"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity,
it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
~ Agatha Christie

Alex, Cole and Braden - At 2 years, 2 months

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Goin' to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...."

Thanks, Papa, for sticking that stinkin' song in my head!

I am going to be skipping around a bit for a while, since there are so many back posts to be made...so "bear" with me! ;)

This one's about the Zoo... We have a season pass this year, and we have gone a few times already...but this time we went with Papa. A day so hot, you might forget it was September! Hurricane Ike was pushing some super hot weather our usually cool way and it was hot and humid. I think it topped out around 90, and for Buffalo, in September..that's hot.

So, we decided to be outside all day with three toddlers, skip nap time and regular routine, forget hats and sunglasses and head out, carefree, to the zoo with Mike's dad. It was very cool of him to come with us, since we had been previously unable to enjoy a few attractions due to the sheer size of our stroller. One adult to one baby is always a good ratio for us!

The kids were dressed skimpily and slathered with sunscreen...we have sun/rain canopies on each seat, but they kept pulling the one in front of them down, so we took them off for a while. I was suffering from Mother's Guilt, not feeling like they were protected enough...and wouldn't you know it, passing by an ancient crabby couple, I heard in a crackly voice..."those kids should have hats on!"...said loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to be telling us directly. I almost asked them if we could borrow their stupid looking visors for the kids if they were THAT worried about their welfare. But I'm not that mean. Well, not out loud anyway.

Upon entering the exhibit, there was an educational science section you could walk through to get to the actual rainforest. If we would have stopped, we would have "learned" what we were getting into.

There was a lady posted at the door to specifically prohibit strollers from entering. Like we all didn't get the hint from the stroller "parking lot" right outside. Hmmm. Boy, was she was crabby! She was yelling at everyone who even thought about bringing a stroller inside. Well, with the heat, it must have been the emotion of the day. No wonder us Buffalonians are normally so nice - it's not often (and not for long) hot and sticky here - so no reason to have a short temper. The cold makes you want to cuddle and be cozy, stay together for body warmth. One point for Buffalo!

Passing by the crabby lady with the mean face, we were surprised at how stuffy it was in that front room. No air conditioning? Hmmm. We walked through the glass doors to enter the new "Rainforest Falls", with all its grandeur and hype. It sounds so refreshing, doesn't it?

It wasn't.

What I didn't think about was that this is supposed to be a re-creation of a rainforest ecosystem for animals that would normally live there. Basically a hot and steamy jungle in a great big greenhouse, full of an incredible amount of people all there for the first time, on a hot and sunny day. It was "pass-out" kind of hot in there. Dangerous! And holding a squirmy 30 pound toddler that just wanted to get down and explore made it seem too much like exercise. We had sweat beading off our foreheads and down our backs. I was glad I was wearing black - the better to hide the sweat on my tummy! We were soaked. We flew through it, admiring the new place - it was very nice...but maybe we'll check out and stay longer next time. We couldn't believe we were hurrying to get back outside! It was that uncomfortable. Walking back out past crabby lady, we sighed relief to feel the cooler breeze. It must have been over 100 degrees in there...quite stifling with no air moving through...so it felt great outside! Pretty, but a bad choice that day. In the middle of our famous winter, it would be a nice and warm place to visit...only then I would give that "one point" back to the rainforest!

Cole about to jump into the river... there was a little alligator right below him - I'm not kidding.

I told you we were miserable!

Papa and B-Man

Cole was so hot, but he was adorable!

Next, we headed for the Bird Aviary. Another exhibit prohibiting strollers...so something else we have been wanting to see! Very cool - It's called "Lorikeet Landing", and features uber-colorful birds vying for the coveted cup of paid food (I think it was nectar) people were holding up for them to sample. This allowed for a very close up look at some pretty amazing birdies. Though, we didn't stay long...the kids were like lead weights and we needed a drink!

My favorite picture of the day, possibly ever.

After lunch, we checked out the elephants, who were back after a long stay in another zoo while their home received a much-needed upgrade. We also saw the giraffes and the rhinos for the first time this trip. As always, the bears are my personal favorites and we lingered there a while as well.


I love these guys...Mike usually has to pull me away...

The polar bear was doing laps! This part was his backstroke... So cute!

Rhino! Literally laying on what he was eating. Kinda gross.

The kids are just starting to get into it and we are looking forward to next year when they ask us to go! Right now, it's just another way to get out of the house, and they seem to enjoy the animals a bit. I think they liked the Rainforest exhibit the most, since they were out of the stroller and could actually see the animals! I got down to their level walking by a few areas and realized that they could not see a thing. Bad design, I guess! I thought the zoo was made for kids? I'll put that in their comment box and see what happens... Do they even have one? :P

I do have a few pics of their first trip here, but another day, another post...

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