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Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday was a perfectly gorgeous day.  And to make it better, my husband had the day off.  Wanting to make the most of this gift of a day, we headed to the zoo.  My sister had given us a family membership to the zoo as a Christmas present.  It's a great gift.  It does not require batteries, doesn't take up space in our living room and does not have an electronic soundtrack of Elmo's voice whining at me the live long day.  Plus it gives us a chance to be together outside as a family.  Yes, there is always a part of me that wishes all the animals could be free on the Savannah, or where ever they would normally be.  But I also know that part of the reason I love animals is because I have always been exposed to them.   Zoos give people a chance to get face to face with animals they would never otherwise meet.  And having met them, they start to care about them.  Still, I am thankful for the changes in zoos.  I remember when the lions were in actual cages, with bars, pacing back and forth, instead of in large outdoor "habitats."  On today's visit, they were stretching out leisurely, basking in the sun and adoration of their audience.

I know it's definitely getting to be spring, because that special, "love is in the air" feeling was certainly on display everywhere in the animal kingdom yesterday.

 Austin and Papa got to ride on this very cool Rain Forest themed merry-go-round.  Each animal was really very beautiful and creative.  My favorites were the butterflies.

Signs of spring were popping up everywhere and it made my heart glad.

 We also got to check out this indoor exhibit for kids where everything was climb-able, educational and really fun.  There were huge bees and honeycombs, frogs and tadpole eggs, caterpillars, enormous flowers and plants, beaver dams and water, hollow logs to explore and...

a gigantic, multi-level tree, with more stairs inside than I care to climb at any one time!

Of course we visited the petting zoo, fed the ducks,

and gave the goats a lot of toddler love

And who doesn't love a really big, really red tractor!

Oh, to be two and have control of such a steering wheel!  This is what little boys dreams are made of.  Well, at least, THIS little boy.

But, what made me laugh the most, was the fun this little guy had playing with a wild domestic leaf.  With all the animals around him, all the excitement of seeing other little kids, all the sights, smells and exhibits, what does he do?

He picks up the leaf, throws it, giggles loudly and chases it, picks it up and starts all over again.  He did this for a good long while, loving it all the more with each chase.  He knows how to squeeze the juice out of life.   I love this kid.

Like I said, it was a great day, full of great memories.  I am so blessed to be alive, to be a mama to this little one and to have Brian to share these days and memories with.

Life is a gift we open one day at a time.  Some days are sweeter than others and leave a good taste in our memory.

This was one of them.

And on the drive home...

a sure sign of a day well spent.
Hope your day was just as lovely.

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