To the Zoo

This past Monday, my mom, dad, Riley, Ella and I loaded up and went to the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler. We've lived here for over 2 years and this was our first time to visit this zoo. I was a little skeptical before we arrived because my last couple of zoo experiences have not been the best. I mean, after living in Africa and seeing animals in the wild (i.e. a pack of lions right after they'd finished chowing down on dinner they had caught and killed themselves), it's kind of hard to get into the whole animal-behind-a-cage thing. But, I knew Riley would enjoy it, and I was curious to see if this zoo would live up to any expectations I had. I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised! We will definitely be returning, and I can't wait to take Daniel with us! And here comes the long line of pictures from our fun day! :)

Ready for a good time at the zoo!

You may think, "that doesn't look like a zoo!" Well, this was the "educational area" and if you know my son at all, you know we spent a lot of time in this one area. In fact, if you ask him today if he had fun at the zoo, he'll say, "Yes! I saw an old tractor and an old truck!" What animals?!?!

Farmer Bramlett - and no, I had no clue this would be at the zoo when I dressed him in overalls :)

And here's the old truck I was referring to

Love this picture!

Everyone had to get a picture with Riley and the old truck :)

Oh, there's an animal! Riley was so funny talking to this bird. "Hey bird! You doing okay?"

"Let's go see what else we can find!" I heard that line about 100 times during the day. He would look at an animal for about .2 seconds and then say the infamous line.

So many pretty spots throughout the zoo!

Had to get a pic of my favorite, of course :)

Getting a good look at the zebra

Riley's 2nd favorite thing at the zoo (the tractor and truck being #1, of course) was all of the water he saw throughout. He kept talking about how this water was the ocean, etc. etc. etc. I absolutely love this boy's imagination!

The loud and proud reminder that we are in Texas :)

To most this would seem to be a bench for an exhausted adult to rest on while their child looks at animals. To my 2-year-old son, this is a computer work station. He is currently typing on his computer...

Eating lunch with the giraffes and elephants (see them in the background?). Fun scenery, not the best smells while trying to enjoy your food!

There's little miss!

Thankful I got to be there with my two kiddos, but when I look at this picture, it's very evident to me that someone special is missing!

We went into the petting zoo area, and Riley absolutely fell in love with the goats!

He had so much fun petting them and talking to them

And then they all migrated towards my dad. It was hilarious!

In deep conversation

And of course, we had to end the day back in this spot...

Such a fun, beautiful day! The weather was perfect, the 2-year-old was pretty close to perfect (a few meltdowns are expected, right?!), the 5-month-old was amazing, and the 3 adults (no need to include our ages) left exhausted! As we were walking back to the car I was thinking, "This is going to be great. Riley's going to pass out before we leave the parking lot and we'll have a nice, quiet ride home." HA! I don't know where he found the energy, but he chatted the entire way home. Needless to say, my bed could not come quick enough that night! But, I am very thankful for the memories we made and I look forward to the next time we'll get to go to the zoo to see the tractor/truck animals!

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