I'm completely amazed at how fast the summer went by - I mean really - how is it after Labor Day already? I'm not READY to put all my white pants and shoes away! (ok, not like I actually do that and I don't OWN white shoes... but still!) It's funny how you start with all these great plans for the summer and then suddenly it's over and if you've gotten to half of your list if you're lucky. Well this summer was no exception. We had planned to get to Baker's Beach a number of times (didn't make it once), see more of Grammy during her summer vacation, hang out with local friends more, etc. However we DID manage to get in a trip to Franklin Park Zoo with our cousin Lisa and her daughter Victoria. We just slid in under the wire on this one too - we went during Victoria's last full week home from school.
None of us had been to Franklin Park Zoo before and it was SO COOL. I'm so impressed with both that and Stone Zoo (a visit we did, but I never got around to posting about). They're both in the "Zoo New England" network and are small, city zoos. I love that they are totally approachable for a toddler. Lily was able to get along on her own in both zoos and had a fabulous time. It's funny how when you're with a toddler the smallest space can take ALL DAY to explore. So the fact that these aren't huge zoos worked out just great. Despite Victoria's best efforts and superior zoo-guide skills we did not succeed in seeing all of Franklin Park Zoo - but that was entirely Lily's fault :)
We did see most of it though and had a great time doing so. Lily loved hanging out with Victoria. In fact, if I tried to hold her hand she would look at me very seriously and say "Toria hand!" Well, excuse me - I know my place now! I couldn't help lamenting that Victoria lives a tad too far away to come over and baby-sit. She does such a great job taking care of Lily.
There are many highlights from the day, but Gordon wasn't there so I didn't get pictures of all of it. They have a lion there who was sitting all majestically on his rock and then decided to belt out a few good roars for us. At first Lily was a bit freaked out. But when the Lion stopped roaring she turned to me and said "more more more?" Sorry hon, I'm not in charge of getting that to happen! We pretty much had to drag her away from Mr. Lion.
There was a very cool butterfly exhibit. The room was full of butterflies flying around and they had a little display case where you could watch them coming out of their cocoons (or whatever the proper word is....). It was really neat watching their wings unfurl and dry off once they were out.
Another treat were some new zoo babies - a baby water buffalo and a baby giraffe. Here's a picture of the giraffe - turns out the babies are still very tall.
Lily also enjoyed the pretend zoo animals. Here she is getting a quick "ride" from an alligator (or crocodile? I never know). She and I missed a whole other exhibit area because I couldn't pry her off his back.
By far the funniest animal-statue encounter involved the Mama and baby gorilla statue. At this point in the day I was tired and Lily was nearing the end of her rope - it was a tad too close to nap time. But all trip we had been promising her the gorilla - so we were all determined to get there. Just outside the gorilla area there's this statue:
Here we see Victoria and Lily posing near it all normal-like. But then Lily started getting kind of attached:
Then - silly, naive Mama that I am - I thought it'd be cute to put Lily on the statue - in the crook of the Mama's arm kind of behind the baby. She fit very well and DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE EVER. I so so wish I had a picture, but by this point I was too busy begging and promising her that a REAL LIVE gorilla would be even cooler to pull out the camera. Eventually we succeeded in talking her down off the gorilla. And the real live gorilla was pretty cool - but he also kind of freaked her out a little bit. I'm not entirely sure why.
We ended the day with a ride on the carousel - something I promised Lily every time we walked past it. We had such a nice time with Lisa and Victoria - hopefully we can find time for another fun outing soon! Thanks for coming up our way to play with us. Oh - and Victoria - when you read this - feel free to leave a list of YOUR favorite parts of the zoo in the comments!