Thursday, September 26, 2013

Louisville Zoo, September 2013

With zoo animal fact cards in hand, we trekked the trek down to Kentucky (fun fact: where we live, three different states are less than a two-hour drive from our house--that's atypical for the Midwest!) to spend a beautiful autumn Sunday at the Louisville Zoo:

Syd took the map in hand immediately, declared that she wanted to see the camels--

--and then navigated us there perfectly!

Somehow our zoo brochure missed being stuffed with the day's shows, events, and activities, but we had plenty to do, regardless. Nevertheless, when we passed the giraffe exhibit *just* in time for the giraffe feeding, and when it was discovered that yes, indeed, I *did* happen to have two dollar bills in my wallet, well...


I'm still not shelling out so much as a penny to feed those petting zoo goats, however:

After having gone my entire life without seeing a gorilla in person, since June I've now seen them in TWO separate zoos!

I think I've told you before, many times, that Willow loves animals. LOVES animals. Her love isn't always expressed exactly as others would understand--a favorite pastime of hers is feeding worms and butterflies, two animals that she loves very much, to her chickens (whom she also loves very much, of course...)--and sometimes her love is rather expressed as intellectual curiosity, as with her plans for a mounted butterfly collection, but she truly loves animals, all animals, more deeply than even most kids do.

And animals love her. Animals notice her, even zoo animals who are used to the comings and goings of hundreds of thousands of visitors to their habitats. I always take lots of photos of my kids watching the animals at every zoo, but it's recently struck me that I also seem to take an unusual amount of photos of zoo animals watching Willow back:

I'm a big budgeter, and thus an early planner, and I've begun, recently, to plan a list of must-see's for our big Out West road trip this summer. I want to see the Laura Ingalls homestead. Syd wants to see Lakota campgrounds (Thanks, Buffalo before Breakfast!). Matt's seen everything except for the dino dig stuff.

And as for Will?

Dinosaurs (of course).

I think we're also going to Yellowstone!


Tina said...

Multiple states that are two hours away... I remember those days. Now it's 3 hours to the nearest bigger city.

Gorillas are fantastic animals to watch. I envy Jane Goodall being able to watch them in the wild.

Awesome photos of Will and the animals. They seem to be mesmerized by each other.

Planning and saving for that far in the future is a lost art. We are trying to reacquire it. We are already making plans for next June. Let's hope we can remember how to plan and budget!

julie said...

I'm always just paranoid that if I don't plan WAY ahead, we're going to have trouble budgeting for our trip. That happened to us a few years ago on our big Boston trip--Matt's parents had offered some trip money to pay our way out to meet them there, and we'd sort of assumed, I guess, that we were going to get a LOT more money than we did, so seeing the credit card bill after we got back home was a nasty surprise that I do NOT want to repeat.

I'm also the mean Momma who needs to make everything into a homeschool lesson, and it takes a long time to do the prep work for Laura Ingalls' homestead, and paleontology, and Mount Rushmore, and the national park system, and the Wild West...

Anyway, where are you going in June?

Tina said...

We are headed to Minnesota for a 2 day workshop called Becoming an Outdoor Family. Last weekend I attended a Becoming an Outdoors Woman 3 day workshop and it was AWESOME!
June is our big celebration month (my b-day, hubby's b-day, Emma's 1/2 b-day) plus we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary.

After the Becoming an Outdoor Family thing, the kiddo is going to hang out with Gramma while hubby and I spend a few nights in a B&B somewhere in northern Minnesota or Michigan.

AND, if we have enough time, there are a few places I would like to stop along the way (wild horse range in the Pryor Mountains is top of the list, though I would love to see Devil's Tower again and hike around/climb on it).

And with the government possibly shutting down, we have to pinch our pennies a little more just in case we miss a paycheck or two.

julie said...

Okay, that sounds like an amazing trip! You'll have to tell me all about how you like the B&B. Matt and I have this running joke about how much we hate B&Bs, but really we've only been to one, and just hated THAT one a whole bunch.

Tina said...

We stayed at a B&B last year and it was FANTASTIC. We had a little cabin all to ourselves, the hostes/owner of the place was so unbelievable kind (willing to cater to my dietary needs with no notice, gushing over the creative mess I was making in front of her fire place, giving me a little gift to add to my altered journal, etc.).

Anyway, here is a post I wrote about our B&B vacation.

Tina said...

Just cause I know you have nothing better to do then look at my blogs (ha!), here are the two post about my August altered journal. In the first photo of the first post, the flower that is sticking out of the book was given to me by the owner of the B&B. In the second post, August 25-28 is from our mini-vacation.

julie said...

Okay, YOUR bed and breakfast looks amazing! Matt and I have only been to one, and ours was super creepy, and then there was that whole series of Portlandia sketches about B&Bs...

I *may* give them another try. One day.