I think I was the only one in my family who was shivering when we went to the zoo on Saturday. At least I wasn’t wearing shorts, unlike some people we saw there! But I did misjudge my body’s ability to stay warm with temperatures in the mid-50s and humidity at 100 percent (I wore a t-shirt under my hoodie). It was drizzling when we arrived and “misted” on and off throughout the day. As long as there was no breeze blowing, I was okay.
I think the warm butterfly house was my favorite!
We didn’t tell Violet where we were going until we got there. She actually seemed kind of unimpressed at first, but as we walked up to the gates, her excitement level went through the roof. Violet didn’t want to have to stop just past the turnstiles so we coffee-drinkers could use the restrooms. She also resented our desire to linger at the displays and read the signage telling us about the various species.
Violet was on a constant mission to find the next animal. She was just so cute that I didn’t mind her insistence that we keep moving. Besides, it helped me to stay warm!
We all noticed a change in the zoo experience from last year. Last year, the part Violet enjoyed the most was being able to
walk run on her own throughout the park, with Mommy and Daddy following closely behind. The animals took a backseat. This year, looking at the animals was top-priority. It was so much fun showing her all the different kinds of creatures.
Here she is in a staring contest with the Chinese Alligator. The alligator won.
Violet’s absolute favorite part of the zoo was the Night Hunters exhibit. She liked it so much that an hour after we had seen it, she started requesting we go again. It took me a while to figure out what she meant. She kept saying she wanted to “go hunt for animals.” When she added “in the dark,” I connected the dots.
When we walked through Night Hunters the first time, most of the animals were curled up asleep. The second time, Mom and I waited outside while Dave took Violet in. Upon exiting, Dave shook his head and informed us that now all the animals were wide awake and active. Figures!
Violet is perhaps the most photographed little girl ever.
I must say, the gorilla looked pissed off. I was waving at it — just being silly — and I turned to Dave and quietly told him that I half-expected the gorilla to flip me the bird. He looked like he wanted to.
Of course, any trip to the zoo is not complete until I’ve photographed some flora. Mom informed me this beautiful flower is called Columbine.
The carousel was a highlight of our trip to the Louisville Zoo last year. My photos this year leave much to be desired, but at least Violet enjoyed herself.
Oh yeah. And Mom. I have several pictures of Mom with this huge grin on her face, riding her wolf.
I picked out what I was going to ride — the hummingbird — but I never got my turn. *insert big sigh here* Oh well. There’s always next time.
We were in a hurry to get over to the 4D theater before all the seats filled up.
That was a joke. There were about 8 people in the theater.
This was Violet’s first time in any kind of movie theater, much less a 4D movie theater. The movie was a Road Runner / Wiley Coyote cartoon. I made the mistake of telling her fifteen minutes before the movie time that it was going to be loud; she spent the next fifteen minutes with her hands over her ears. To be honest, I expected one of us would have to leave the theater with Violet halfway through the movie, but she did great. I sat beside her with my hand gripping her leg the entire time, because she was visibly nervous. Her hands were plastered over the lower half of her face and they remained that way throughout the movie. Once, she started to cry, but recovered nicely.
I don’t think she appreciated being sprayed in the face with stagnant water, though. Neither did I.
I love all the bronze animal statues they have around the park. Violet was a little apprehensive of the alligator with the gaping mouth. It probably didn’t help that I pretended it bit me.
I don’t know how many peacocks there are at the Cincinnati Zoo, but we were hearing them all day long. It sounded just like Kevin from the Pixar movie Up. I even saw him on top of a building a couple of times. I would have given him some chocolate if I had any. Just kidding.
The sea lions always look so soft. I think I’d like to have one for a pet.
Another statue. Violet liked the baby gorilla. This one didn’t look angry.
It was the end of the day and we were all tired, but we had to backtrack to see the elephants and giraffes. There was just no way we could leave without seeing these favorites.
The elephants were doing their best to make me take a picture of their butts, but I persevered and got a decent picture. Any photo with my two favorite people in it is bound to be a good one.
The giraffes are, hands down, my favorite zoo animal. One of these days I will plan ahead and be there in line to feed one.
We were pretty well exhausted when we finally trudged to the car. The cold and wet had soaked into my bones and I just wanted to curl up in my warm bed.
The day was a good one, despite the weather. We avoided the crowds that surely would have been there if we had gone on a warm, sunny day. Best of all, Violet had a great time. I would do just about anything to put a smile on that girl’s face.
When was the last time you spent a day at the zoo? What is your favorite animal?