Monday, September 24, 2012

The MD Zoo in Baltimore

In a weird alternate universe sort of way, we ended up with a Sunday yesterday with no plans, so we trekked off to the zoo. Oli has been fascinated with elephants, so we thought he might like it and I've had a couple of weekend tickets for a few months now. We headed off to the zoo with some vague directions, since they do not have a street number for their address (per their website). After a couple wrong turns, we got there a few minutes after they opened. A word to the wise, that is THE best time to get to the zoo. Not a lot of people and the animals aren't tired yet.

Oliver traveled in style. I haven't used the Ergo in months, thinking he was too heavy for it now. But, when we went to Happy Hollow out in CA, he was in his stroller, and getting him in and out and running after him got tiring real quick.

So, I decided to dust off the trusty (not so) rusty baby carrier and use it on my back. It was AWESOME. I cannot rave about it enough. I carried him for close to 2 hours, I barely felt his weight on me.

And, it worked out so much better for him; he could see into the animal enclosures easily without having to be held up or climbing onto walls/fences. We put him in the stroller close to lunch time and then went to see a couple more animals and trust me, it was better in the Ergo. I had to hold him up or Jeff had to carry him and then he tried to take nosedives into the elephant habitat. You get the idea!

All in all, it was the best outing ever. He had so much fun and we only made it through half of the zoo. so, we'll definitely be going back. Some highlights from yesterday:

  • Polar bear habitat: they have a water and a dry area for the bears and when we got in, there was a bear submerged in the water. All we could see was the hiney and back legs. It scared Oli. We walked to the dry area where he could see the second bear in its entirety and he was better. Those cuddly looking things are HUGE.
  • He learned how to say cheetah (seetah), rhino (whino), giraffe (giwaff) and saw these animals for the first time.
  • He saw his favorite animal for now, the elephant and tried to jump into their enclosure.
  • He saw a camel, which he knows from photos at home, but wasn't willing to ride it. Maybe next time.
  • We also saw antelopes (which he called deer), penguins, lemurs, arctic fox and he was fascinated with all. 
This was him pretty much at every enclosure: 

He also tried a carousel for the third time. He's been afraid of them and the last time he went on one, he grabbed my neck the entire ride and wouldn't let go and kept whimpering. Yesterday, he kept pointing at it and saying "go." So, I took him on it, thinking my neck was going to get an extension massage again, but no the child went from looking unsure in the picture on the left to almost giddy in the picture on the right. At one point, he was shaking the pole saying "go horsey go."

Needless to say, the whole family had fun and we were pooped by the end of it. Somebody took a nap in the car and then refused to sleep at home so by dinnertime, he was looking peeked. And, when I lay him down in bed, he didn't move a muscle! We have a year long family membership to the zoo and we're definitely planning to go a few times next year.