The kids who stare at goats

107_2424

On Friday we took the girls to the zoo. (Nick went to a friend’s house for the day.) We went with two other families, and we were all eager to take advantage of the gorgeous weather – sunny and warm, with high temps around 80F/26C.

Unfortunately, everybody else in Philadelphia had the same idea.

It took us about 30 minutes to get from the MLK Drive (West River Drive) up to the traffic light in front of the zoo, a distance of maybe 1500 feet (500m). Our usual parking spots were completely jam packed, so we ended up parking in a makeshift lot in Fairmount Park, across the river from the zoo.

Once inside the zoo, we had a good idea – we started by heading down the left side path from the entrance, instead of going to the right as almost everyone else normally does. That gave us a few hours of moderate crowds instead of body-to-body crowds, but the place was just packed all around.

Here’s Chelsea with our friend Nicole:

107_2407

When we started down the left side path, one of the first things we reached was Bear Country. It’s weird seeing a polar bear on green grass… it’s as if the zoo decided to do an exhibit based on the TV show Lost.

107_2409

The zoo is readying a Lego-themed set of exhibits, so in several places around the property there are life size Lego versions of animals:

107_2404

107_2477

Smile and wave, boys… smile and wave.

Anna, who is crazy about animals, really enjoyed herself throughout. At the start of first grade this year, each of the kids wrote down something that they hoped to learn about this year. Anna wrote, “I hope to learn about animals.”

107_2481

Miss Maria is also a friend of nature:

107_2490

We got to go in the new aviary, which opened last summer. It’s a great addition to the zoo, beautifully done, though in truth we were starting to get a little warm and tired by the time we got there.

107_2472

One of our last stops of the day was the Treehouse, an old favorite. I remember climbing on these eggs when I was a kid:

107_2445

We started wilting in the heat during the afternoon, and missed out on the big cat exhibit. But it was a great day all around, and we want to thank the 200,000 residents of the Delaware Valley who came out to enjoy the day at the zoo with us.

Happy weekend!