At nine months, Ava has reached the age where she is curious about pretty much everything and really likes to observe. The zoo is the perfect place to do just that.
It should be noted that this was actually our second time taking Ava to the zoo, however, the first was unsuccessful as it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and the weather was perfect. Apparently everyone else had the same idea we had and went to the zoo too. I now know that if you are single, you stay in the city and drink on St. Paddy’s weekend. If you have a family, you go to the zoo. The traffic was lined across the bridge that leads over to the zoo. The parking lot had to have been full. There was no way we would have enjoyed ourselves with that crowd, so we ended up going to Phipps that day instead and had an equally great time.
So a couple weeks later I ended up taking a day off of work on a day Michelle already had off. It was also a nice day, a little chilly, but the sun was shining. We got there early and for the most part had the zoo to ourselves, except for a field trip or two. We let them go ahead, no biggie.
Our first stop when we got there was not to the polar bear exhibit. It was not to the lions, or the tigers, or the monkeys (thought I was going to say “bears” didn’t you?). Our first stop was right to the gift shop. For some reason, Ava makes us want to spend money. Everything just looks so damn cute on her. Hats. Sweatshirts. Sun glasses. All adorable to the point where we have no choice. Plus, she needs a keepsake from her first visits to places…that’s just the basics.
As we got moving through the zoo, it was a series of photo shoots. Ava in front of the elephants. Ava in front of the gorillas. Ava with mommy in front of the penguins. Ava with daddy in front of the penguins. Picture after picture after picture. Which is pretty much the norm for everywhere we go, or when we are at home. Let’s just say Ava is well documented.
As we went from exhibit to exhibit, Ava was loving the zoo. She loved pointing at the animals and clapping when she saw we were excited looking at them too. At the aquarium, her favorite part was when a shark would swim right up against the glass. Ava showing what a bad ass she is, had a great time slapping the glass as it swam by.
Her hands-down favorite exhibit though were the penguins. Her eyes were as big as saucers. As the penguins jumped in the water and swam by the glass Ava would clap and bounce in my arms. She would hug the glass trying to get to them. She would bob her head as she watched them waddle on land. Penguins have been a favorite of hers since she was first born. She had penguin stuffed animals and penguins books. This was her first time though seeing them for real, and it was awesome.
There is no doubt that we will be back there multiple times this summer. I am also thinking about making a summer trip to the Columbus zoo, which is one of the best in the world. Seeing Ava enjoy the same things I enjoyed as a kid (and still do) brings me so much joy and happiness. We have a bunch of pictures from this trip, but haven’t downloaded them off our camera yet. I will post them as soon as we do.
On the days between our zoo visits, Ava is held over by Frasier. He for sure acts like he belongs in a zoo sometimes.