We, of course, saw animals - giraffes, rhino, zebras, and hippos. Zoe's favorite was the "poo" (polar) bears. But what made this trip a standout was all the rides the kids got to try. They revisited old favorites like the carousel and the train.
Oh. My bad.
For the first time, Leo was brave enough to go on the camel ride. This is a big deal - and he had a blast. When I asked Zoe if she wanted to ride the camel she said, "No ride camel. Scary me." So I sent Leo up alone (well, with his friend). And as soon as Leo was mounted on the camel Zoe began crying, "I do camel! I do camel!" and was so very sad that she didn't get to join him.
Easy fix, right? She can ride the pony with Leo. No problem. Well, after being excited to ride and waiting in line...as soon as she got on the pony she was terrified. So the workers brought her back - but she did ride for about three steps. Poor thing. She was comforted when Leo told her that he was too scared to ride the animals when he was her age.
And of course ice cream didn't hurt either.
There were a couple of Leo meltdowns that culminated in a rough patch towards the end of the outing - but we managed to move past it and rounded out the day with a bit of tree climbing.
I often walk home from the zoo because the kids are so worn out from the day that it's a guaranteed nap - and once again...they were out before I made it to the end of the block. This allowed me to stop at Starbucks for an iced coffee and sit on a bench in the shade in peace for a while. How freaking perfect was this day?
Oh, I almost neglected to mention the best part:
When we first arrived at the zoo I asked the kids which animal they most wanted to see. Zoe said giraffe and Leo said okapi. I assumed he was being silly, so I asked him what an okapi looked like. He said it was like a giraffe...but not a giraffe. Now I was convince he was pulling my chain, so I said, "Oh, ok, we'll be sure to check out the okapis." When we got to the giraffes, I said, "There you go...say hi to the okapis." And Leo said, "No, those aren't right...they should look more like zebras." I chuckled and nodded. Oh this silly kid of mine.
Later, when we were telling jb all about our zoo adventures, I mentioned Leo's 'joke' about the fantastical animal he invented. That's when they brought me a book with this in it:
Oh. My bad.