Monday, June 30, 2008

The Minnesota Zoo

We spent time at the zoo yesterday with Anna and Nadia. A family membership to the Minnesota Zoo is one of the best things you can buy if you live anyplace close to the zoo. Seriously, it only takes a few visits for it to be cost effective, and the kids love the zoo.

Our first stop was the butterfly garden. This shot, as cool as it is, does not do justice to the beautiful garden. There are butterflies everywhere - Rose #3 kept saying "FLY! FLY! FLY!" and beautiful flowers. It is so peaceful and floaty and beautiful. If our kids hadn't been there (and if about 1,000,000 other people hadn't been there) I would have sat on the bench and watched the butterflies for awhile. It was lovely. Anyway, this is one of the butterflies that H caught on his cell phone camera. I think it is a swallowtail.

Even though this is lilies, my husband H said, "Look: Three Roses Minnesota!"

After the butterfly garden we went to the new grizzly bear exhibit. It is called Russia's Grizzly Coast, and it is a very well designed exhibit. They have sea otters and grizzly bears in a very nice exhibit. You can see the sea otters swimming up very close, and you can also get very close to a grizzly bear. The girls loved it.

After you see the sea otters and the bears, you get to a spot where you can pretend you are digging out a woolly mammoth. This held the interest of Roses #1 and 2, and Nadia, for quite awhile:

Rose #3 also very much enjoyed digging in the sand. Regarding her attire in this picture, here is the thing. Between the butterfly garden and the grizzly bear exhibit is a HUGE water fountain in which children are expected, nay, encouraged, nay, nearly compelled, to run. We had 1) no swim diaper 2) no towel and 3) no change of clothes. For either Rose #2 or Rose #3. (For some reason I had a change of clothes for Rose #1 which my colleague, quite correctly, pointed out was kind of strange. Who carries a change of clothes for the 6-year-old but not the 4- or 2-year-old?)

Anyway, all of this by way of explanation regarding Rose #3's diaper peeking out here. She was just wearing a t-shirt and diaper by this point (luckily I at least had a dry shirt for her)!

After the sand pit we checked out the wild boars and then headed home. We had a very delicious dinner with Anna and Nadia of brats, bean salad, watermelon and lettuce salad.

I am very grateful that we can do things like take our kids to the zoo and then bring them home for a delicious dinner with good friends. At dinner, Rose #1 said to Anna, "I feel like you are members of our family, and that Nadia is one of our cousins." Rose #1 is such a good girl. I was very, very proud of her to say that.

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