Friday, February 26, 2010

Part One: Can You Guess?

What all these photos have in common?

They're all sweet little babies. Soft, furry babies. Tall babies with their mommas. Fat, grey babies that eat a lot of hay. And MY baby, worn out after spending the day at the Houston Zoo.

We had a fantastic day at the Houston Zoo on Monday! Everything started off with buying discounted tickets for the zoo admittance at a nearby Fiesta, which saved us quite a bit of money. The weather was overcast and pretty windy when we headed out but we were optimistic. Until my lovely GPS system got us lost (she had us going away from the zoo instead of toward it). After a quick call to the wonderful man I call hubby, we were back on track and headed towards the zoo.

Zoo parking can be quite a challenge and I think God had mercy on me, helping me find parking fairly close to the entrance. Truly, I've never parked that close to the zoo's entrance! Once through the gates we checked to see if there were any shows taking place and discovered the Natural Encounters was about to start in the Children's Zoo (a smaller section of the zoo that is mostly a petting-zoo, along with a splash pad and playground). We got up close and personal with a ferret, an adorable bunny, and an amazingly soft chinchilla. The chinchilla was my favorite of the three.

From there, we checked out the primates. They are always interesting to see and watch. I must admit though, being in that section of the zoo really puts me on edge. Here's why... everything is covered in a natural canopy of trees and other miscellaneous types of plants. Sounds beautiful, right? And, it is beautiful. But here's the thing, the birds LOVE this area too!!! And wherever there are a lot of birds flying overhead you are bound to encounter bird poop! Ick. Luckily we didn't get squatchied on but Violet managed to land her hand in a nice little pile of it. Ewww. And so we went on a quest to find a bathroom for her to wash her hands. Normally I have handi-wipes on me but I unfortunately ran out. (Note to self: buy more travel wipes!)

Once we found a restroom, and washed our hands, we were off to explore the rest of the zoo. We quickly found the giraffes (my absolute favorite animal in the whole zoo) and got to watch them for a while. The zoo had not one, but two, baby giraffes born last year! And while the babies have grown quite a bit since their births in March and August, they were still small compared to their adult counterparts. Violet and I got to see an adult giraffe eat from its hay basket in a barn-like building that has a window you can watch from. So, you get a closer view of just how tall the giraffes are and how short you are in comparison. We spent quite a bit of time at the giraffe exhibit.

Violet got to see her beloved elephants as they were being fed. Tucker, a three year old elephant, was certainly a big draw for Violet (and others). There was a media group there doing something, I don't know what or who for, but I've been keeping my eyes peeled. Violet was all over that area and I wouldn't be surprised if she made it in some shot or something.

We checked out the new cheetah exhibit and got to watch some training exercises while there. We even saw the Anatolian shepherd dogs, the two cheetah's companions, although they were in their own section while the training took place. The story of how the two dogs and the two cheetahs have become companions is quite the story so you should go check it out.

This post is starting to get pretty long and so I'll break our zoo experience into two parts for you lovely folks. Please come back though because the rest of the day is quite the story!


Kimberly said...

Now I'm seriously in the mood to go to the zoo. Maybe this spring. :)

Rochelle said...

This was wonderful! A lot of work between the pictures and the links.

Did you know that in December, when we open the African Forest which is now under construction, you should be able to visit with the giraffes at their eye level! And you will be able to feed them too!!! I have done a behind the scenes tour to feed them which can be done whether a member or not. They are truly amazing beings... I did a blog post or two on feeding them up close if you check the tabs on giraffes on mine. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I post there almost every day and often put up things that people go get their kids to see. I will be posting a few little movies of baby squirrels I'm rehabbing at home soon. Hope you'll come again!