Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A day at the zoo

Two weeks ago (yes, I'm behind), my long time friend Kristin and I met up at the Columbus zoo with our kiddos and had a great day. We hadn't seen each other in years. We grew up going to the same church so I've known her since I was a wee one. The last time we saw each other neither one of us had children. I had Julianne on March 5, 2008 and she had Jackson exactly one month later on April 5, 2008. We've been wanting to introduce them for the longest time. She was in Indianapolis visiting her sister and so we decided to meet up about half way between us and Indy in Columbus. We decided to go to the famous Columbus zoo (home of Jack Hannah). It's rated the #1 zoo in the country so I've been wanting to take Julianne for a while. It did not disappoint. They have just about every kind of animal you can think of and the kids had a blast!
The only picture I have of us from the day (of course). This is actually at the end of our day so this is a little backwards. Excuse our wind blown hair and disheveled appearance (when I tell you what happened to us you will understand).
We arrived at the zoo in the early afternoon. The forecast had called for "a chance of rain". A 30% chance to be exact. We met for lunch before we went to the zoo and the sun was shining. It was HOT but we had been praying that it would cool off (because poor Kristin is 7 months pregnant). We arrived at the zoo and started getting the kids in the strollers and getting our stuff together. Kristin said "Jenn, look at the sky over there" to which I replied "let's walk really fast to get into the zoo". Approximately 15 seconds later we were in the middle of a wind/rain/thunderstorm and out in the middle of the BIG parking lot. We basically ran to a spot where there was some coverage (a shuttle stop) and the wind was blowing so hard that the trash cans blew over and my stroller (with both girls in it and my diaper bag hanging on it) started to blow away. The wind was that strong. The sky was black. I immediately felt terror and thought I hope there is not a tornado warning. It was a little scary.
This picture does not do it justice. It was about 100 times worse than this picture makes it look (but you can see the blown over trash cans)
Jackson did not know what to think

Julianne did not like it

We contemplated what to do. People were running out of the zoo and to their cars. We wanted to go in. We waited a few minutes and the rain tapered off a bit. We walked really fast to the ticket booth, bought our tickets and then the rain started pouring again. We took shelter under the entrance and waited....and waited.....we waited about 10 minutes and then the rain stopped. We were soaked. The kids were soaked. I brought no extra clothes for the girls. We went into the bathroom to dry everyone off the best we could and then we got going. It turned out to be a blessing because the rain cooled it off and also made about 80% of the people that were there leave. So we were left to roam the zoo with no crowd, mild weather, and later on some sunshine!

Our first stop was the barn where they had a petting zoo. Julianne was so excited to see the goats! She wasn't sure at first if she wanted to pet them but she eventually did. Here is my girl, apparently telling me that I am a big loser. We saw polar bears

Jackson was checking out Claire. Julianne was trying to avoid getting her picture taken

We saw a bear. A brown bear I believe. Bears are HUGE! Jackson was not very sure about the bear Julianne loved the otters. I think the otter liked her too! Julianne was telling us that the otter "go under water" I love this picture. They look like they are deep in conversation.
This cracks me up. We saw a 33 ft python. I got chills. In fact, I just got chills again looking at the photo. Do not like snakes! These vampire bats had a 6 ft. wing span. EWWWWW! Some kind of monkey The elephant. Julianne was quite excited about the elephant. She loves elephants and had never seen one in person. We took a break for snacks. Jackson invited Julianne to come sit by him. She surprisingly accepted. They became fast friends. This tiger was not shy. He came right up to the glass to greet us. We decided to get closer to the fake tiger. Julianne wasn't sure at first but then figured out that it wasn't real She climbed up and said "giddy up tiger" while she slapped his back.
Jackson wasn't too sure about going near the tiger but Julianne showed him that it was o.k. It was the cutest thing. Jackson then went up and gave the tiger a hug.
Me with Jackson and Julianne Julianne does not like to look directly at the camera. EVER. We saw lions but apparently we were there during nap time because every single one was asleep. Julianne waved to the turtle She loves turtles Then we came upon the best exhibit at the zoo. For Julianne anyway. She loves penguins. She knows about every word to Happy Feet by now. This is how happy she was when she saw the penguins This ape or chimp (I get them confused) was taking a snooze as well. Complete with foot up and hand over his face.
This one was posing for the camera. I kid you not. There were a bunch of people standing there and he was posing. He changed his pose after each flash. HILARIOUS! We had a great day with Kristin and Jackson! Thanks for coming all that way to see us! We can't wait to see you again and meet the new addition to your family. Hopefully it won't be years again!


Brittany said...

I think I love the zoo as much or more then my son does! I am facinated!

Kelli said... were around the corner and I missed it (I live pretty close to the zoo). I'm glad you enjoyed. We haven't been to see the polar bears yet and I want to go. I'm glad the rain cleared up for you and you were able to spend some time with your friend.

Gerri said...

Sounds like you guys had a great time. Those kiddos are so cute!

What I Did Today said...

So glad a storm didn't ruin your fun! Love the pic of Julianne on the tiger. So adorable!

septembermom said...

Looks like you all had a great time at the zoo. It's one of our favorite places to go too. Terrific pictures. Love that gorilla's expression :)