Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vacation 2012, June12: A Day at the Zoo

Today we're going to the Cincinnati Zoo.  We started the day with Bryan getting breakfast from the lobby & bringing it to us.  I need to find a way to have him do this at home.  He brought orange juice in a coffee cup because it was bigger & had a lid and this is what happened:

Gotta start the day with a cuppa

After Eli drank our juice Bryan & Zachary packed up our van since we were leaving for Indy after our zoo trip.  Zachary thought it was really cool because they used one of the luggage carts instead of making seven trips.  Apparently he got to ride the empty cart back to the entrance which was a big hit with him.  While the big boys did the manly work, Eli & I did our final sweep through the room and took this last picture of Eli on his hotel bed.  Zachary had been picking most of Eli's outfits so since we were going to the zoo he chose a romper with a monkey.  Very appropriate.

Once at the zoo we saw lots of animal exhibits.  Our favorites are probably the gorilla area, the reptile house and the lemurs.  Their polar bear exhibit is really neat too, but only if the polar bear is swimming.  S/he wasn't swimming today.  In fact, the bear was lying so still on a log that I honestly didn't see it for a long time despite the contrasting white fur against the dark brown log.  Overall it was a neat day and we all enjoyed ourselves.  We used the wagon for the first time this trip but we are so glad we packed it.  That has come in really handy and we're so glad Santa brought that for us.  Here's a collection of the animals we saw:

Two of the wildest animals I've ever seen.  They're watching the monkeys chase each other on Monkey Island.

The first exhibit we saw was one of my favorites, the elephants.  I love this photo.

This alligator moved his head to look at the camera right before I snapped the picture.  I'm not usually a fan of reptiles but the Reptile House at Cincinnati was pretty neat.

Zachary loves geckos because of Geico.  Let's face it, that's why most of us have even heard of a gecko.

A monitor.  This guy creeped me out a little bit as he seemed to have an escape plan ready to implement as soon as we turned away.  Shifty eyes, don't trust 'em!

A camel.

An emu.

A rhino cooling off in its mud bath.

One of the gorillas.  This exhibit was one of our favorites.

Zachary comparing his hand to that of a gorilla.  Pretty impressive for a four year old.

"The lemurs!  They're not dancing like on Madagascar."  says Zachary

Eli watching the lions.  The exhibit was nice but the lions were sleeping.  One of them lifted his head and growled twice but that was it. 

A rhino trying to stay cool in the shade.

This sea lion was quite a ham.

Warm weather penguins.  I don't remember what the sign said they're called.  Okay, I confess, I probably didn't even look.  It was one of the last exhibits we saw and Momma was getting tired.
The four of us by a waterfall in the gorilla area.  Eli liked watching the waterfall better than looking at the lady who kindly took our photo.  It was hot today and we're starting to run out of clean clothes (I was already doing dishes on vacation, I wasn't doing laundry too!).

This is what happened five minutes after leaving the zoo.  You can still see the tag on the drum he chose in the gift shop.  It's a pretty cool drum, it has elephants carved in the wood. 

After we left the zoo we were headed to our hotel in Plainfield, which is southwest of Indy.  We've stayed in the area before but not this hotel.  Our trip there had an interesting/scary/eye-opening event.  Just outside of Cincinnati we were in three lanes of traffic (not too crowded but several cars around us).  We were traveling 65-70mph when a car two lanes over blew a tire and slid across two lanes in front of us and almost off the road.  Bryan hit the brakes and swerved left then back to the right as they came back across the three lanes and eventually stopped in the grassy median.  It's really a miracle that no cars hit and no one was injured.  Just more proof that our family has angels around us.  Both boys were asleep and stayed asleep.  A pretty scary moment but thank God no one was hurt.

By the time we got to Plainfield we were STARVING.  We also smelled like we spent the day at the zoo then in the van for two hours, but that doesn't stop us from entering a restaurant.  We went to Denny's and I got to order breakfast.  I love most restaurant breakfasts and was so excited to stop here.  It was Kids Eat Free with a paying adult day so we ordered kids meals for each of them (we usually just order for Z and Eli eats a mix of our three meals).  It's a good thing we did because we ate everything.  Then we went across the street to check in to our second hotel.

It was a nice enough hotel and room, but not nearly as nice as the hotel we had left that morning.  I was happy that this fridge had a freezer compartment but that's about it.  There was nothing wrong or dirty about it but we probably won't stay there again if we have other options.  We all got much needed baths and showers and settled in for the night.

Tomorrow we go to Lucas Oil Stadium for Colts mini-camp.  We can get on the field for an hour then watch practice from the stands.  There's an autograph session after that.  I think it'll be fun and will let you know in the next post!

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