Saturday, June 13, 2009

Columbus Zoo

Monday, June 8th, I decided to be very, very brave and head down to Columbus, Ohio with Bennett and two friends, Gabe and Clara. (Xavier stayed behind with Gma and Gpa P.) A new baby elephant there instigated the trip; I guess that's rare in the zoo-world. SO, there we were...driving 2 hours in a terrible rain storm to see him and all the other animals. Probably three separate times, while driving in the kind of rain that windshield wipers just can't keep up with, I shouted out, "Oh! Seriously!!! What are we doing?!?!" And I'd hear:
Gabe: "I brought 3 leaf clovers for luck! (waving a little bunch of green over his head) It will stop raining, Aunt K, I just know it!"
Clara: "That's so dumb, Gabe. Those are just WEEDS!"
Ben: (in his quiet, innocent little voice that I can barely hear sometimes)"I thought we were going to the zoo, Mom. Isn't that what we're doing?"


Soooo, we drove on, and the sun even decided to come out at times. The day was pretty perfect weather-wise... 80*, a drizzle now and then, and overcast. Kept us cool and the crowds away. Not bad.

Okay, there are A LOT of pics in this post. You've been warned. Also, please note that I was forced to stop at EVERY single animal statue we went by, where photos were creatively arranged by the 3 amigos. I did not ask them to pose in any certain way, ever, so this was all their doing...I was just the photographer for the day.

First animal statue picture: Gabe and Bennett on BECO! the baby elephant:

Ben watching the elephants

Love the fuzz all over baby Beco. (I also just like saying "baby Beco". hehe)

Waiting for me to catch up to them to enter the pheasant enclosure. We met two of my friends from work there (Denise and Pat) so we were kind of trailing behind the kids, who were tightly wound from the 2 hours in the car.

Watching a soda bottle explode on my friend Pat:

Here's what was behind the fence that they should have been looking at (the soda explosion was probably more interesting ;-):

This tiger was really cool - he just paced in front of the glass endlessly.

Not the best moment of the day ("AUNT K! Gabe messed up my hair! You CANNOT take my picture!!"...oooh! but I just did! HA!)

Gabe generously donated lots of coins at the "save the animals" collection points (love how the zoo is very crafty, and makes the coin dropping fun, enticing kids in...)

Watching the lions

I have to say, I've never seen zoo animals actually do much but sleep (unless they're monkeys or the like - those things are crazy)...anyway, the lions were really active, and surprisingly, a bit scary. At one point, the male lion and one of the females chased another female about 50 yards up a hill right next to us. The male roared (loudly!), and we felt like we were on a safari. Well, not really. (hehe) But, I felt like, for a minute there, we were going to witness something National Geographic worthy.

Starfish touch tank:

Clara. Ever the actress.

Anticipating the carosel ride:

Don't let this photo fool you - he's actually really happy. Honest!

(Oh, darn. The LAST animal statue photo op of the day?!)

Bennett gleefully skipping through the tunnel on our way out.

We still had to make it through the gift shop. It was 4:15, and anticipating the 2 hour car ride ahead of us, I was a smidgeon worried about leaving in a timely manner. On the way to the gift shop, I had the kids repeat after me a couple of times : "gift shop, bathrooms, home." (say it with me, children...) Well, drama ensued at the gift shop (too many selections) for an insane 25 minutes. When we finally made it out of there, it was followed by - not one! not two! but THREE trips to the bathrooms. (Someone might have to go multiple times within a timeframe of 5 minutes? Who knew?!) We FINALLY left at 5pm. And guess what! - NO ONE fell asleep on the way home! lol.

It was a fun day, but I left feeling a bit dizzy. I'm not used to having 3 mobile children on my own. The vertigo was worth it though - we did have a lot of fun :-)


datri said...

Looks like a wonderful time! We'll be headed to Ohio the 3rd week of August for vacation. (staying in Athens, will probably hit Columbus and Cincinnati, not sure if I have the stamina to head up to Cleveland, tho!)

Trent said...

WOW!!! They sure got to do and see a lot of stuff at the Zoo. It looks like they all had a great time. I loved Bens shirt too.
That was nice of you to take them!