Thursday, July 1, 2010

Noah's Birthday at the Zoo, or Animal Overload

Sam was always into vehicles. When he was just a few months old, we took a road trip back to Champaign-Urbana to let him meet our friends there. On the way back, we left right before his morning nap thinking he would sleep.He didn't.
Every time he would be close to sleep, a large truck would pass and he would jerk awake, excited to see the big trucks pass.

Noah enjoys vehicles because Sam enjoys vehicles, but his heart is with animals. He's the kid who sleeps with a different stuffed animal each night and can name animals before he can label his colors. So we decided to take him to the Omaha Zoo for his birthday. Omaha is about a 3 hour drive and our original plan had been to drive up one afternoon, go out to eat, play in the hotel pool, and then hit to zoo first thing in the morning when the kids were rested. Great plan, right? It was until the day before when we learned it would be storming in Omaha the morning we planned for the zoo. So we packed up and left early on Wednesday morning to spend the entire afternoon seeing animals. It was a good call, since a rainstorm of Biblical proportions hit Omaha on Thursday.

The Omaha Zoo is amazing, full of natural habitats for the animals including a huge desert dome and an underground, dark setting for nocturnal animals. We got to walk through a shark tunnel and gaze at a column of jellyfish. In the insect house, butterflies darted around so fast the boys could barely catch sight of them. And in the gorilla house, one came right up to the class and stared at Noah for a bit before turning around and plopping down. Noah was entranced the entire time, as you can tell when we saw one of his favorites, the giraffe:Sam, on the other hand, ran from place to place, barely stopping to see anything. His favorite part of the entire zoo, the one thing he wanted to see again and again?
That's right, the rope bridge in the jungle. This is why for Sam's birthday we go ride trains.

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