Impromptu Zoo Day!

I woke up this morning and realized a) it’s going to be a gorgeous day and b) it’s the last morning we have free before Luke starts summer school on Monday (which is only 8-10am, but still), so we should go to the zoo (aka the best zoo in all the land)! We have a membership, and I love the freedom that it gives us to just go for as long as everyone’s having a good time. I usually like to plan something like this the night before, because that’s who I am, but I threw together a backpack this morning and we headed out around 9.

We got to see quite a bit today – we did the River’s Edge (elephants, hippos, hyenas, etc), the new Stingray exhibit, the Primate House and the Herpetarium, a ride on the train, plus a few other things like sea lions (my favorite) that you just walk by. The boys are fascinated by the snakes and lizards at the Herpetarium, which makes me feel like I need a shower it’s so icky. But everything’s behind glass, so I can handle it. Something I can’t handle, however, is the big bird cage and the bird house…ew.

Jack Henry did ok; he really wanted to be out of his stroller much more than I let him. But as long as we were moving, he was fine (except when one of the older boys would hover too close to him – he was shoving a lot today). However, there was something impeding our forward motion…

Luke wanted to bring a little notebook into the zoo to write down all of the animals we saw, so that he can journal about it. Which is, hypothetically speaking, adorable. However, in the real world, when there’s one mom and three kids, and your intense, type-A firstborn wants to write down literally every animal you see (including the birds in the parking lot), it’s just not gonna work. I let him write down about the first 6 or 7 things we saw (mind you, he’s asking me how to spell all of these things, too) and then I finally had to take away the notebook about halfway through the River’s Edge, about 30 minutes into our visit, with the promise of stopping every so often and writing them down for him. He really seemed ok with this. And then he continued to pester me about when I was going to write things down so we don’t. forget. any. When we got to the elephants, who were more entertaining than they’ve ever been today, trumpeting and playing, and Luke was still harping on writing things down, I calmly said to him, “You need to chill out and have fun. Can we please just do that?” Which caused a mom and her two teenage daughters standing next to me to give me a dirty look and take my picture as I walked away. Glad to be a part of their day. And I’m sorry if they thought I was being mean; they hadn’t spent the last 45 minutes with us.

After we got through that, our day was so much more fun! We stopped several times and wrote down the animals we’d seen, and Luke was happy with his list. They were all so well-behaved that we didn’t leave until 1:30!

waiting for the stingrays to swim by!  they're safe to touch.

waiting for the stingrays to swim by! they're safe to touch.

it's kind of freaky to touch them - they're really squishy and smooth.

it's kind of freaky to touch them - they're really squishy and smooth.

bennett was pretty cautious, as he usually is in a new situation.  but he did touch them several times!

bennett was pretty cautious, as he usually is in a new situation. but he did touch them several times!

we always take a pic here...notice jack henry's expression.  it gets better as the pictures go along.

we always take a pic here...notice jack henry's expression. it gets better as the pictures go along.

notice the notebook in hand...

notice the notebook in hand...

right after he jumped up on this rock and showed me his muscles, he fell backwards into a bush.  luckily, not hurt.  kind of humorous.

right after he jumped up on this rock and showed me his muscles, he fell backwards into a bush. luckily, not hurt. kind of humorous.

another spot we always take a pic..jh is gettin' MAD.

another spot we always take a pic..jh is gettin' MAD.

and now he's really ticked.

and now he's really ticked.

here are the baby elephants, who were playing and running after each other!  this is the precise moment that i told luke i couldn't take the notebook madness anymore.

here are the baby elephants, who were playing and running after each other! this is the precise moment that i told luke i couldn't take the notebook madness anymore.

isn't this the cutest?

isn't this the cutest?

what st. louisan doesn't have a picture under the famous zoo sign?

what st. louisan doesn't have a picture under the famous zoo sign?

And here’s 15 seconds of Jack Henry kind of acting like a monkey…

10 responses to “Impromptu Zoo Day!

  1. the monkey sounds are SO cute!
    i always make eric take the boys through the bird cages/houses too. i don’t like how they fly overhead – i always feel like i’m going to get pooped on.

  2. How fun! I love the St. Louis zoo.

  3. I love zoo days! Cute pics….

  4. elle & i think the JH video is adorable. she’s begging to watch it for the 4th time!!

  5. Wow–I’m impressed with how long you were there! How cute about Luke & the notebook (although I can imagine the annoyance). I knew even before you mentioned having to spell the words that this would be taking way too long.

    Great day! Cute video of monkey talk!

  6. I heard the story earlier today and I STILL laughed hysterically (especially the birds in the parking lot part). Is that JH’s impression of a monkey-witch? If so, dead on!

  7. oh my gosh – adorable post!!! I love that Luke likes to write the animals down (although I’m at the point where my kids writing anything would totally thrill me and I’m sure it gets old after a while!) The video is AWESOME. So glad you had a good day….single mommy with three kids….that’s always quite an accomplishment!!! (diggin the orange shirts!)

  8. Very cool – we are headed to the zoo either Sunday or Monday and I can’t wait !!!

  9. okay, i am dying at this post!!!!! the list and how annoying it got for you (birds in the parking lot had me rolling!) and then the family that took your picture–hilarious!!!! and then bennett falling backwards. this day would have been a blast for me to come along!!!

    on another note, um, luke is well on his way to becoming valedictorian.

  10. STL has THE BEST zoo!!! I wish ours was as cool!

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