Meet the Sullivans: Lions and Tigers and Bears

April 23, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears

...oh my!

Yesterday we took Owen on his first trip to the San Francisco Zoo. We had all a blast, and I have to say this was the most fun I've ever had at a zoo.

Owen napped on the 30 minute ride from home to the zoo. I think he was pleasantly surprised to wake up somewhere so fun and interesting!

It had been years since either Keith or I had been to the San Francisco.The last time I went was a few years ago when I was working at St. Pius and Keith couldn't remember the last time he went. We had fun reminiscing about all of our memories of going as kids. Anyone remember the elephant keys? The elephant exhibit? Those awful animal-shaped plastic containers of "juice", which was likely some version of Kool-Aid?

Our first stop was the giraffe / zebra sanctuary. It's amazing to see the giant, tall as a house so close up. I wonder if this guy reminded Owen of his Sophie?

After that we booked it across the zoo to see the Grizzly Bears for their 11:30 feeding. It was so crowded outside their "Grizzly Gulch" that we didn't really get to see them eating. Maybe a good thing though, right? Might have been traumatic. Anyway, we were able to watch them run around (they were really active after eating and with all the attention) and one ran right up to the window where we were watching. It stood there on all fours before standing all the way up on its hind legs.

Owen would have gladly crawled right into the polar bears den. I'm sure he thought he was a big cuddle lab like the one he has at home!

The seal's pool was being refilled with water and the seals were having a ball sliding around their habitat as though it were a water park.

Owen was going "Weeeee! Weeeee!" as we watched them slip and slide!

I wish we would have prioritized riding the train during our visit, because I know Owen would have loved it. He waved so excitedly to all the passengers as it zoomed past us. We'll make sure to ride it next time!

The gorillas are so cute and their habitat is really green and pretty! We saw the silver back gorilla rush another gorilla as it was trying to eat some celery the zoo keeper was tossing in. We all jumped back a bit. He was really really aggressive.

On a semi-unrelated note, I've been having so much fun with my camera and getting used to shooting in manual mode. I'm finally figuring out the whole f-stop / shutter speed thing--although don't ask me to explain in any technical terms. My explanation would likely include terms like "thingy" and "the button near the thingy".

The little man would prefer to push the stroller rather than ride in it. This is how we spent much of the day walking around.

There is a beautiful grass field full of yellow flowers (daisies?) that we loved playing on. Toward the end of the day we just let Owen lead the way. He was getting fussy and didn't want to be carried or redirected at all, so we just followed him--and this is where he wanted to be.

Spinning in circles and saying "Whoooa! Whoooa! Whoooa!" is one of his favorite things to do. It's even funnier when Daddy does it too!

Stopping to smell the flowers. I'm glad he pauses to enjoy the little things!

You'd think Owen was hired for the day as part of the Zoo's Welcoming Committee because he took it upon himself to greet many other zoo goers. He walked over to the man in the top picture, who was watching his daughter play, sat down and started to "chat". He high fived the older men as they walked past and then started following them as they walked in the opposite direction. I can foresee I am going to have a lot of stranger danger talks with my young man.

Owen's reaction to the baby elephant sculpture was too cute. I think he though it was alive! He was putting his hand around the trunk trying to get it to walk with him and then he just stood there staring at it. Eventually he gave up and moved on.

By the time we made it to the Children's Zoo area Owen was spent. It was a lot of walking for him--which he loved!--and he was just saying "Baa, baa, baa", which means he wants his bottle of milk. He surrendered to being put in the stroller and just mellowed out while we walked back to the car.

This was one our most fun family outings! Now that Owen is steady enough to walk on his own for periods of time he has so much fun exploring. The zoo is generally a safe place for him to look around and explore so long as one of us is on his tail at all times. He's also able to appreciate what is going on around him and is intrigued by all of the animals.

Our tickets were half price because we have a CuriOdyssey membership. The food / drinks aren't too over priced, but there is really only one place to eat. I think next time we'll pick up sandwiches on our way. The train and some other rides like the carousel are a few extra dollars if you want to ride them.

I think you can tell from this full on Closed Eye Belly Laugh that Owen had a blast! Pretty soon he'll be begging to go everyday!


Whitney said...

I love the last picture! You can just tell he was having such a big time! We can't wait to take our little man to the zoo...we just hope he likes it as much as mommy & daddy! :)

erin vancura said...

the zoo looks like SO much fun!! we really need to do a zoo trip with lex. . . seeing how much fun owen had totally inspired me to get the ball moving on a zoo date for us :)

Samma said...

Oooh, I have been dying to get to our zoo- we just bought a family membership. Seeing sweet Owen and how much fun he had is putting me in gear!

Jenny @ said...

This looks like such a fun day. I have been dying to take my littles to the zoo before it heats up around here. Thanks for reminding me. :)