Couldn’t help but make a Monkees reference. It KILLS me that I can’t make it to any of their concerts for this tour, but I’ll just be content in my secret Monkee fandom. Er, not so secret.
Anyhoo, we took our first zoo trip of the season! Yay!! We dragged Hadley along last year, but there’s a huge difference between a one-year-old baby and a two-year-old toddler. He knows most of the animal sounds and lit UP when we came upon the gibbons (and their screeching calls). We could hear them from the car, and at first he thought they were in trouble — “Uh oh!! Uh oh!!”
Besides the awesome monkeys, we witnessed the lions (the guys were lazing about while the female was full-on stalking a rabbit who had wandered into the wrong area — spoiler alert: the bunny got away, thank goodness), a red panda, arctic foxes who just happened to be having a game of tag, an ostrich, zebras (Hadley’s favorite last year), a camel, DUCKS (he only focused on one mallard, so while there were a bunch of them, he kept pointing his finger – “one duck!”), and some reptiles.
Oh, and when we hit the children’s zoo area, we met the stars — their famous sea lions. Seriously, we could’ve stood watching them ALL DAY. Then, there were some farm and petting zoo-type animals…along with a skinned knee. Yep. First skinned knee ever (and a pretty deep cut, actually). All boy, that one.
Since it was kind of a last-minute decision to go, I only packed a lunch for the Hadman. I’m super glad I did since Dave stood in line for over 30 minutes to get our lunch (before they even waited on him). The place is a branch of a local institution, Voss’, but their service lacked sorely. The food was okay, but given the price and PITA factor, we’ll just pack a cooler next time. Bam, done. (And cheaper.)
Give the kid fruit and he’ll eat all day long.}
The Utica Zoo, itself, is neat for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s the zoo that Dave and I frequented as kids (along with practically every other kid in a 30 mile radius). Secondly, we recently found out that most of the animals in captivity have actually been rescued or are housed here because they wouldn’t survive in the wild. They’re about environmental stewardship and conservation, which makes me feel far better about attending. Not to mention, it has a pretty rad theme song that’s definitely an earworm. You’ve been warned.
We decided to purchase a family pass for the season, so I’m sure there will be lots of trips this summer. It’s kind of cool to think that we can pack a lunch and just hit up the zoo for a random afternoon, or meet up with Dave for a half day on a work day, without thinking “it’s not worth $7.75 per person to hit up the zoo for just a few hours.” It also means that I can hook up with my sister and her little one to have a field trip. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic that we have such an open invitation to our very own hang-out place.
Fresh air + wild animals = perfect day for our own little monkey.