Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Blogger is blessing me with a few more minutes of working properly. Let's
celebrate with a post...

Have any of you Michiganders been to Binder Park Zoo? In my non-mom,
non-regular-zoo-visiting opinion...it's well worth a visit. This place is awesome!
Aaron, Pam and the kids took us there when we were home, making for such a
fun day. After a quick lunch in the sun (and wind!), we made our way along the
paths that took us through the zoo. (It's a sidewalk made out of decking...with
rails to the side, presumably to keep the kids corralled.) They had bits of info
about the animals and interactive sites as we went along. The kids loved it.

Catherine really liked these books posted every so often that told about
a certain kind of animal family, one of which they were showing in the area.

But the best part was when we went to Africa! You can see Aaron and Pam
entering below... Above this walkway dangled a flag for each African country.

Very cool.

Once inside, there was a little African town to check out. And then
a store where
they "sold" all the things safarians needed for their journey through the African
jungle. All fun kid stuff. We got to walk through the exotic land (they have tons
and tons of acreage) and go to see the animals, most of which were in a fairly
amazing area...a little unzoolike from what I'd seen elsewhere. Giraffes, zebras,
ostriches and a few other animals were all in this huge area together. But it wasn't
a pen. It was regular land, flowing with plenty of grass for them to eat, trees
swaying in the breeze and a little river. They all just hung out together, getting some
sunshine. It was very natural...I thought they looked happier then they do in the
normal, smaller enclosed pens. (Pretty sure they were.)

We even got to feed the giraffes from a tall balcony...A definite highlight.

You just can't help but giggle a little bit when you're feeding them.
They're such gentle animals. They patiently waited for another cracker bit, and
sometimes when they were taking it with their mouths and long, dark tongues,
they'd slip you a little kiss on the hand. Kinda creepy at first, but it would make
the darkest, saddest person smile.

This lion water fountain was a popular stopping point. Here, Aidan gets a quick
drink. The kids were running the whole time we were there, working up quite
a thirst! Their energy seems boundless. It's amazing and awesome to be around!!
(Of course, they were all asleep within five minutes of putting the car into drive.
Meghan was out cold before we even got out of the parking lot.) It's not a bad
way to live...

David shared stroller pushing duty for a few minutes. Here, Meghan (left) and
Catherine try to get settled in while their ride is moving!

They decided they would give David a break and push him around the zoo for
a bit! (Alright, David's wasn't really in the push cart...Just kidding!)

It's fun to watch kids in their element...So many smiles! This was my favorite
picture of Aidan that day. He was excited about somethin'. It's nice to see
the world through eyes like that.

Lauren stopped for a quick photo along the way. Such a pretty girl!

All the kids stopped in this one area where the zoo had set up a camp, similar
to what safarians would need. Water fell in a trickle here from a barrel. After they
all ran under the cool water a few times...Meghan held her hands under it while
singing, "We don't have bananas!". David later figured out that was a line from the
song playing behind us on the radio in the campers fort area. It's amazing what
kids pick up! I thought that was so cute. So free and fun. Not a care in the world.

Catherine, taking a break to drink some water. Absolutely pure.

Pam and her $4 lemonade : )

Aaron and Pamela took a second to sit together in the sun while the kids
played on the zoo stage.

And last but not least, my D.

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