It’s been a hectic, crazy, wonderfully full week.

The bad news is that I had to take a few days off running. On Tuesday night, after a five hour trip to the zoo and  four mile walk with a couple of girlfriends, I started experiencing a horrible pain in my arch. I couldn’t shake it or work it out, so I spent the evening rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle. It felt better on Wednesday, but I was kind of nervous about making it worse, so I opted to rest that day and Thursday.

Which was fine. I had plenty of stuff to do to get ready for little man’s first day of kindergarten, so a little extra sleep in the morning would only help. I will post all about the actual first day on Monday! It was such a wonderful experience all the way around.

In the meantime, we had three days to fill. Camp had ended on Friday, and we needed some things to get us out of the house. We’ve been having some storms this week, so the pool and beach were iffy, so we decided on the zoo and the local museum.

Our zoo is really wonderful. It’s just the right size and the zookeepers and staff are always so friendly and informative. And little man was just so excited to be there. We haven’t been in a while, and we really need to do something about that.

The weather was perfect and it wasn’t at all crowded, because most kids were back in school. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. Little man took control of the map and we headed out to see all the exhibits and enclosures. He loved guiding us and he was so chatty with the zookeepers at the different stations. I loved listening to him ask questions and carry on conversations about the baby jaguar, the giraffes and even the butterflies.

It was also an optimal day for pictures. I haven’t taken my DSLR out in about a month. I’m not sure why, but I miss taking pictures. Our trip to the zoo made me realize just how much.

A baby jaguar was born last month. He’s still too little to come out to see everyone, but the zoo had rigged up a closed circuit TV so we could see him with his mama. See those little glowing spots? Those are his eyes. He was so playful. We were lucky enough to see some of the other babies who were out about: a zebra, a giraffe and a fawn. Precious.

The anteater didn’t seem to be entertaining visitors. I thought this pose was just hysterical.

It’s possible that this squirrel monkey was judging him.

One of my favorite things to do is feed the giraffes. We were lucky to be the only ones on the observation deck, and the zookeeper brought over a sweet young male, who was more than happy to take lettuce from little man’s hand.

From there, we moved on to Butterfly Hollow, which is so stunning, with its landscaping and fairy houses and bottle tree. At first, I was disappointed, because the butterflies seemed to be hiding, but then the sun came out and they were everywhere. I could have snapped photos all day.

We rode the train two or three times, took a spin on the carousel, checked out the gorillas and alligators, and enjoyed lunch. We learned about how eating a butterfly could upset your stomach and that black jaguars do have spotted skin, but you can’t really see the spots unless you’re looking closely in bright light.

And this.

Because my first thought was, indeed “OMG! IT’S DEAD!!!!”

It was honestly one of the best, most relaxing days. We had such a great time and it was the perfect break before we got into the back-to-school rush.

What’s your favorite thing to see or do at the zoo?

What’s the most fun thing you’ve done lately?

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7 Responses to zoo-tastic

  1. I love the zoo! Especially the polar bears and penguins. I can’t believe that school is starting already. Enjoy the first days of kindergarten! With my Bday approaching, I can’t help but think about my 5th Bday, which was my first day of kindergarten. Somewhere on the blog are pictures from that day : )
    Luv What You Do recently posted…Soup for Sick DaysMy Profile

  2. Great post! You’ve given me an idea of something to do with my 15 y/o next Friday when he’s off from school. He started on 8/6. I think this would be a great way to spend some quality time!

    Oh, and my favorites are the lions. 😀
    Yokasta Schneider recently posted…unfoneltblultMy Profile

  3. The zoo is one of life’s simplest, greatest pleasures!

    Good luck to your son on his first day, how exciting!!! (And good luck to mom and dad too :))
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    • runswithpugs says:

      Seriously love the zoo so much.

      He had a great first day. When I asked him, this morning, what his favorite part of the week was, he said “staring Kindergarten.” Swoon.

  4. We haven’t been to the National Zoo since the boys were little, but when we went, we always loved the monkey house! And the pandas!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Feral Cat AlleyMy Profile

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