Friday, May 27, 2016

Detour on the Way Home

Since we finished school earlier than usual, I've had a mental list of places I wanted to go before traditional schools are out for the summer. One of those places was the National Zoo. Coming home from WV was the perfect chance for us to make that stop, but the weather was so incredibly rainy. Sunday night it was forecasted to rain all day Monday and I was bummed. But Monday morning it was sunny and there was only a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Jeremy hates to break my heart so he relented and we told the children we were going to the zoo!

We didn't try to hit every exhibit and we didn't hold ourselves to any particular time frame. If I had made a day trip to the zoo, I would have felt like I needed to spend a certain amount of time there and see everything and probably buy at least a snack. By including it as a detour, we ate our packed lunch and didn't spend a penny in the zoo. (The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge, but $22 for all day parking.)

The habitats at the National Zoo are HUGE. There are so many different places where the animals could be. The trick is to find where the animals are in the loop! It wasn't that we saw that many animals, but the animals we did see were active and memorable.
Isaiah just spotted the elephant!

Aliza has claimed the panda as her favorite animal in the last year or so. We spent a long time watching the Giant Panda eat bamboo. There was another panda in the observation house that was walking around so she got to see a panda up close.

It's pretty fun to almost be at a stage in family life again where we can have some adventures and actually enjoy them. This particular adventure was from 12:30 to about 3:30--during Isaiah's normal nap time. He held up really well. No meltdowns.

Insinde the gorilla observation house was the first place we let Isaiah walk around. He was super glad to be free of the stroller and he pretty much ran as fast as he could. He was not the least bit frightened by the gorillas. He had his face right up against the glass. In the picture below if the glass wasn't there I would have been able to touch the gorilla.
When we got to this exhibit the zookeeper was working with the seals, but Anna had to use the bathroom and we started feeling drops of rain. A sign told us that bathroom were a 3 minute walk in either direction. We picked a direction and walked fast!
 When we came out of the bathroom it was pouring rain. I was super thankful to be sitting on a bench under a roof. It would have been a very long 3 hour drive home in wet clothes!
Now if you know my children you probably know that they are terrified of thunder and lightening. You can only imagine what happened when we were sitting OUTSIDE during a downpour that included thunder and lightening. Actually it was less drama than I thought possible. Aliza was talking the whole time. Anna was on my lap. Isaiah was sitting calmly on the bench beside the bench that the rest of the family was crammed on. And all of a sudden I look for Josiah and he is crouched down between the back of the bench and the concrete wall of the bathroom building. He figured that was the safest place from the lightening. Epic. Jeremy and I used our time wisely and took selfies.
We waited out the storm (10 minutes or so) and by that time everyone was tired and done so we made a straight shot to the car. This little family adventure made me so very happy.

No comments: