My dear friend Maria, mother of Will, who you've heard me talk about before, told me that she refused to let me stay indoors all summer. So, she planned a trip to our zoo here in Chattanooga. Originally, it was to be a zoo trip, then a picnic lunch, then playtime at the water park that is next to the zoo.
I know what you're thinking, "Dear Lord! Maria must be crazy!" And, to a certain extent, I would agree with you. But that only adds to her charm. :)
I agreed that I needed to be adventurous this summer. Taking 3 kids out in public, no matter where one goes, is going to be an adventure. So, I packed up our gear. Put shoes on everyone's feet. Said a Hail Mary or two. And we set out for the zoo.
We met up with another church friend of ours, Jennifer, along with her two little boys. Isaac was so excited to see Will! They held hands while we got our passes. I got the family pass; we might just do this again!
We started the zoo getting to see deer, a camel, goats in the petting zoo, and free roaming peacocks. You can see some of a peacock in this picture. (don't worry, we washed hands after the petting zoo)
Andy waving his excitement over something. You can see Will and his sister Caroline in the background.
This is a raccoon. Now, I realize that this is Tennessee and the kids have lots of opportunities to see raccoons. Here they get to see live ones.
Here Isaac is pointing out the "gorillas". In actuality, they are chimps. Isaac refused to believe it. He went so far as to educate the people around us that they were not chimps at all, but were "really big gorillas". Sigh.
Abby was only moderately interested in the chimps. Here she is informing me that she is out of cheerios and needs more.
All the kids were excited to see the leopards. There were 3 on the exhibit, but this one decided to get close. It might have been my children calling out to him, "Here kitty! Come here big kitty!" And, my favorite from Abby, "Kitty come here! I want to see you!"
Here are Isaac and Will looking in the exotic birds cage. Only one of the birds was a talker. It kept telling us "Bye-bye!" Andy returned the birds call. It was quite a conversation.
Nice tour lady. Didn't get her name, but she was very nice to the kids that had crowded around her.
Lunch time. Peanut butter sandwiches for everyone! Ms. Jennifer was nice enough to share her grapes with the twins.
Andy enjoying his sandwich. Unfortunately, there are no pics of Isaac with his lunch. He didn't sit down long enough to get a bite of his food, let alone a picture.
If the kids look a little pink, that is due to the heat, not sunburn. Never fear, I kept them hydrated the whole time, and covered in sunscreen. We did not stay for the water park. We had already been in the sun for 2.5 hours and it was nap time.
I am glad that Maria made me get out of the house. I'm sure we will try the water park another time.
p.s. the family pass I got also works for the Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis zoos- just for future reference! :)