Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summertime Blowout

I wanted to do something really fun with the girls on Solana's last day of summer break. Between Mexico and now Solana was kept very busy with camps and I was always very busy driving her around but I didn't feel like we had done anything really cool together since Mexico. I decided to take the girls to the zoo. It could be a fun end-of-summer activity plus a fun birthday activity for Chloe.

Unfortunately, the day started out a little more slowly than expected. I hadn't expected to clean up poop from around the whole room, bathe Chloe, strip the crib, or do laundry. After her bath Solana and I presented Chloe with a banana bread breakfast equipped with two candles and sang to her. She wasn't so sure about the candles but picked up the entire banana bread and dug in as soon as we finished singing. It was a mini loaf but it was still pretty hilarious.

We left about an hour after I'd hoped so we decided to try out the Cincinnatti Zoo. It's about 20 miles closer than the Columbus Zoo, which we're familiar with. We got there and I saw that children under two were free. Hmmm. Moral dilemma. I decided that, since Chloe was born at 10:30pm that she technically wasn't two quite yet. I didn't pay for her. Judge me if you will.

We had a lovely time at the zoo. Chloe ended up skipping her nap but did great. I packed PB&J sandwiches, Cheetos, cherry tomatoes, and juice boxes for lunch. Chloe also had fruit puree. We sat on a shady bench and enjoyed a nice lunch together. Going alone with the girls turned out to be really nice. I tried to hurry Solana along a bit so that we could see all that she wanted but didn't feel too much pressure so she got to enjoy herself thoroughly.

One of the highlights was in the rain forest area. There was a little bird wandering around on the ground - maybe a little smaller than a chicken. I have no idea what it was but Chloe saw it and ran up to it. I grabbed her just before she got to it and was shocked that it didn't run away. We watched it for a while and followed it from a distance (I didn't want to frighten it). Then it came up to us and was checking us out. As I knelt to hold Chloe and keep her close it came up and pecked at the bottom of my shoe! I stood and scooped up Chloe and it started following...then chasing me! Solana was cracking up. I was kind of getting nervous. It got more brazen the more I backed away. It was pecking on my shoe and ankle and then flapping it's wings so that they hit my calves. I didn't want to kick it but I didn't want it to peck me anymore. I didn't know what to do and I didn't want to step on it so I think I pretty much ran away from it with Chloe in my arms. I probably said something like, "Solana, let's go and get out of here!" Hahaha!

When I finally decided it was time to leave we started heading toward the exit, I thought. 30 minutes later I realized we were actually headed to the far end of the zoo so we turned around and made our way back. Of course, we stopped several times along the way. When we got to the exit (an hour after I decided to leave) Solana remembered her sunglasses were at the play area so we went back in. Another 30 minutes later we were finally leaving. We left home at 10am and didn't get back until 5pm. What a day. The girls did great and loved it. I don't know how many of the animals Chloe actually saw but she seemed to enjoy people-watching and being out and about. She also enjoyed the playground. Other than that she was fairly content to sit in the wagon. We even stopped for a soft pretzel toward the end of the visit and Solana sat in the wagon with her which was very very cool. I had to make Solana get out after a while, though. I'm not as strong as I look and 70 pounds of little girl is a bit much for me to pull uphill :-)

I loved my time at the zoo with the girls yesterday. I think I'd like to get a season pass next year. We had a lovely time and I hope Solana remembers it as fondly as I will in the future.

I'm not used to being out and about on adventures like this without Dave so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked.

Arriving at the zoo. Chloe's ready for a ride in the wagon!
Solana's brushing the goats. I had to drag her out of there. Why won't she brush our dogs or cats like that?

Feeding the goats. They had one of those candy dispensers that you feed a quarter to and it'll give you a handful of food. We put the food in our cherry tomato container and she even fed them the leftover stems from our tomatoes. Talk about recycling!

At the playground. Chloe is a turtle!

Hey Nana! What are you doing in there?
At the playground. Solana is a turtle!

This little penguin was very interested in Solana. Or was he just waiting for her to drop some food?

Petting the iguana.

Posing with the bamboo. Solana really really likes bamboo. I'm not exactly sure why but she talks about it a lot. And she found a piece on the playground one time. So strange. And exciting! It occurred to me last night that I did a book report on bamboo in sixth grade. Why did I choose bamboo? I have no idea. I guess I also had the same fascination...


Melissa said...

Aww, they are so cute. And the bird story cracked me up. We love the Zoo (though Daphne refuses to go near the gorillas). We have a membership and it's totally worth it. It pays for itself time and time again. I don't feel pressured to see and do too much if we only have a couple of hours. When Lucy was little and I worked part time, I used to take her, have a picnic, see one exhibit, and go home.

carol anne said...

We love the zoo!
Passes are the best -- you never need to rush through.
We will even go if we just have an hour to kill.


Holbergs said...

I wish Dave had been there! I would LOVE to see pics of you running from a little bird! Ha!

Fun day!

Megan B ♥ said...

What a fun trip! And don't you know, they do free tickets to children ages "under two.... ADJUSTED" ;) Ha ha ha! You still totally have a few months, LOL!