We got to go for the first time thanks to Aunt Stephanie! How cool is it that she works with the Sea Lions?! And the whole place was very cool. Uncle Michael met us there and gave us the tour while we patiently waiting for the Sea Lion show!
But before we got too far we met up with Aunt Stephanie while she was feeding a Sea Lion and the kids got to help.
This place as FULL of birds.
Seriously. LOTS of birds. I didn't get that many pictures of them for some reason...really this is the only one. LOL But they were everywhere. Flying freely it felt very open. You also had to be careful you didn't get pooped on. There was lots of that on the ground as well.
There were a couple sets of birds that could talk. We weren't sure which sets they were so every grouping we passed the kids tried to talk to them. It wasn't until we were on our way to Aunt Stephanie's show that we finally walked passed a group that talked. I was the last to walk past and as I did one said "hello" to me. I turned around and said "hello" back. It started bobbing it's head up and down as if to say "good human, you know how to say hello back!" Tee hee! So of course the kids turned around and started talking to them as well. As we were walking away Kaleb blew a whistle he make with an Elk antlier...well the birds did NOT like that. They were making so much angry noise I was afraid we'd have to run for our lives. They weren't encased and free to fly!! No kidding I was a little bit scared. Ya know that scene in the Divergence series when she thinks she's being attacked by birds?...ya I was picturing that! But I'm getting ahead...back it up
After feeding the Sea Lion we were off to see the rest of the place!
See Michael bent over looking down?? The Tiger was laying up against the fence. If we had wanted (and yes some of the kids asked to...tisk tisk) we could have climbed over the wood polls and touched the Tiger's fur. Tempting, but no.
How cute is this momma and baby monkey?!
These were very interesting looking Monkeys...I like Monkeys if you haven't noticed. They're not my favorite animal, but probably in my top five. :)
This monkey has a funny story. He, or she was just minding their own business hanging on the fence while all 6 of us gawked at it never making a sound...and then we started to walk away. All of us were about to clear the fence on the side except Sarah who stayed back a little longer. All of a sudden the monkey started shaking the fence and made a noise. Sarah JUMPED and about fell over herself catching up with us!!! LOL
In one of the air conditioned parts of the zoo we came across this guy...we thought it's name was interesting given it's looks. But you know what they say, looks aren't everything or don't judge a book by the cover..etc.
So this one has a funny story. Jaguars are just cool. Period. But this one was just a bitty kitty that wanted to play! It has a very cook habitat that I'm sad I don't have a bigger picture of for you to see. Part of it's habitat was an enclosed walk way that you could walk under and he could be laying right above you. While we were all checking it out Christopher started tossing his water bottle in the air out of boredom. That got the big cats attention! He turned all his attention to Christopher and that water bottle. He started following it through the air with his eye, his tail stopped swaying and is whole body was alert. I started to point this out to Chris and it startled him and the water bottle went a little too high and hit the cage. That REALLY got the Jaguar's attention and he was up and ready to lung in the direction of the water bottle, and on the next throw that's exactly what he did! It kind of scared us but was super exciting. It also made me just want to play with him. After all, he was just a big cat that was bored himself.
At some point we all got hungry and Uncle Michael knew just where to take us. Inside the Zoo was Dillion's Bar BQ. It was yummy!! Best thing there, the fried pickle fries!! But that's not the best STORY from our lunch. To back up a bit, the restaurant is backed up to part of the aquarium. There is a large Shark tank with various sea animals swimming around. The part on the Zoo side entrance has a petting Sting Ray exhibit. This was a hit with all the kids for sure! Especially Kayleah! She spent the most time there and went back a couple times before we left the zoo that day.
See the tank behind Christopher?? On the other side-was the restaurant. So, while I waited with a pager the kids played with the Sting Rays. As we were walking back to our seats we discovered we were sitting right by the tank in a large group area. Directly above the table area on the wall was HUGE mirror. It took in nearly the whole place. Well, I sit down and watch as Kayleah walks toward the seating bench under the mirror but she makes an interesting face of acknowledgment- like she's just seen someone she knows. She quickly smiles and then just before she waves, she has a look of confusion, then shock, then embarrassment as she realizes she's looking at HER OWN REFLECTION. I instantly started laughing!!! She realizes now that I just witnessed the whole thing and is laughing herself all while trying to explain that she just saw someone smile at her and she thought, "maybe they know me...oh wait...huh? that's ME!" LOL!!! As we left the restaurant I told her there was someone trying to get her attention and pointed behind her (where the mirror was) she FELL FOR IT, turned around and then snapped back at me!! Oh it was HILARIOUS!!
Uncle Michael and Kaleb split a full rack of ribs, so they got these awesome bibs! They say: I like Pig Butts and I can not lie!
After lunch we went to see more animals before we headed to watch the Sea Lion show. When we came upon these we thought they were playing, we quickly learned they were not!
After the fighting pigs, we fed the Giraffe's!! They are beautiful animals.
Kayleah was trying to make sure she didn't waste any food.
Kaleb was serious about his feeding.
They kept licking Christopher's arm!! LOL
Emily did NOT want to be licked.
Sarah kept laughing...??
Then it came time for Aunt Stephanie's show!!
It was awesome, informative and the Sea Lion was very adorable. He is definitely a crowd pleaser.
After the show we hung around the aquarium center a little longer and waited for Aunt Stephanie to be done working so we could go on rides!!! I don't have a picture of the first ride and this point my phone was dying to I only got one picture and then I had to use Emily's Ipod so the quality is a bit rough...but it's something! Even though I don't have a picture of the first ride, it's worth noting that we took up every seat on that ride...hilarious! OH and I don't have a picture of the roller coaster ride. Quick story-
Growing up we use to go to Wyandot Late (sp?) and they had a small roller coaster there. We thought we were so cool and really did a scary ride when we rode that thing. Well, this roller coaster was the same and Sarah and Emily got right in the front row. HILARIOUS!! Sarah screamed so much the whole time I couldn't stop laughing!!
Ok, rides I do have pictures of...
This was our second ride. Sarah and I sat it out. I use to love this ride but after having kids my vertigo can't handle it. Sarah wisely sat it out so she didn't get a migraine. Rides period are hard for her poor thing.
The last ride for the night was the zipline. Again, Sarah and I sat this one out. I don't know what happened to the pictures of the boys and Michael and Stephanie?? They WERE on Emily's ipod...Anywho. Kayleah was scared and had to go with Michael and Emily went with Stephanie. They both loved it!!
After all the rides we stopped by the baby nursery on our way out of the Zoo. The only cute babies (yes I said it) were the baby cubs!!! How adorable are these two?!
It was a FABULOUS Day! Thank you so much Uncle Michael and Aunt Stephanie for the super fun Saturday!