent that he ride on a lion - he LOVED seeing the lions - and was happy we passed by that exhibit 3 times...just for him! :)
My dear friend Beth and I - while our happy children ride the carousel...again!
(I'm so glad she snagged this's the only one of us from the whole visit...sigh...glad I LOVE it!)
My 3 big kids - I felt like Callie looked awfully big riding by herself!
Beth rode with Addison...and apparently it was going fast because my picture is all blurry!!
Caleb got to crawl around the playground while the big kids tried out the rock climbing wall...he was glad to "stretch" his legs a bit!
All 4 big boys up on the rock wall!!
(Callie wanted SO badly to do it too, but they wouldn't let her...she doesn't weigh NEARLY enough....poor girl)
Harrison & Josiah on the left lion (Mufasa, from Lion King, they determined)
Jacob, Jackson, and Callie on Simba's mom :) (nobody could remember her name)
Feeding the baby giraffe Louis - can you believe his tongue? Even I was a little grossed out - but there's the new and improved Josiah -right up in there!! I couldn't believe it!!!
See Josiah's cheeks? He's SMILING!!!!!

Jacob, of course, couldn't get enough of this - the boy just LOVES animals!

Callie was more nervous than I've probably ever seen her! Jacob helped her, and she finally was able to feed Baby Louis.

While I sat and nursed Caleb, the kids did some pony rides...

We took a break in front of the misters (I remember these WELL from last summer when I was 9 months pregnant!!!) and each family got a "free refills" icee to enough and beat the heat (and work on our ability to share with our siblings...)
Waiting for the tram to pick us up and take us back to the botanical garden side where we parked.
(Jacob's frowny face is because Harrison got to hold Caleb instead of him!)

The biggest chair EVER! :) And nobody fell off!!

At the last potty stop before heading home, Josiah, Harrison, and Jacob found this watering sprinkler and decided to cool off a bit in it! :)
He looks nice and refreshed, doesn't he? :)


anthonyandbeth said...

your zoo is the BEST! i'm so glad we were able to join you this time. the wristbands were a HUGE success! i have so many fun memories from our day. we had a blast!!!

and i don't EVER want us to go that long without a visit again. it was awful and as soon as i saw you and your sweet kids i realized how awful it was. i've missed you so much! even though we talk almost daily...ahem...i still have to SEE YOU! :) i want to see you lots and lots! :)

Courtney said...

what a fun visit! and a GREAT picture of you guys!!!