Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Party at Kelly's House

The week before Easter Sunday we went over to my friend Kelly and her two sons William and Judson's house for a "Easter Party".

We prepped for egg coloring and the kids thought watching the color tablets dissolve was amazing.

Coloring and drawing on our eggs.

Our pretty eggs we colored so far.

"Oh geez!" says Hannah. William spilled a little coloring onto his newspaper.

"Would you like to borrow this marker?"

Kelly made an Easter bunny cake and let the kids add the sprinkles themselves! Did I mention she's brave?

"Shake Shake Shake"

And the best part about decorating a cake? Eating it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Jacksonville Zoo

We went to the zoo in Jacksonville, Florida for the day and had an absolute blast. It was definitely spur of the moment but sometime I believe the best trips are. This was my first time ever taking them somewhere alone so I was a little nervous but I knew they'd do great.

It didn't take long to get there and the girls were super excited to see the animals. They take after me when it comes to wildlife which can be a blessing and a curse. We jumped out of the car, grabbed the stroller (aka: strolley) and walked through the gates to our adventure. The first exhibit was a touch tank with stingrays. Luckily we already had some stingray experience from Sea World. They still wouldn't touch them but they thought it was hilarious when one of the rays would swim along the side and splash water. They even told one of the employees "That guy splash me...he needs a time out!" They had everyone laughing!

There were a ton of school kids there that day which was difficult at first. They all seemed to spread out after the first two exhibits which I appreciated but those first two really gave me a tough time. They were mostly elementary school age and were running around and kept bumping into the girls. I brought their stroller but it got so squished on the walkway that I had to abandon it and just walk with them which made me a little more than stressed. The girls took it all in stride and for awhile I believe they thought they were as big as the other kids!

The lioness was not in a good mood that day. As you can see from the giant claw marks on the wooden door she wanted nothing to do this all these people looking at her and wanted! She continuously jumped up and tried scratching the door down. It was amazing to see the power and intensity she had. I for one was not about to get any closer to her after seeing that.

Hannah really seemed to enjoy the primate exhibit. There was one monkey in particular who she really got a kick out of and it just kept staring her down. She asked a lot of questions about it, which I loved, but could not figure out why those monkeys kept jumping around like they were.

One of my favorites were the elephants. A pair had walked down to the pond and proceeded to drink and wash themselves. The girls could not believe that they could use their noses to spray water with and they just laughed and laughed every time the larger elephant would spritz the smaller one. After their bathes the elephants slowly turned and walked back to some shade.

Don't even think that my girls are overly girly! They are not afraid of bugs, spiders and they seem to have a fascination with snakes that I truly do not understand. The snakes were one of Hailey's favorites. She would go to each tank and tell me how this snake was different from the one before it.

They didn't stay in their stroller very long. All the energy I ever had has somehow been sucked from my body into them and then multiplied by ten!

While walking through the Africa portion we came across a huge tree that was slam packed full of stork nests which were all slam packed full of baby storks! There had to have been at least thirty different nest in the tree. The sounds coming from the tree were over powering and you would have thought that the limbs would snap at any moment. I wished I had been able to get a photo of the entire tree for you to understand how full it was but there was no was I could get far enough away without walking into the rhino exhibit. And I have a feeling, the rhinos wouldn't appreciate that.

Our very favorite and most memorable portion of the day were with the giraffes. I never realized how big they actually are and neither did the girls. They were in shock when we talked towards their area.

After about twenty minutes of full on giraffe staring one of the zoo employees allowed the girls to get up close and feed them! You can normally do this for a fee but I was sticking to a tight budget so I didn't have extra cash to pay for it. The women was so amazing and let the girls go right on up and feed and pet them. One of the smaller female giraffes took a liking to Hailey and stayed right there with her letting her pet her and licking her. It was an amazing sight to see.

Hannah loved the baby giraffe. Even though he may look tiny compared to the others he was still as tall as a two story house. All in all we were at the giraffe exhibit for over forty five minutes.

All during the walk the girls were great about asking questions and really taking their time to look at each animal.

Throughout the zoo they have different animal prints pressed into the concrete walkways. Following in the leopards prints was a fun way to get from one exhibit to the next.

They have a carousel and of course we HAD to hit it up. Both of the girls are obsessed with rides of any type so it was a wonderful surprise for them.

The zoo also has a petting area with pygmy goats. The kids are able to grab a brush and give the goats a good once over.

Another really fun party of the zoo was the penguins. At the tank they have a cut in where the littlest ones can crawl underneath and can see the birds swimming over and around them.

And let us not forget the play area!

After walking all day we found a water fountain and proceeded to splash off and cool down in it. Luckily for us the weather was extremely mild and it was an absolutely beautiful day! None of that nasty typical Florida humidity or scorching heat.

In the Japan area they had koi fish that were easily as big as the girls and a komodo dragon who was even bigger! (Don't worry the photo of Hannah is not on top of a real dragon although she did ask to ride the real one.)

While walking through the main primate exhibit we were able to catch a very tender moment. A mother chimpanzee was feeding her baby. The girls both just oohed and awwed over it.

At the end of the day we caught the train that goes around the extremities of the park. It was a perfect was to calm down and reflect on what we saw during the day. Hannah, our tour guide, flipped through the map and would discuss each animal with Hailey as we ride around. It was a perfect end to a perfect day!

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