Carousels have always confused me. Why is it that there is such happy music playing and general merriment all around, yet the animals all have these vicious, ready-to-pounce-at-any-moment looks on their faces? Don't get it. Maybe everyone is just so darn happy that the animals aren't real.
Right next to the carousel is the stingray exhibit. We splurged and paid to pet the stingrays and sharks. SO cool. Owen had to really warm up to the idea, but once he touched one, he was hooked (as long as there was not a shark in sight...he took his hand out every time he saw a shark nearby). I finally convinced Hazel to touch a stingray, but she would only do it once. I guess she just wanted to be able to say she had done it.
Then we walked by the little "stadium" right as a show was about to start, so we stopped to watch "The Land of Ooz." That's zoo spelled backwards. Slightly more creative than my post title. It was cute. We saw lots of fun animals right up next to us, and Hazel got REALLY into it (I think she thought the wicked witch of the southwest was real....she can't stop talking about it).
In my opinion, the porcupine was the star of the show.
So- by now I'm pretty sure more than and hour had passed and we finally made our way to the animal exhibits (with fresh kettle corn in hand). We saw every. single. animal. And I do mean every single one. But I'm pretty sure this one was my favorite.
Seriously- he was so cute and fat. We were feeding him popcorn and he ate a couple of pieces very slowly (it appeared as though he had quite enough to eat for the day). Then the birds caught on and started swarming down on the popcorn. So our little friend started taking the popcorn from us (I swear he would have eaten out of my hand if Hazel hadn't been squealing) and running them one piece at a time to his special rock and burying them. All around the rock. He picked a new spot for each piece. I couldn't get enough of watching him furiously trying to hide all the popcorn from the birds so he could enjoy it in peace later. So cute.
Here are the rest of the random shots of the day.
Eating ginormous snow cones.
"Monkeying" around outside the baboon exhibit.
Flamingos! Why does everyone (including me) get so excited about the flamingos?
Vicious gorilla we found hiding in the bushes...holding a spork.
Crossing the bridge to the petting zoo (because who doesn't love goats?).
Like manna from heaven.
Owen fell and dropped his snow cone (I felt SO bad for him), but luckily his precious little sister loves to share!
Owen jumping the "creek"
I told Nathan it was the best time I have had with my kids in a long time. I'm sure a lot of their fantastic behavior had to do with the fact that I spoiled them like crazy and let them do everything they wanted on their own little time schedules. And it was so worth it. We were happy and laughing and had five whole hours of fun together. I cherish moments like this, and even though they called me mean an hour after it all ended, I know times like these are helping them make great memories, too!