Friday, September 9, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

This past weekend was glorious with temperature's ranging in the mid to upper 70s. Because of that, we decided to take advantage of the pretty weather and spend Saturday at the Kansas City Zoo. We weren't the only ones with the same idea! Upon arrival, it took over 20 minutes in the ticket line, but McKinley didn't seem to notice. He was sound asleep! Once inside, I had to get him something to commemorate his first time at the zoo, so we picked out the perfect hat. Worked out well too as I forgot to pack one. Bottles, check! Formula, check! Diapers, check! Sunscreen, check! Hat, nope! Now, he has a darling baseball hat that will fit for the next year at least.

With McKinley now awake, our first stop was to see Nikita, our amazing and adorable polar bear.  He is the main attraction at the zoo and it's no wonder. He is simply amazing! So graceful to watch, you are literally mesmerized by him and could spend all of your time just watching. Last time there, we spent at least 20 minutes watching him swim and play. This time we didn't spend as much time because of how crowded the passage was. We did stop by on our way out and this time I took McKinley down to actually see Nikita in action. I know he had to see him because as soon as McKinley saw this impressive bear, his face lit up and had a huge smile. That's just the reaction young and old get when seeing this marvelous bear!

We started our visit in Africa and with Joel's favorite animal, the elephant. At times, because he's so small, you can't really tell if McKinley's looking at the same thing you are, but I'm pretty sure he saw these mammoth animals. How could you not? The one in the photo, directly behind Joel's shoulder, was so funny. At one point he stood there with one back leg crossed behind the other, like any human would do, and continued to feed on hay. As large as these animals are, I love to watch them roam the path. Again, a graceful animal that sways back and forth as it walks, much like a model walking a runway. I often wonder what any animal is thinking while staring back at you.

Next up, baboons! I remember the last time Joel and I were at the zoo there was a new addition to the baboon family! This sweet baby had just been born, and just like any baby, it is amazing how much it had grown. I loved watching them. They too are very much like humans, I guess that makes sense since we evolved from them, in that they took care of one another. As the baby hung out, the mother I assume, started cleaning another baboon. Was it the father, another sibling, just one of the family? Who can truly be sure.

We left the baboons and continued our way through Africa, and as we do, McKinley nods off for his mid afternoon nap. Joel and I continue to enjoy ourselves. We talk, laugh, continue to photograph the animals and take advantage of some time alone, even with McKinley snoozing directly in front of us.

As we enter the lions den, guess who wakes ups! Perfect timing too. Most of the lions are a sleep and enjoying the little bit of shade right in front of the window! Perfect view! Oh, and it's also the perfect time for a little nosh!


We didn't get to the Sea Lion show in time to get a seat, but that was okay. We got some great pre-show pics and then made our way to the Carousel Cafe for lunch.

As Joel went to get our lunch, McKinley FINALLY finished his! It only took us over two hours to get him to finish his bottle. I think all the excitement threw him off. As a result, he was one happy boy!

The rest of the visit was kind of short. We were pressed for time as we had plans later in the evening for a friends BBQ. We made our way to the Tiger Trail to see the gorgeous tigers and some Orangutans. The female had a baby as well and he was so precious! We couldn't get a great photo due to the crowd, but take my word for it. Darling!

We didn't have time to visit Australia so we promised McKinley we would start there on our next visit. We will also make sure to attend a Sea Lion show and take a ride on the Carousel. I think we need to invest in a membership. We will be spending some quality time at the zoo in the future and it's a wonderful organization to support! If you haven't been to the Kansas City Zoo in a while, or ever, you owe yourself a trip. A great family atmosphere, but as an adult, you feel like a kid again. 

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