Friday, September 9, 2011


Leo playing with the "big gato"

We had a magical trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo with my mom and sisters.  In the past my experiences with zoos have been hit or miss - either the animals aren't out/active, or the habitats seem inadequate and just make me sad, or it's too hot...  But this time it was as though the stars aligned.  The weather was perfect, the improvements they've made over the last couple years are fantastic, and at each exhibit the animals walked right up to us - really.

Leo got pretty up close and personal with tigers, leopards, gorillas, sharks, giraffes and elephants.  I don't want to get too hokey - but seriously, it's as though Leo had some kind of energy that attracted the animals.  If they were hidden or in a far corner when we'd walk up to an exhibit they would inevitably make their way over to the glass/gate/water so that Leo could get a good look at them.  It was awesome - even when the tiger suddenly tried to playfully pounce on Leo through the glass (see those muddy paw marks!).

Leo loved it.  He was enthralled and would shout "more! more!" as we left each exhibit and would try to run back to the last exhibit if we put him on the ground - until the next animal captured his attention again.  Of course, I don't think he grasped just how cool it really is to see a giraffe or elephant in person because he was just as excited about the ducks and chipmunks as the exotic species.  I'd be trying to get him to watch the giraffe eating leaves from the tree as he was excitedly yelling, "duck! duck!" 

What a cute hat, right?

I love the look on his face reflected in the glass!

Picking the tortuga's nose

There's that adorable hat again!

We were lucky enough to catch feeding time in the elephant house

 By the end of the day he was exhausted but happy.  The only two disappointments were that we didn't get to see the polar bears and that at the sea lion exhibit Leo decided he'd had enough of his sunhat and threw it over the railing.  Aunt Fanny made a valiant effort to save it, but it landed on a ledge just out of reach - so that's the end of that hat.

Farewell Hat

It was swell knowing you

To round out the day Leo enjoyed some pad-see-ew at Thai Cuisine and then fell asleep as his head hit the pillow when we got home.  Awesome day. 


  1. When I opened the blog, I was all: OMG LEO NOOOooooo <--- Which is me yelling like I'm in a tunnel. Somehow when I'm terrified that Leo may lose a hand or a head due to Tiger, it sounds like my scream gets farther away. Even when I'm typing.

    Then I realized there was glass and it was the zoo.

    A tip off might have been "zoo" in Zoobilee, but the devil is in the details, so I try not to look at those.

    Happy to know that a fun time was had by all; that Leo didn't lose his head -- even if he lost his hat.

  2. what an awesome day!! the excitement was contagious!

  3. Oh that first picture is just priceless! Love it :)

  4. That is an AMAZING photo of Leo with that lion. They definitely had chemistry!!

  5. Damn. That's a tiger isn't it? I never get it right. That FIRST photo on top. Yeah, that one.