We have spent a lot of time at the Zoo this summer. It is pretty close to our house, everyone we know has a pass, and it is a great place for the kids to run around - and you might even see some animals while you are there! I put together some of my favorite zoo pics from the last month for this post.
This is one of Oliver's new favorite spots. There is a little island where the pelicans, storks, and cranes live. He loves to look at the "Big Birdies", and it takes quite a bit of coaxing to get him to go see anything else!
There is a fun water playground that the kids love to play at. It was not a particularly hot day, as you can see from the sweatshirt (once again, this has been the hottest and coldest summer I have ever experienced in my life!), so I was following the kids around trying to keep them from walking or sitting in the water!
Elora playing at the water playground with a stick. She finds sticks wherever we go and insists on carrying them around with her. She is also wearing her "zoo shirt". It has zebras on it, and she tries to wear it every time we come to the zoo because she thinks the zebras will like it. So cute.
And the ever popular Ford Tractor ride! I didn't actually put money in it, but Ollie was still in heaven because he got to ride a tractor. Funny kid. Apparently the move back to rural Utah will not be such a culture shock after all!
There is this huge elephant that the kids love to climb. I think I have tried to get a picture of both the kids at the top every time I come to the zoo, but this is probably the best one to date... Elora being cute, and if you look close you can tell that Oliver is there too.
The last time we went to the zoo we saw the lemurs. I have never seen them here before, I wonder if this is a new exhibit. There are about ten of them and they kept running along this log. The kids loved in and stayed to watch for a long time. But the best part was the school class that was also there looking at the lemurs suddenly started singing (twenty kids all together), "I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it!" How funny that the kids over here in Austria also know and love that movie...
There was a baby elephant born just a few weeks ago. We have tried to see it before with no luck, but today I saw huge crowds with cameras perched up on the hill and decided to rush over there... and success! There is the sweet baby elephant. The kids were very excited to see it. The mama is very protective though, and mostly kept the baby underneath her so that people couldn't see it. When the baby tried to run out on its own, the mama made a loud noise in protest!
We tried to see the owls, and most of them were hiding... but then I noticed this little owl head poking out. I told Elora I thought it was asleep and she said, "No! Its eyes are open!" I took a pic, and she is definately right, the eyes are open and look sort of evil with the reflection from my camera flash... creepy owl... Funny side note: In German this type of owl is called an Uhu. I love that, it sounds like the noise an owl makes (instead of hoo hoo, it is uuu huu).
There is a spot with big beehives outside, and this little glass case inside with bees inside. Oliver absolutely adores bees, and Elora was so pleased to show it to him.
We met our friends up by the farmhouse section of the zoo, and found this awesome slice of a tree. We were told that this tree was growing near the Schonbrunn palace, but had to be cut down a couple years ago because the center was rotting out. It is huge! Think how long that tree must have been there!
I somehow don't have any pics of the kids playing with their friend Luke, which is funny because the kids all sat around playing with dirt, rocks, and sticks for about two hours. We never even got around to seeing any animals because the kids were so happy with the sticks. But here is Oliver trying to make baby Audrey happy. So cute. Oliver loves babies, and he was so excited to make her smile.
There is also a brand new baby panda, but they are not letting the public see it yet. It was just born this week. The panda house is closed, but luckily one of the pandas was outside today. Elora was so disappointed when she found out she could not go see the new baby that I was happy she got to at least see a big panda bear.
We went to the zoo another day this week (spoiled kids, I know) but it was very special because Daddy came with us. He did not buy a zoo pass this year, so usually I go with friends. We stopped by the big fountain to watch the ducks while waiting for some friends to join us. Ollie loves ducks, here he is telling me all about them.
Our friends couldn't meet up with us, so we headed inside and ran into a pack of turkeys. I have never seen turkeys running around the zoo, and the kids were way excited. There was a mother and her babies. Here is Ollie pointing with his stick just before he started following the turkeys around. It was fun to watch them because sometimes to mom would turn and the babies would keep walking. She would squawk at them really loud and then all the babies would start cheeping and turning around trying to figure out where mommy had gone. It is kind of like how I feel when I am herding the kids around the zoo...
We walked up a path we have never ventured on before, and discovered a new play area. The big hit of the day was the rock climbing wall. Oliver loved it! So glad daddy came today, I am pretty sure pregnant mama could not have helped the kids climb so high.
Here is mommy and Oliver hanging out on the wooden lizard instead. I love all the animal carvings that are around the zoo, and usually the kids like them better than even the real animals...
Elora had a hard time at first and gave up, but she came back later and conquered the rock wall! She looks so proud of herself.
One of Elora's favorite spots is the cave where live bats can fly all around you. I have to expend a great amount of self control to not squeal when one brushes my hair. Here you can see an actual bat off to the right. There are tons of them in there! Very cool, but also creepy.
When you enter and leave the cave you have to go through hanging vinyl curtains that are meant to keep the bats in. But the bats love to hang out here and fly around your head as you enter and leave. So here I am ducking to avoid the bats and check out the bat flying above me! If you look on the ceiling you can see a whole bunch more...
We also discovered a spot where you can pet goats! Totally a hit with the kids. I am excited to have found so many fun new spots at the zoo this week.
Oliver was so pleased to get close to the goats. He told me that he was going to touch them soft, and even gave one a soft hug. He is such a sweet little boy.
We went to the playground for a little while, but I am pretty sure that is where everyone else at the zoo was too! So after some gentle persuasion, we convinced the kids to head off to see more animals.
Elora spotted a butterfly on the ground, and started trying to put out her hand for it to walk on her. I really did not think it would work, but surprisingly the butterfly jumped on her hand and hung out with her for a little while. She was so excited!
There has been an area of the zoo under construction for awhile, and it is finally done. There is a llama/anteater/ostrich exhibit, and another little play area where the cute kids hung out for awhile.
Oliver loves trains and buses as we have mentioned, but what is funny is that he started calling the U-Bahn the "B-bahn" instead of choo choo. We could not figure out where the "B" came from, until one time he said "Blue-Bahn". He was seeing the Blue sign with a U on it, and thought we were calling it the "Blue-bahn". So now it has been officially dubbed, the B-bahn. He is also learning his letters right now though, and whenever he sees the letter "U" he says, "B-bahn!" and we try to correct him, saying, "It is a U" and then he says, "U-bahn!" He is so proud of himself for knowing that the letter U is a U-bahn, that it is hard to want to correct him...