Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

February 22, 2007

Adventure Week: Part 3 – Oakland Zoo

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 3:12 am

Rain Rain, Go Away! Come again some other day!

This is what we sang the entire way over to the Oakland Zoo this morning. A little rain was not going to affect Adventure Week! No WAY! I just put layer, upon layer, upon layer on the kids and we headed out with umbrellas and rain boots. In fact, we were so anxious to prove our point, we were there 5 minutes before the zoo even opened!

blog1a1.jpgThis time I was smart, I didn’t tell the boys where we were going the night before… so they wouldn’t wake up early. Sure enough – they slept in until 8:00 and were in great moods for the trip. Opa decided that he would join us on Adventure Day 3… and so that made it even better! Everyone couldn’t wait to go see the animals. When the boys finally got to go into the zoo, they almost couldn’t contain themselves – and that was just upon seeing the flamingos! Since we had arrived so early, there was practically no one there. Thus, all the animals were out & playing. It was amazing! Justin’s face in this picture pretty much sums up the entire zoo experience.

blog1b2.jpgFor the boys, the most exciting part of the zoo was the apes and the chimps. Often our Darwin friends are sitting on branches as high up as they can go – so as not to be bothered by the visitors. But today, they were right out front. One of the gorillas sat right next to the window and watched Andrew for a while. He was literally 4 feet from us. (Usually they hide since they are so sensitive to noises.) That experience alone made me a huge fan of getting to the zoo early. And the chimps were really putting on a show. They were swinging back blog27.jpgand forth on branches all around us – I almost felt like they were trying to impress us (which they did). Andrew LOVED it when he saw one of them grab a handful of grapes and shove it in his mouth. It was almost like he now felt connected with this crazy furry little animal, because he ate grapes TOO! One chimp just hung on a tree branch, as if he was stretching, right in front of us for at least 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it, usually they don’t seem so friendly and relaxed.

Ironically the animals that came second to the monkeys were the birds. Who would have guessed? But the boys loved them. They would try to imitate their sounds, and thought that it was hilarious the way that they would screeched at one another.

blog34.jpgWe then headed over to the Children’s Area… where they have the little animals (reptiles, otters, turtles, bunnies) and play structures shaped like animals so the kids could climb. They even had animal footprints pressed into the concrete paths where we were walking, and little fake insects on the ground. I didn’t even notice until Justin kept trying to stop walking and touch the ground (of course while yelling, “DAT DAT DAAAAT”). We had a great time climbing on everything we could find. And now that Justin is walking, so did he! I was glad that Opa joined us because I don’t think Justin is going to be a stroller baby anymore. (Note to self: this might affect the rest of my plans for Adventure Week).

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Since there was a petting portion of this zoo – there was no way we were missing that stop. The boys not only got to pet the goats, but they also were given a brush so that they could brush them! (simply fun for the kids? or a clever trick to get visitors to do the work for them? who cares – it was a win win!) At one point Andrew started following around this little black goat trying to give him a hug. Luckily the goat didn’t seem to mind terribly, though Andrew did look up at me and say “Mommy, he said no hugging” as the goat trotted away. Justin, on the other hand, didn’t seem as impressed. I think he thought the goats were a bit peculiar (probably due to their smell) and was justifiably sceptical. His face indicated to me that no amount of goat grooming was going to make these creatures nicer. So we moved on as soon as we could drag the ‘goat hugger’ away from the animals.

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Our next stop was the heavy hitters: Giraffes, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Elephants. You know… the main attraction. Surprisingly, my kids couldn’t have cared less. We pretty much cruised through them in about 15 minutes. In fact, at one point I asked if Andrew wanted to see the Tigers and he said ‘no thank-you’ as he turned away and kept walking. At least he was polite about it. Justin, on the other hand, decided to throw manners out the window as he attempted to taunt the lions by repeating “BOO BOOO BOOOOO” over and over to them. I guess he thought they were boring.

blog9.jpgThat was a clear indication to wrap things up. So we headed to the kiddie rides and took a quick spin on the train. Which then resulted in Andrew insisting upon one ride on the cars, while Justin watched longingly from the sidelines. Both were rewarded for their overall good behaviour by Opa – when he bought them french fries and hot chocolate to go with their peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch.

I was rewarded by the fact that they did not fall asleep in the car ride home. Translation: They will sleep for 2 hours when they get home and I will get a break to do whatever I want.

All in all another perfect day. No rain gear was needed.

Andrew once more summed up the day nicely by saying “that was sooooooo much fun mom. I liked those silly monkeys eating grapes.”

I agree Andrew. I like my silly monkeys too.

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