Friday, February 12, 2016

Conor and Mama's Zoo Date

Our weekends have been a bit hectic over the past few weeks, partially because Eric has been working most Saturdays in preparation of his company adopting a new phone system. This past Saturday, Annika was invited to hit Snoqualmie with two of her classmates to have some snow play time... the kid couldn't have been more excited!!

With Eric and Annika's Saturday filled, I told Conor that he and I could do an activity of his choosing: movie, swimming, aquarium, zoo, Lego cafe, beach, etc. He pondered the possibilities for a few minutes and then decided he wanted to go to the zoo. Because he was the only kiddo going, he was in charge of picking which animals we visited and how long we stayed at each exhibit. We were going to visit the zoo with Tour Guide Conor! Before we left home, printed up a map of the zoo and then Conor took a crayon and circled every animal that he wanted to see. He wound up circling about 3/4 of the zoo's occupants... I had no question I'd be getting plenty of exercise that day!

Conor and I really lucked out in terms of the weather. It was cloudy, but not rainy... cool, but not cold. AND the recent rains left plenty of puddles for splashing and mud for squishing. (Good thing I thought ahead and made sure we wore our rain boots!)

Our zoo excursion started out like all others, with the penguins. These birds never fail to make me smile. There's something about the way they move that I find somewhat comical. I'm not a huge bird person, but I sure do enjoy the penguins.

Immediately after the penguins, we were off to the flamingos. Conor was really impressed that I was able to explain why the flamingos are coral colored (hint: the shrimp that they eat). I was impressed with the flamingos' flexibility!!

We spent A LOT of time at one of the in-zoo play areas; Conor was much more interested in climbing over, in, and through the various habitat-inspired play structures. He especially liked the sub-terrain  area and the rope spider web.

After much playing and a little encouragement about seeing animals while we were at the zoo, we left the Discovery Loop and made our way to see some animals. A few of the animals we'd hoped to see (most of the primates, the tapirs, etc.) weren't visible because they were either inside or because their habitats were under construction. Even with that in mind, we saw a lot of fun critters: komodo dragon, bats, meerkats, tigers, sloath bears, zebras, hippos, and giraffes... just to name a few.

Our kids love, love, love the various animal statues that are around the zoo. We simply cannot pass the statues without the kids climbing all over them. Ever since Annika was old enough to climb, an Olson child has made it a zoo tradition to conquer the statues and this trip was no different.

Because it was  a "Conor is in charge" outing, he decided that we'd have lunch at Red Robin (instead of the zoo ... I wasn't going to complain about that! Have you seen the zoo food prices?? Wow!) So, we called Eric, found out he was just about done with work and hadn't eaten lunch yet, and turned our Conor/Mama date into a Conor/Mama/Daddy lunch date.

Thanks to my sweet little boy for a fun day together; you were a marvelous zoo buddy, Conor!

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