Yesterday was C's birthday and her mama asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate.
C decided she wanted to visit the zoo.
C's mama asked her if she wanted a special friend to come along.
C chose Lucy.
So today, with the sunshine turned on and the wind turned down, our party of five bundled into the one car - pushchairs, picnic and all - and ventured into the city! This was the first time I had visited during the cooler months - and gosh, what a difference the weather makes to the energy of the animals! The lions were pacing and roaring, rather than snoozing under a tree. The orangutans were swinging and playfighting. Even the giant tortoise was moving about! And the bear - wow s/he was amazing!
The seal and penguin enclosure was new to me. It was wonderful to watch the seals swimming at eye level. Such curious creatures - swimming down to see what we were all about. Although it was a tiny bit disconcerting to wander in near pitch blackness with two small charges.
The baby elephants were a highlight as was the butterfly enclosure. I incidentally picked up a tip - if you want a great photo op with butterflies on your shoulder, wear leaf green :o). It reminded us of a book Lucy and I are thoroughly enjoying together at the moment.
Jane O'Connor's Bonjour, Butterfly, in the Fancy Nancy series. The illustrations are just beautiful, but the aspect of the book I love the most, is the use of words like iridescent and gorgeous and furious. Words that broaden and challenge my four year old's vocabulary, rather than just assuming she won't be able to understand or grasp more complex words. Children's book WIN.
After five and a half hours exploring the zoo, the mamas were ready to go home (the children needed a little more coaxing). It was such a pleasurable day and I was both amazed and delighted at how joyful the kidlets remained throughout the day - including the 50 minute drive home in rush hour traffic.
Thank you Nat, C and E for the utmost pleasure of your company today :oD.
And thank you so much for inviting us to share in such a special celebration in your family. We felt very honoured and very blessed.