This time we went with my mom to the Zoo. Since the kids go at entirely different paces (Zora wants to run from thing to thing, and was most interested in going to the playground, and Zane likes to linger and read the plaques and watch the animals) we split up. Zach and I went with Zane, Oma went with Zora.
For Zane, it was “Map Day”. He has always loved maps, but today he got to indulge his interest and we pointed out the street signs and how those coordinate with the map. I think he loves the Zoo as much for the entwining paths as the animals. He wanted to follow the map to the boat dock first. It ended up still being closed for the season, unfortunately, but we told him that we would come back during the summer when it was open.
The grizzly bears were out and active, so we stopped and watched them for a while on our way to the Jungle/Rainforest building. Zane later said that was his favorite part of the zoo that day. The bears even did a little playing/roughhousing for a while, including growling at each other and running. It was very cool.
We let him direct where to go, and here he is confirming the map route with the signs.
Instead of racing through the jungle like we do when Zora is there, we got to linger a lot more. Zane read the signs, matched the birds sitting around (they are a lot more “out” when it isn’t busy…on paths, on the benches) with their names, and watched the bats flying around (a zookeeper or maintenance person was messing with one of the major branches in the giant solarium that we have seen them on before, so they were swooping all over the place). He also loved the part of the path that goes under the pond water and lets you see the fish. We stood in that tunnel watching fish for quite a while.
After we finished up, Zane suddenly was interested in finding Zora again. We assumed she was at the playground and decided which path to take to get there (we went on the slightly longer path through the “North American Prairie” and gradually made our way back to the playground area.
It is a good thing we took the longer path because Zora had taken my mom to the opposite side of the Zoo to the Children’s farms and while watching the tigers a bit, near the playground, I suddenly heard Zora’s voice coming from the “wrong” direction as they were heading back to the playground. Zane was excited to find Zora and Grandma.
We headed back to the playground, both kids played for a while and I dug out the snacks and drinks and we hung out for a while before leaving to head back across town for the traditional “ice cream with Grandma” and then swimming lessons.
Zora also had a lot of fun. Here is a quote from my mom’s comments:
When I took Zora and you took Zane at the Zoo the next week, she was very…VERY clear to leave the geese alone!!! And that is bamboo, and there are the penguins, etc, etc, but mostly, “Where is the playground???” We found it and she enjoyed playing there. When the tram came by, she wanted to go on that, so we sprinted to the next stop and got on. I don’t know if she was expecting a more exciting ride, but she could hardly wait to get off at the next stop. Then she wanted to go to the American farmyard. We did that, where she told me all the animals, and informed me that those (goats)were sheep, because goats lived in the forest. Next we went to the African farmyard. As we approached it, she saw one of the zoo employees w/ a lawn rake, raking the farm grounds. Zora came to a dead stop, looked at him and proclaimed, “LOOK, Oma, It’s NEW McDonald!!!” It was such a fun day!