Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Zoo Trip - Part 1...

Last weekend we decided to celebrate the re-opening of the zoo (Thank you, US Government for finally doing your job!) by taking an impromptu Saturday morning trip to the National Zoo.  Our Friends of the Zoo membership is expiring at the end of the month, so we also wanted to squeeze in one more trip with free parking before that ends.  Unfortunately, the rates are going way up and free parking is not going to be included in our current membership level, so we don't plan on renewing.  

We bundled up knowing it was going to be a chilly morning in the city, but with rain predicted for the afternoon and Georgia's naptime, we knew we wanted to be in/out fairly early.  If you've ever been to the zoo here in DC, you know that it is built along one big hill, so we also loaded the stroller in the car knowing that little legs still tire easily!

Ready for the Zoo!

Unfortunately, as prepared as you can be with a toddler, you never quite know what situation you are going to encounter.  Georgia was happy as could be in the car, happy as could be walking into the zoo... and then lost it!  We spent the first hour at the zoo managing tantrum after tantrum.  She didn't want to see any of the animals that she wanted to see just minutes before.  Ahhh - the joys of parenting.  The good news... in the early morning chill, all the animals were out and about in their enclosures, so we spotted quite a few animals that can be elusive at times!

Good morning, Luke!!  He was in quite a mood and spent the whole morning roaring.  You could hear him halfway across the zoo.  Nick uploaded a video of them roaring on facebook - it was both amazing and terrifying!

No, you can't eat Georgia... even if she is screaming bloody murder and woke you up!!

Of course, the new-ish carousel is located directly next to the lion/tiger exhibit, so once Georgia spotted it, she had a one track mind.  The zoo was having a special that all kids got to ride the carousel for free that weekend in celebration of the re-opening and since an adult gets to ride free with the child, we took advantage of that deal and got in a few rides.

My carousel riding loves

Happy as could be riding her fox

Mommy & G

Kisses for Daddy

Of course, getting off the carousel is not always an easy task.  We had to settle that dispute with a pretzel/chocolate milk snack break.

While we were sitting there, we started hearing more roaring, but this time it was from the tiger enclosure.  So, we strolled over to take a peek and one of the tigers was all over the place - jumping up/down the levels of his/her enclosure and roaming around quite actively.  

Sharpening his/her claws on the log

We roamed up the hill to check out the orangutans and gorillas, but Georgia lacked interest in both places and threw another epic tantrum in the gorilla house.  It's always good when passing parents look at you apologetically and say, "We're so sorry!  Been there and done that."  We decided that maybe another break was in order and convinced her to take a time-out to regroup, eat a banana, and recharge her batteries.  Sometimes just a snack will help completely turn her around lately.

Hanging out on the frog statue

Luckily, that banana hit the spot and our normal, happy, and energetic child emerged!  Ironically enough, we next headed down to the elephant trail and as we arrived, the trainer was giving a quick talk about how their elephant youngster in the herd likes to throw fits at times.  Sounds familiar!

Following Daddy and the elephant footprints down to their area

Hi baby!!!

Begging for more tasty grapes from her trainer!

I always get the funniest/cutest/most natural poses from Georgia when she's on Nick's shoulders and today was no exception.  We were listening to the trainer talk about the elephants and Georgia was entranced just watching the "ellie."  

Clapping when the elephant turned on command in order to get a treat!

After spending some time with the elephant, we headed down to explore the American Trail...  In Part 2!

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