Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Riverbanks Zoo

On Monday, some kind friends (that's you Jen!)  invited us to tag along to Riverbanks Zoo as guests on their season passes. I knew my boys would be ecstatic so I didn't tell them we were going until Sunday evening as I was tucking them in to bed.

The calm and quiet of snuggling in bed was temporarily gone as they both leaped out of bed, jumped up and down, and let out some whoops and hollers.
The weather couldn't have been better, but if I'm being honest, I think the weather has been perfect since mid-September. The boys ran from exhibit to exhibit, while Jen and I pushed strollers with quiet baby girls.

I'd never been to Riverbanks and I wasn't disappointed! It's a fantastic zoo with wonderful habitats and displays. My boys are just lucky I was in a relax-with-friends mood and not a stop-and-read-each-sign-to-learn-about-animals mood.
Highlight #1: Feeding giraffes. Oh.My.Word. Such darling and fuzzy faces! Such leathery and sticky tongues! And such delight and enthusiasm from little boys feeding them!
Grady Lee would have parked his little self there for the remainder of the day, I'm sure. He was so happy to be up close and personal with these tall guys.
Annalyse even let out a laugh or two and flapped her arms with excitement when the giraffe stuck his neck her way. It was then I remembered the crackers on her stroller tray and thought I better mover her back before a long, black tongue slurped them up.
From the exotic to the normal, from the furry to the slimy, from the flying to the swimming, we saw them all. And we saw them with hardly anyone else around! No big field trip groups. No huge Mom and Tot groups. It was wonderful.
Highlight #2: Riding the train. The boys climbed aboard and took off for a short ride by themselves. No Moms allowed!
Highlight #3: Riding a pony. Gaaahhhh! I wish I could translate the precious and giddy excitement Grady Lee had for getting on a pony, but I don't have the words. He was in his moment. Pure bliss.
Micah was just as excited and too cute for words. I've already been asked over and over if "we can ride horses again someday soon. Please? Please? Pplleeaassee?"
Highlight #3: Holding the birds and feeding them nectar. I wasn't sure if the boys would be overwhelmed with birds flying all around them and landing on them, but they both really enjoyed the experience!
Despite being sensory sensitive, Grady Lee laughed and was so excited when several birds landed on his shoulders and arms at the same time.
Micah's buddy, Conor, has done this several times and was an old pro!
Highlight #4: Riding the carousal. Annalyse was wiggly and squirmy so I needed to keep hands on her at all times, but she gave smiles and looks that seemed to scream, "Hey everyone! Look at me! I'm tough stuff up here on my zebra!"
Grady Lee made a beeline for the cheetah "because cheetahs are my favorite animal ever and they are also the fastest animal ever!"
As the morning went on, Annalyse was tired but still wide-eyed to see everything around her. It was fun watching her watch the animals. Innocent wonder is precious.
Sweet lil Mackenzie, however, was none too impressed with the animals and enjoyed snoozing and staying comfy in her stroller. (Wait a minute, wasn't Annalyse just that small and now she's a walking, babbling mess!)
Highlight #5: Hanging out with buddies! These three handsome men may very well end up riding elephants in the circus someday, judging from the energy and antics they've displayed. Boys will be boys, and for some reason, these boys are crazy boys sometimes.
Thanks, Jen, for a fun day at the zoo. Now that we've been there and experienced how great it is we'll absolutely be back again!


  1. Hey, did I miss that Annalyse is officially walking now, wow!
    Okay, looks like it was THE perfect day at the zoo! I love the pure excitement & joy with which your boys appreciate everything! The pictures are adorable! I love the ones of your sweet girl on the carousel! What a sweet friend Jen is!! Glad you all had a great day!

  2. We had a great time too! Conor was asking the next day to go to the zoo again with those fun boys! We will definitely have to do it again sometime. Melanie maybe you can join us next time.

  3. That looks like a fabulous zoo with so much to do. So glad that you got some fun friend time in, as well!

    Oh, and I was thinking of how, shortly after Annalyse was born, Micah used to ask when you'd be a fun mom again. I would agree--you are a fun mom!