Monday, March 18, 2013

Baby's First Trip to the Zoo

We took Ryden to the Audubon Zoo on Saturday for Earth Fest. He's five months old now. We figured that maybe he'd be old enough to see the animals and have a response. He likes looking at pictures of lions, and he loves to try to grab the cats and dog.

Ryden rode the elephants.
Lesson #1 that I learned: Do not go back to the zoo during a big event. Luckily, he slept through the miles of traffic. Parking overflowed into the grass by way of the zoo staff. However, they left after it was full and "smart" people thought it would be ok to park wherever there was a patch of grass, even if that meant blocking the exits to the faux rows. Inside the zoo, it was so crowded. We had to pretty much stand in lines to see exhibits for the first couple of animals near the entrance.

Part of the zoo is  under construction, like the petting zoo. They had a couple of zoo staff holding animals. I don't dare let Ryden touch them by himself. He doesn't know how to pet the animals as evident in the pulling out of the puppy's hair incidents. I let him hold one of my fingers then run his hand over the creature.
Ryden's lion with a real lion.
"Don't let it eat me!"

Lesson #2: Animals at the zoo on a hot day are going to be lazy and probably out of sight or far away. I really wanted him to see these lions he seems to like in real life. Well it was tucked under some shade at the back of it's cage. Some animals came closer. Ryden at least seemed to enjoy just getting out and viewing the scenery. He didn't have a single meltdown.

I brought a stroller, but held him most of the time in an effort to allow him to see the animals. When I did put him the stroller, he would fall asleep after a few minutes.  He slept through the monkeys. Lesson #3: Baby will sleep at some points. Normally, when I wanted to get a picture of him next to something for instance: the monkeys he was dressed up. So we just took pictures whenever he was awake and stopped planning to do things like put him in a tree. I tend to spend a lot of time trying to get pictures for memories, instead of making memories.

My favorite part of the zoo is the swamp walk. We saw animals, ate food, walked over swamp, saw the Rou garou, let the baby view the baby gators. That's also where Ryden was most excited by an animal: the bobcat! The bobcats probably look a lot like our cats. They stretched like a house cat and rubbed against things. We let him watch them for a while.

The Bobcat Stretch.
Swimming with gators.
Escaping the Rou garou.
Lesson #4: Time flies. We got to the zoo aorund 11am and left around 3pm. I had imagined we would stay there for about 2 hours, but not 4. Audubon Zoo is very big. We didn't even make it to all the exhibits. I had planned on geocaching afterwards, but we were pooped when we left. The baby slept well that night.

Baby Aztec sacrifice.
Lesson #5: Bring sunscreen. For self. I tend to forget that I burn. It did fade after two days. I didn't put sun screen on the baby (he has very sensitive skin anyways), but we kept him covered. And put his monkey hat back on his head every time he pulled it off. 

What's up, Monkey Butt?
Unless we go with my Pumpkin Patch moms, I think our next NOLA zoo trip will be when he around October. The Aquarium of the Americas is possibly in our future in May. And the Baton Rouge zoo is another possibility for the summer with my sister and niece. We've got a long list of places to go with the baby and activities we can do.

1 comment:

  1. Your baby's facial expressions make me giggle. Priceless!