Mini-Vacation Day 1: Our Fun Time At Hogle Zoo

Yesterday, I finished five 12-hour shifts in-a-row at the hospital. I did this on purpose. I wanted to have seven days off in-a-row, so I could have seven days of mini-vacations with my family.

So today, the first of the vacation days, the kids and I dropped off Fauneil at the hospital for work (she couldn't make it today, and Brandon is at scout camp), then we went back home to sleep more (and talk about the exciting day ahead. Today, day one, is Hogle Zoo Day)

When we got out of bed, I made a healthy breakfast of French toast with peanut butter and skim milk.

Of course, McCann likes his French toast with just butter.

Then we headed out the door to the zoo. Lily brought her money. She has been saving for a zoo trip for a very long time. She got to pay her own way today.

We got to the zoo, just minutes after it opened, and the parking lot was already packed.

There were loads of people. It was crowded from the moment we went in to when we left at the end of the day.

It was a perfect day to go to the zoo. It was sunny but not hot. (I planned it this way. Tomorrow will be hotter, but we will be at Tracy Aviary which is 20 degrees cooler because of the trees. The day after that it will be hotter yet, but that is movie day. So, we will be in an air conditioned building. I have planned this well, I think.)

They gave us a map, which Lily and McCann fought over the whole day. I wish I would have thought about asking for two maps. Although, I guess it is good for the kids to learn how to share.

The theme, at the zoo this year, is Zoorassic Park.

There were dinosaurs everywhere. All of them moved and growled, and some of them squirted people, like the one in this picture.

McCann went crazy.

They even had a dinosaur exhibit with big bones, like this one.

They also had displays with buttons that produced different jurassic sounds, when the kids pushed them.

I have many fond memories of this drinking fountain. It has been around a very long time. Even when I was a kid.

Anyway, we saw many animals, including turkeys...



Tigers (this one roared and roared and roared. It was very cool)...

Crocodiles (These two didn't move a millimeter the whole time we watched them. They looked more like crocodile statues.


And this very strange species that blew water out of a snout attached to its hand. Very curious animal, indeed.

There is one exhibit where you can peek up through some holes and...

see prairie dogs.

The kids loved it.

I also saw Lily, when I looked out.

There was also a bug exhibit that had animals so small the kids had to use these magnifying glasses to really see them.

While walking around the zoo, we were lucky enough to catch this zoo keeper holding this small owl that is not on exhibit. It lost its eye in the wild, and it is at the zoo now, because it could no longer survive out there on its own.

The kids favorite part of lunch was their animal sippers.

We went to two animal shows today. The first was this bird show, which has dozens of birds flying right over the audience- like these doves in this photo.

This made Lily very excited. She is a hard-core bird lover.

Lily's favorite birds of all-time are owls, and she got to see this BIG one up close.

The second show was all about how animals use their senses.

We got to pet a turtle and ...

An armadillo. (Don't worry Fauneil. We sanitized our hands after.)

We then went by the zoo store and tried on hats...

Of all different shapes and sizes.

Played in the rock bin...

We tracked a few animals while there.

Including snakes...

And gorillas.

Then we hung out on their porch and rocked for a while. (Rocked as in, like how old people rock.)

We then went on the train.

It was fun.

The last thing we did was play on the playground.

It was fun, but there is something I learned about my kids.

They were hatched.

We met several families through out the day, including the one in this photo. You might notice that the girl has a number on her shirt. The grandparents took their grand kids to the zoo and the number is what number grandchild they are.

The kids had a great time, but were very tired by the time we went home. We spent almost six hours there.


On the way home, we stopped by Macey's, bought ice cream, and fixings for dinner...


Which was grilled pork chops, cooked carrots, and mashed potatoes with gravy.


After we got home, we took Emma for a walk. She had been home alone the whole day.


We walked up to visit the Long family, but they were not home.


We sat and rested a while. They live up two long, steep hills.


There are many things we like about the longs house, like this bird house...


Their flowers...


Their tin chicken...


Their bell...


Their deck...


Their planter pots.


Their rock walls...


Their sun chime...


And their view.


The thing we like most about the Long's house are the Longs. But since they weren't at their house...


We went home to our house and got the it ready for when mom came home. We washed dishes...


Scrubbed the kids...


Washed their hair...


Gave Lily her daily shot...


And made that scrumptious dinner.


We did that so mom could come home to a clean house and clean kids. We finally picked her up and brought her home. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.


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