July 22, 2012

Our New Favorite Zoo

Ever since Abby came along, we are zoo people. We have now visited 6 Texas zoos (Austin, Abilene, Waco, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Houston) and Houston is our new favorite. It had so much more to it than just walking around and looking at animals! We spent over 4 hours and didn't see everything, but a little rain led to a lot of humidity and we decided the AC of our car was calling!

We passed these fountains on the way out and loved them. So nice to see art in the zoo. I loved the little gnome and the kids playing leap frog.

The zoo has a carousel. Abby was so indecisive about what to ride... she settled on a white puppy.

We bought the one day pass that included a movie ticket. They had a handful of animal-oriented educational offerings. We saw Dora and Diego's 4D adventure. It was fun- the chair rumbled, cold air and bubbles were blown and they even filled the room with the scent of bananas. According to Abby, this 10 minute movie was the best part of her day. Marcus and I loved it because it was so fun to watch her reach for things in the air, duck and laugh hysterically!

They had a petting zoo! Let's be honest, if you are going to include barn yard animals in your zoo, at least let kids touch them! They had brushes so that you could sit and brush the goats. They also had hand washing stations and anti-bac just outside the gate :)

It really was a shockingly nice day in Houston. The high was in the mid-80s. But, so many days Houston is really hot and muggy, so a little water park area was a nice addition. I only wish we had packed swimsuits! Abby had a change of clothes, but Marcus didn't. He ended up riding most of the way home in a t-shirt and his boxers. Oh how we prayed nobody would hit out car!

 Marcus really liked the zoo- you'll find he interacts more with Abby at places like this and I just snap lots of pictures! He was wearing his Cougars hat (Washington State where former TTU coach Mike Leach now is) and smiled at the Cougar display.

 He also pretended to be a gopher sticking his head up. 

Throughout the zoo, they had tons of little displays where you could stop and pose with the animals.

One of our first stops was the fish exhibit. I am always in awe of God's creativity with underwater animals. Amazing colors, textures, designs at work. The jellyfish alone were magnificent!

Gotta love the monkeys! Since they like the shade, there is a tunnel where you can be right beside the glass where they rest in the shade. Look at their feet... gross :)

We went straight to the elephant exhibit to see their 10 AM bathing. The trainers not only bathed them, but fed them, and had them do tricks. The top left elephant could balance on tow legs and showed us his open mouth.

We missed the 11 AM giraffe feeding, but we did get pretty close to them on the bridge in their area. Such a pretty animal!

I have no doubt we will be back in the fall to see the animals again!

We hope to take Abby on her first big vacation and plane ride in the fall to go to a major national zoo, likely Chicago. I can't wait!

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