Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Day at the Detroit Zoo

Believe it or not, we haven't managed to make it out to the zoo with out kiddos yet, until The Chapman Family Special Trip (CFST).  We were well intentioned last summer, but frankly the thought of going out with a toddler and two newborns just stressed me right out.  I probably should have thrown caution to the wind and just gone anyway, but alas, well, I didn't have the guts I guess.  So we made up for it this summer,  and hit up the Detroit Zoo during our CFST.  We put the kids through enough shopping the day before at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlet  and decided to have an outing just for them.  Although, it turned out to be just as much for us as it was for them.

Loaded up with snacks and sippy cups we mapped out our plan of attack.  You know those people that stand at the front, seemingly waiting to pounce on you, and try to sell you something?  Well, these ones are friendly, and they aren't trying to sell you anything, just help you out.  Go to the people with the maps, they will show you the way.  The people trying to sell you things are sneaky, and set in a little farther.  We came around the corner from the friendly map lady to find a barrage of people standing in an attack line with cameras in hand.  I see them in the distance, eyeing us up, preparing to pounce.  The hilarious part was hearing them discuss about whether we were potential candidates for their services.
Camera Person 1: "I don't think so, they have a camera"
Camera Person 2: "You never know, just ask anyway"
Umm, yah... we were right there, listening in on the conversation as we approached.  We get closer and one of them bounces into action, leaping into our path.  "Welcome to the Detroit Zoo, would you like your picture taken?!" She says excitedly, opposite to the questionable tone of voice we just heard.
me: "No thank you."
So, don't get me wrong, I totally understand that this is a tough job, and you always need to ask anyway, even if you don't think we are going to go for it. But maybe next time, think up a code language for your pre-customer conversation.  Pull your ear, tap your head, rub your belly or stomp your foot, just try not to talk about us as we are walking within ear shot of you.  Don't worry, you will fit right in at the zoo.  People will just think you are doing a territorial animal dance.

It was quite the hot day day so we were glad to find watering holes all over the zoo.  A little mist station to cool off and water fountain to grab a drink.  Levi absolutely lit up each time we saw one, which meant we needed to run through the mist every time we saw one.  I didn't mind, cause I actually wanted to give into my inner kid, and run through it yelling like a little girl.  Hey, we were at the zoo for Pete's sake, let loose!

I love experiencing all the new things with my kids.  One of the many joys of being a parent.  Watching his amazement at God's creation.  I remind him of  where all of these beautiful creatures come from, how they are each wonderfully and especially created by God.

Okay, so I had a bad parenting moment.  There were signs everywhere, saying to stay of the fences, including the rope one pictured above.  I was having one of those - We're on vacation, let the kid climb the fence!- kind of day so I let the him climb on the fence.  Then, as you guessed it, it fell.  Screams and cries following the fall, I scooped him up, comforted and kissed.  While doing so I hear a group of two mamas in the background...
Mama 1 says to her kiddo: " See, that's why I told you to stay off the fence, so you don't fall like that little boy."
Mamma 2 " Yes, see, you don't want to get hurt like that. See, he is crying"
I get the whole- use my kid as an example of what not to do thing- but again, not within ear shot ladies.  Let it be noted that Levi continued to climb the fences for the rest of the day, just a little more cautiously.

The Outback Adventure, was not so much of an adventure, but a side walk stroll with Kangaroos resting and snoozing under trees. I have heard it's not great to go to the zoo during the heat of the day, the animals are too hot and tired. I had a mind to break the rules, get up to one real close and disobey the rule to stay on the path...but y'all know what happens when you don't obey the get scolded from another mama.  It probably would have sounded something like this " See, that's why she got attacked by the kangaroo, because she didn't stay on the path."...I had enough of that for one day....I stayed on the path.

If you check out this underground viewing pod, be sure to locate the nearest mist station before hand.  Cause if you go on a hot day, it's a sauna in there, and your going to need it after.  Plus you have to fight your way through countless kiddos, pull out your mama "let him have a turn" voice and scamper up a 4' opening.

We really enjoyed the break from the sun in the air-conditioned underground aquarium.  Levi was amazed to see the polar bears and seals swimming around us.

All in all, we really enjoyed our trip to the Detroit Zoo, photographers and other mamas included.  If you decide to go some day, bring lots of snacks and water, and be prepared for a day of fun!

Stayed tuned for a final post on the CFST tomorrow, and a sneak peak of the fabrics I purchased!
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