Friday, March 28, 2014

Day at the Zoo



We have had a pretty relaxing spring break. The weather has been kind of yucky, which at first made me wish we had gone away. But as it turned out, this kind of vacation is just what I needed. A chance to get caught up on reading, blogging, cleaning, and relaxing. Besides making flubber and the blob experiment, it has been a fairly uneventful week. So we decided to head to the zoo for a grand finale to our week.

The St. Louis Zoo has never disappointed us and we've gone at least once a year since Lex was born. It's free to get in (special attractions cost money), and there is a good mix of indoor and outdoor animal attractions. It is clean, and spread out enough that even when it's busy, you can still get close up to see the animals. We always pack a backpack of snacks so we don't have to eat at the park.


We started out at the insect house. There are lots of these big animals everywhere. Eli wasn't all that into them but Lex couldn't get enough.
 

We've never gone in the butterfly habitat before today. It was really cool.  Can you find any butterflies in this picture? There are at least 2 that I can see.


This is one picture I got of one holding still. Isn't it beautiful?


Here the boys are looking at a little pond in the butterfly habitat. I think it's funny that Jeremy won't let go of Eli's hood. Smart thinking because it would not be uncharacteristic of Eli to try to get in. We did not pack a change of clothes.



River's Edge is my favorite part of the zoo. It's a beautiful trail and includes the hippos and elephants. 



Here we go on the trail.


And through the tunnel


To see the hippos.


They swim right up next to the windows, then turn around and do it again. We have never skipped this part of the zoo because unlike some of the animals that go inside on chillier days like this, the hippos are always out playing!


And one more, just because, wow!
 


And on we hiked to the elephants. They weren't all out today, but a few were.


They are so magnificent to watch.


An aquarium hidden in a walk-through cave.


Lex was mesmerized.


And on we trekked.


To the reptile house, where we met this guy.


And these massive tortoises. I don't like to include pictures of people who haven't given me permission, but I think it's helpful to see the size comparison to recognize just how massive these things are. And look at how healthy their lunch is!
 
 

And then we moved on to the primate house.




And here is a funny photo story of me trying to get a nice picture of the boys in front of the primate house.


Me: Okay, Lex, can you sit up on the wall beside Eli?


Me: Okay that's fine, now look at the camera.


Me: Lex, hold still for just a minute.


Me: Okay, good Eli, sit next to Lex.


Me: Okay great. Now just look at the camera.


Me: Over here guys.


Me: Guys?

Me: No, no Eli. We didn't get the picture yet!

Onto the apes we go.




And then we did something that we had never done before at this zoo. Throughout the day, every time we would see the train go by, Lex would stop and just watch it with a big smile on his face. Not only that, he would wave and say hi to everyone on the train. Even if we just heard the whistle, he would stop in his tracks and say, "I hear the train. Let's go find it!" After his fixation with the Polar Express this past Christmas, and then his clear interest in this little train, we decided to splurge the $20 for our family to ride the train. Oh. my. goodness! It was worth every single penny to see his excitement. He was literally jumping up and down while we stood in line.

This face was worth the entire trip.


Eli had a pretty good time, too.


One thing I am certain of is that we never be able to go to the zoo without taking a train ride again.



And then similar to how other family outings have ended, I asked Jeremy to snap one picture of me so there was documentation that I was on this trip too. :)

What a great way to end our spring break!




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