Friday, January 30, 2009

Guess Where We Spent Our No School Day?

I don't think it's going to take you too many guesses.....



Yup, we headed north to the zoo. I threw the idea out to Lisa Q. on Thursday that it would be a fun thing to take our kids up to Portland to do together. Her kids had Th. and Fr. off - mine have Fr. and Mon. off, and we were both well aware that we needed to add a little livelihood to the long break - or by the end they'd be bouncing off the walls and certainly straining our sanity.

She was supposed to meet me at 8:30 this morning, but instead, I received a call at 7:30am, and wouldn't you know it, but Erica has Strep Throat! That family has had THE WORST luck when it comes to missing out on special events due to their kids' sudden illnesses. So, it ended up just being the four of us. Late Th. afternoon, we'd extended an invite to Jack, so Brayden would have a buddy his age to pal around with. Poor Mikayla, without Erica in the picture, she just got me...

As you could tell by the first picture, the temperature in Portland was VERY COLD. (I know Bonnie, if it's not below freezing, you don't want to hear about it!). But, I was hoping the heavy, damp fog would clear off and the need for quadruple layering and gloves would be unnecessary - but again, another "wouldn't you know it" - but on the one day we leave Eugene to head where it often clears up...... it ends up sunny and beautiful - a balmy low 50's in Eugene - and socked in all day in Portland. By the time we left the zoo at 1:30, it had warmed up to 33 degrees.

However, as we were prepared for cold (I couldn't get that day out of my mind last April when I went on the third grade field trip and froze with those kids at the zoo - so, this time, I bundled up - just in case!) - we ended up having a great day. Of course, it would have been SPECTACULAR if Lisa was with us......

We saw every exhibit - and so many of the animals were in prime viewing locations - such as these Mountain Lions/Cougars/Pumas (all the same animal - it just has a lot of different names):

By and far, this was the highlight of our trip - and made for my best experience ever at the Portland Zoo. This little gal (we were told by a zookeeper that she's a she) - was having so much fun playing with this ball. She would carry it around, get it into position to try to balance it, and then when it eventually fell or rolled into the water, would dive in and play with it in there, only to repeat the fun again and again. I will be trying to upload the video we took, (I'm realizing it my take another 15 tries.....grrrr......) so if I do manage that, take a moment and watch- it's so cool.



This was another major treat. This baby elephant is the zoo's pride and joy - he/she? was born just a bit ago and is growing so fast. The smaller adult elephant is her mom and the other is a "auntie" or nursemaid - that accompanies the duo. The two adults were in position to protect the baby at all time, wherever they went that baby was in the middle. It was such a treat to watch.

Mikayla and I actually had a discussion on the way up as to whether there was any snow left in Portland from the big storm that happened around Christmas. I told her, "Oh no, honey, that's long gone". Boy, did I eat my words when we walked these paths.....

And, then, we reached the Lorakeet Pavillion - where you walk through at your own risk. You can opt to buy the syrup in the cups if you really want to attract the birds - which, of course, we did. That's Jack in the foreground.



I had to admire this bird's ingenuity, at the bottom of the picture. This is my hand, and that clever little bird poked a hole in my cup, positioned himself securely on the bottom of my sleeve, and merely opened his beak to have the contents drip out of the cup right into his mouth. That's my kind of bird!

And, finally, the sea lions. There were two that did this loop around the tank - and as they neared where we were at, would practically touch the glass to come as close as can be to us. It was almost surreal - you felt like you were watching a video or something.....
Needless to say, I'm so glad we made the trip.....

5 comments:

Family O'Foxes said...

Those are really great photos! :)
Makes me miss the zoo. I know the animals are more active in cool weather.

~Amy

Bonnie said...

Wow - that sounds like such a great day! I want to go now!

Hey - I'm not knocking 30 degree temps - especially with your humidity that feels COLD!

And Mikayla doesn't look like she minded pal-ing around with her beautiful mom. :-)

julie fulton said...

That looks like so much fun . . . even in the cold. You have inspired me to take my kids to the zoo soon. I never think about going there in the winter. By the way, I think the puppy we are watching is a shitzu, puppies sure ARE a lot of work!!!

StephieAnne said...

Yeah, Julie - and just think of all those colorful pictures you can then put on your blog! It is looking so good - and I'm constantly impressed in how you are filling in the past - going backwards with your posts!

Happy to have you as part of the blogging family!

Beverly said...

That looks like so much fun. We love our zoo and even though my kids are older, we go every chance we get.

I do have to tell you a funny story about a "bird" part of the OKC Zoo. They recently built an "Oklahoma" addition with all things OK related. There's a wild bird part - like the Lorakeet exhibit we also have.

Roman and I have a "thing" about birds flying by us so we asked the guide if the birds flew close to you and of course he said no. We were barely in the door and one swooped down by our heads! You've never seen a mom and daughter get through an exhibit SO quickly. You would have thought it was a scene from the movie "The Birds" the way we were acting!!!