Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Toronto Zoo

Today my dad took the day off of work to take the kids and I to the zoo!  We were SUPER excited to spend the day with Opa at one of our favorite places!!!!
 Besides seeing all of my favorite animals and admiring the great exhibits at the zoo (I love look at the enclosures and the enrichment they use for the different animals), I LOVED seeing Ethan and Opa walk hand in hand most of the day!!!  I think Ethan called out "Opa" over 500 times today!  If he wanted to show Opa something, if he couldn't find Opa, if he just wanted to hold Opa's hand... over and over... that's what he called out!  It was SO sweet to watch!!!
One of the main attractions at the Toronto Zoo right now are the panda bears they recently got on loan from China.  The male and female haven't been at the zoo long so the line up can be SO long.  In order to miss the crowd, we went to that exhibit first... but I think we got there too early... as there wasn't much to see... can you spot the female laying on a rock WAY back there?!?!
 Thankfully the male was sleeping close to the glass so the kids could see the panda up-close!  Let me tell you what, we got there early and we still had to wait about 15 minutes to see the panda and the crowd was already restless, out of control, and cutting in line.  What  a mess!!!!
We quickly left the panda area and went on to explore where it wasn't SO crowded!!!!  Let the animal learning fun begin!!!!
 One of the things I was super impressed with was the polar bear exhibit!  Bears are really hard for zoos to keep because of the space they need and the level of security they need so to see such a great exhibit and TONS of space, I was super impressed!  The bears were active and gave the kids lots to see!  So fun!
 The zoo has lots of great interactive things for kids to do and several learning experiences set up throughout the zoo!  Lots of fun!  One down side was there were several school groups at the zoo today which meant TONS of kids running around.  Owen would line up to do something and kids would push their way in front of him and he would just stand back... I kept telling him he had to push his way to the front... otherwise he'd NEVER see anything!  I'm glad he doesn't just push to the front however, he does need to learn to be a bit more aggressive!  One thing I've heard about the culture where we are moving to is there are NO lines and people are very aggressive... we are going to be eaten alive if we don't learn how to be pushy... so, might as well start today! : )
 My dad was a HUGE help today!  Wearing this boot around everywhere is a bit of a pain in my side (literally) and at times it is hard to push the stroller, especially if we are going uphill, so my dad was the stroller driver and he did great!  While I like to think I could take the kids out by myself on day adventures like this... it is SO much easier when there is good help around!
 The chimp exhibit was GREAT and there is a toddler chimp which means a very active chimp so there was lots to watch!  We got an up-close look at the action.  We actually came back around another time to watch the chimps eat!  They were SO fun!
This male peacock LOVED showing off his tail feathers!!!  He would call and get everyone's attention and then put on a nice display!!!
 The kids watched him for a LONG time!
 It was neat to see the hippos out of water and take a look at their pink skin!  I love when we see something new at the zoo that I can use as a learning experience for the kids... Owen really eats up the knowledge!!  He is almost getting as good as I am at telling people all about the different animals at the zoo!  Since hippos spend half of their time in the water, having fur isn't really a good option.  No fur leaves their skin prone to sunburn... which is why they "bleed" or sweat a red substance which acts as a sunscreen!  And today we got to see that and talk about it!!! : )
 Ride 'em hippo!
 Is this really going to take us on a safari ride?!?!
 Actually, it doesn't go anywhere but you can go up top and get a good look at the rhinos!!!
 Learning about/ exploring kid size burrows!
 Cheetah!
 "Effie, look at the baboon!"
 Having this guy around 24/7 is really nice!!!!  He is a huge help with the other kids and is a good entertainer!!!  He is also my snuggler... that's something I don't get a lot of out of the other two! : )
 My dad and I!
It was getting close to 1 which meant it was close to nap time so we were getting ready to head out when we heard it was feeding time for the white lions... so we headed over there to watch!  That was fun!  Since we heard about it early we had a spot right next to the fence to watch!  Perfect!
This giraffe wanted to eat a leaf on this tiny busy by the fence line so it spread its leg out to bend down... I've never seen this before!  I was SO impressed at what it had to do to bend down so low!
 We were all getting tired and needed a long rest to make it the rest of the way through the zoo, stopping in front of the orangutan exhibit was perfect!  This young orangutan was SO active and fun to watch!  There was also another one that spent a lot of time hiding and playing with a blanket and the kids got a kick out of watching him play!
 What an AWESOME day at the zoo!!  It was perfect weather wise, not too much of a crowd, and lots of active animals to watch!  It was SO good that we stayed until 3pm... 2 hours past nap time!!!  By the end everyone was done... Ethan didn't even make it to the car before falling asleep!!!!  Thank you Opa for a great day at the zoo!!!  It was awesome!

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