"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Denver Zoo

 My daughter's flight was on Friday, so on Saturday we loaded up the crew and headed to the zoo.  The first order of business was to apply sunscreen liberally - spf 60 - and we were still a little red in places.  Then the nine year old signed Bert the Hippo's birthday card.  Bert is 57 - the second oldest hippo living in US Zoos.  Bert wasn't in much of a visiting mood.  We saw his backside but that was it.

 It was crazy how close the kids could get to the animals - thankfully mostly through glass, as was the case with the viper...

And the boa.  We saw him curled up right by the glass, then saw this picture of one eating a gazelle...

Like this one.

The boys liked the zoo - especially before it got overly hot and we were all tired.

We got to watch a special program that featured a bunch of different types of birds.

They were all trained to go to certain spots, including several who flew out and landed on perches over the audiences.

 My sister and her husband rented a jeep to drive their daughter around in.  It was a two-seater so my boys took turns riding with her.  I had my double stroller too (the red one in the background).


Even the nine year old took a turn with his uncle Mario Andretti manning the engine.  It was a pretty wild ride.  (You really ought to see Mario driving those race car carts at Home Depot.  When he takes my boys, I make a point of going the other direction and pretending like I don't have children - ha).

The zoo had a bird building that was like a rain forest.  We were out in the open with the birds, which was pretty cool.

The four year old especially liked it.

Can you see what they're looking at.  They could have touched the bird if they had tried.

It was a very pretty bird too, with a bright red mohawk.

At first I thought this was a toucan, but it is actually called a hornbill I think.  It's a huge bird.

 They also had peacocks there.  We never got to see one open it's fan though.  Toward the end of the day we saw some peacocks loose on the grounds too.  Pretty cool.

Can you sleep standing on one foot, with your head turned completely backwards resting on your back?  Yeah. I thought not.  I can't for the life of me see how this could be comfortable ... or how they could keep from tipping over.

 See the baby birds in this nest?  We got to watch the mama feeding them.  Pretty cool.

I thought this was a pretty one.

The zoo had a carousel too, so we took turns watching the strollers and rode it.  My niece didn't stay on her animal very long.

See the cheetah in the middle behind the row of polar bears? That's my nine year old.

My brother-in-law convinced my niece to ride with him at the end.  See the animal they are on?  It's called an okapi.  It's back legs are like a zebra, the middle is a rich red brown, the head is giraffe-like with the bumps and a long neck and the front legs have other strange stripes.  It was my favorite animal at the zoo.

 Here's a picture of the real thing.  I wish he would have turned sideways too.

Anyway, after the nine year old and his uncle and cousin rode the carousel, it was my turn to attempt it with the two little boys.  The four year old was panicking so bad he scared the two year old so that he wouldn't stay on his animal either.  I had chosen a stationary animal for the four year old but he wouldn't even sit on it when it wasn't moving.

 We did much better when we sat on the bench.  That's why I chose the animals I did - so we could easily move to the bench.


When we got off the carousel the four year old told me "I'm going to ride the train instead.  It will be safer."

 The two year old started out on the seat with the nine year old but crawled back to me (in the seat behind them) before the train even started moving.

Second row is my sister's family :)

The pace of this ride was much more to the liking of my four year old.

And it turned out that the four year old was correct. It was a safer (and much slower) ride.  At one point, several of the men, including the engineer, had to keep getting off the train and pushing.

And here's what we had for lunch. FUN.  We found a food truck inside the zoo and had burger sliders.

The cone part is full of tater tots and the burgers had an option for "style."  The boys chose "Plain Jane" - which was just pickles and ketchup and mustard.  I ordered "The Jam" which had bacon onion jam and blue cheese.  It was excellent. :)

After lunch we headed off to find the monkeys.  These fun birds were on "Monkey Island."  I forget what they're called.

 And then we found my four year old's favorite animal ever.  He's pretty sure he is a monkey.  He is always telling me "I look like a monkey."

The two year old was pretty excited about the bears.  That was probably his favorite thing.  That and the giant snakes he could get inches away from.

 The people who had been "visiting" these monkeys before we got there should have been kicked out of the zoo.  They were beating on the glass and screaming/growling at the monkeys and had them all riled up.  Unfortunately monkey see, monkey do, and we had to work to get the four year old to quit hitting the glass.

He LOVES monkeys and thought they loved him back because they were "talking" to him.

It was really fun to see him seeing real monkeys for the first time ever.  He has several stuffed animal monkeys and is always pretending to be one.

There were beautiful flowers all around the zoo.  This one was the size of a small dinner plate.

 There were a lot of fun things for the kids to do.  This was in the monkey area.  This is our whole crew of little people.

 These were the hugest camels I have ever seen.  Must be a different kind than they usually take around to circuses and fairs.  They were enormous.

By afternoon it was SO hot we thought we might die.  Okay, maybe not die, but everyone was completely exhausted and overheated.

 The water fountains were few and far between.  They really wanted you to buy from their ridiculously overpriced concessions.

 When we did find one, we drenched the boys heads and refilled our cups.

 Our two year old decided it was safer to dip his hand into the water stream, then lick his fingers and repeat the process.  It was pretty cute.

So after everyone thought they were too exhausted to continue, we rushed through the rest of the zoo, taking the long route so we could go by the elephants and giraffes, then we headed for the air conditioned vehicle.

 Pretty much everyone in the back of the Excursion crashed right away.




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