One very fun thing that Cortney and I have in common is our love of zoos and aquariums. It seems that every summer we somehow find our way to one (well, not last summer. Last summer we had a zoo in our home with our newborn and everyone coming to look at US). This week, thanks to my mom, we were able to take Eddie to his first zoo. But before I get to that, a little retrospective of past zoo/aquarium visits.
The summer of 2004 (the summer when we got engaged) we took a trip to NY to visit friends who were living in Rochester at the time. We stopped at the Buffalo Zoo for an afternoon. Of course they had buffalo.
And they also had a rhino. This zoo was WAY smaller than we expected, but had some good animals. However, the giraffe feeding, elephant washing, and camel rides their website advertised? So were not happening. I was crabby about this.
On a rainy day on our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach in June of 2005, we went to the Ripley's aquarium. Cort was braver than I was with all the touching and the holding of sea creatures.
In 2006 we took a trip to Seattle. We visited the Tacoma Zoo and saw whales and...
reindeer! It was fun, but sort of hot. That was one of the nicer zoos we've been to, although it was sort of a long drive from where we were staying.
We also visited the aquarium on the Puget sound. I went into the kid section for some pictures. What did I think I was doing with that polo and hair do? Ugg.
In 2007 we went out to Montana. No zoos, but in South Dakota we saw some REAL buffalo (Cort made me get back in the car because there were signs all over the place about how they will KILL you)...
and in North Dakota we saw this big cow. But it wasn't real, so I guess it doesn't count as part of our animal experiences.
In 2008 we went out to NY again for a wine tour with our friends near Rochester, and on the way home we stopped in the Toledo Zoo. This has been my favorite zoo so far. Look at those big polar bears!
They are big...see?
They had camels at this zoo. I think Cort was trying to impress the camels with his super suave ways.
Did I mention we visit the gift shop at each zoo and buy a new animal? It's true. we were collecting animals for Eddie's nursery before Eddie was even conceived! I knew I wanted an animal themed nursery. Leave it to Cort to find the hooters in Toledo.
On Tuesday my mom brought our little family to the John Ball zoo about 30 minutes from where we live. Even though we love zoos, Cort and I hadn't been to the one near home in YEARS!
We saw this Kamodo Dragon. It was creepy, but pretty neat. My mom thought it was icky and after he opened his mouth like this she kept talking to it trying to get it to do it again.
We saw lots of monkey butts. Here is Eddie watching a chimp moon him. He didn't seem too traumatized though. He actually enjoyed watching all the different monkeys.
He even got to play an African drum on his way out of the African exhibits. Anything that makes noise is cool with him.
Grandma really wanted Eddie to pet the pygmy goats. He preferred to point, not pet.
One thing grandma REALLY wanted us to do was ride the camel. She brought extra money just so we could do it. I believe her words were, "C'mon, Cort. I've got five dollars burning a hole in my pocket just waiting for you to ride that camel." So he did. We didn't want to disappoint Grandma!
Even I got on Angel the Camel. In a skirt, no less. The ride was much less glamorous than Sarah Jessica Parker made it look in Sex in the City 2, let me tell you!
We saw bears. A grizzly and a brown bear. My mom thought those claws were pretty big. See?
Then we hit the petting zoo where again Grandma tried to get Eddie to pet a goat. He had more fun running around the area away from the animals.
Eddie and daddy thought the penguins were pretty cool...even after we sneaked the stroller in...shhhhh...
And wouldn't you know it? We bought Eddie his own camel to take home! And he has been sleeping with it every nap and every night. He loves that darn thing. I don't blame him, it is SOFT!
And when we got home? Louis was in a box. I guess he felt left out. He wanted to be looked at in a "habitat" too.
Our family sure does love zoos! We can't wait to visit the Indianapolis Zoo (hopefully!) in just a few weeks!