One of the things that Andrew wanted to do during his fall break was go to the zoo with Madeline. It was a rather cold morning, so we all bundled up in our jackets, gloves and hats and headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Since it was a little cold, the giraffes were inside the giraffe house. We went and fed the giraffes first. It was so fun to watch the giraffes eat the lettuce off Andrew’s hat. Madeline was only interested in feeding the giraffes through the gate. She was cute to watch. We saw so many animals during our time at the zoo. The cold weather didn’t seem to affect the animals being out and about. We saw the lions roaming around and an elephant that looked like it was dancing. I had never seen an elephant move like that before. The highlight of the zoo is always feeding the budgies. The birds were very active, and we had multiple birds that landed on our feeding sticks. One special bird even landed and stayed on Peter’s arm, my back, and Andrew’s shoulder. It was hilarious watching Peter whistle to the bird and hearing the bird whistle back. Madeline loved feeding the birds but was the most interested in feeding the blue budgies. As we left the budgie house, we saw the wallabies and even saw a baby sitting in its mom’s pouch. It was adorable. The fun continued inside the reptile house. For some reason Madeline loves to see the turtles, snakes, lizards, and geckos. She is fascinated by all of it. Then it was on to see some of the bigger animals. The tiger was out just relaxing, the mountain lions were snuggling with each other while they were sleeping, and we finally got to see the grizzly bear. It was only the second time I have seen this bear at the zoo, and it was Madeline’s first time. Then we rode the carousel before seeing the penguins, hippos, and the animals inside the monkey house. The penguins were all inside and they were super active. We got to see them jump inside the water and swim around. One little penguin followed Madeline as she ran along the tank. Every time Madeline turned and went the other direction the penguin followed her. It might have been one of the cutest things I have ever seen and a great way to end our day at the zoo.
During one of Madeline’s days off school, Myisha and I took her to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We scheduled our time right when the zoo opened. First, we went and fed the giraffes. This was the first time that Madeline agreed to feed the giraffes. It was so cute to hear her giggles when the giraffe licked her hand trying to get the lettuce. Then we headed over and saw the lions and elephants. For some reason we never watch the elephants for very long. We spent a good deal of time feeding the budgie birds. Madeline just loved that and so did me and Myisha. It seemed like all the animals were out today. The tiger was the most exciting animal of the day. It was pacing back and forth so quickly and then it got in the water and started playing with the ball. We made sure to stop after the tiger to eat a quick treat. We shared some dipping dots and then headed to ride the carousel. Madeline loved this fast carousel ride and chose the rainbow horse. Then we headed to the penguin exhibit. They were all swimming in the indoor exhibit. The only animal we didn’t see today was the bear, but we did see many other animals. Today we saw the giraffes, lions, elephants, wallabies, budgie birds, alligators, red tree kangaroo, turtles, snakes, lizards, geckos, sloths, tiger, bald eagle, mountain lions, elk, porcupines, peacocks, penguins, orangutangs, and monkeys.
We usually get a few random warm days in February so when I saw that the weather was going to be in the 60’s, Madeline and I headed to the zoo on one of her days off from school. She was so excited to see all of the animals. She talked constantly about the giraffes and how she wanted to feed them. The giraffe exhibit is the first thing you do when you go to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I paid for 2 giraffe feedings and when I went to hand over the lettuce to Madeline, she wanted nothing to do with feeding the giraffes. I think their dominance in height sort of frightened her, so I fed the giraffes instead. She eventually warmed up to the giraffes and was talking to them from a distance as we made our way around that exhibit. Then we headed towards the elephants and found a few roaming around outside. It wasn’t long after we got there that Madeline was already keen on leaving so that she could go and see the snakes and birds. We walked to the Australia Walkabout section and saw the red necked wallaby’s, the alligator basking in the sun, the tree kangaroo, and the many snakes and lizards. From there we saw a black bear, tiger, seals and baby moose before heading into a new section of the zoo called Water’s Edge: Africa. In this new section we saw African penguins roaming around outside, the Nile hippopotamus roaming in the waters, and some warthogs. Then we walked into the primate world where we saw the gorillas, orangutans, and siamang monkeys. The gorillas were massive and interesting to watch as they were either picking at their nails or regurgitating their food and then eating it. The most interesting animal in this section was definitely the baby siamang monkey. That baby monkey was so tiny, yet so full of energy. We stayed and watched as it tried to swing from rope to rope. It was quite marvelous to watch. As we left the Primate World, we headed down to the Skyline ride and took the chairlift all the way to the Mountaineer Summit. Most of the exhibits at the top were closed so we decided to get back on the lift and head back down to the bottom. We stopped at the gift shop on the way out of the zoo where Madeline decided on a baby giraffe figurine. It was such a fun day at the zoo with Madeline.
After sleeping in we got ready and headed over to the San Diego Zoo before it opened. We were amazed at how long the line was to get into the zoo. It kind of felt like we were at Disneyland, except the line went pretty fast. Once inside, it did not feel crowded at all. We headed first to see the flamingos. Madeline was fascinated with their pink feathers and how some of them stood on one leg. Then it was off to see the giraffes, but not without stopping first to grab some waters and a refillable cup for fun drinks. Madeline loved the giraffes as well but kept asking if we could feed them since we can do that at our zoo in Colorado Springs. It was fun to get super close to the giraffes and many of the other animals we saw. After wandering through the rest of the Urban Jungle, we wound our way through the Outback where we saw the cutest koala bears. Of course, most of them were sleeping with their heads tucked into their chest. There was only one that was awake and moving around. The further into the zoo we went the bigger animals that we saw. We saw monkeys, apes, gorillas, baboons, elephants, jaguars, lions, polar bears, ant eaters, colorful birds, and hippos. We met up with our good friends, Adam and Myisha, after lunch and had fun walking around the zoo together. One of the highlights of the zoo was seeing the baboons. When we got to the viewing window there were two baboons just sitting there against the glass. Madeline loved talking to them. She was so cute and tried to touch them through the glass. It was super fun to see them up close. After walking for most of the day we decided to head over to the shops to find something fun for Madeline to take home. She picked a baby kangaroo and a sequin snake as her souvenirs from the zoo. Then all the girls piled in Myisha's car and the boys and Madeline piled in the minivan and we all met up by the pier where we had fun playing at Waterfront Park. The kids had fun running around in the water and Madeline ended up getting soaking wet so on our way to dinner we stopped at the car and changed clothes. We walked to Puesto's where we had the most amazing Mexican food. We sat outside in the courtyard and enjoyed a casual dinner together and just had the best time. We just love Adam and Myisha and wished we lived closer. After dinner we headed back over to Waterfront Park where we picked up some dessert and ate it by the water. It was a great way to end an amazing day.
Sometimes, you just have to get out of the house. After asking the kids where they wanted to go, we decided (based on Madeline’s recommendation) to go to the zoo. We piled in the car and headed south, stopping at Panera bread for sandwiches, soup, and of course cookies. After eating lunch, we headed to the zoo, only to encounter a long line of cars headed up the mountain. It turned out, lucky for us, that the zoo was having a special rate and so it was very crowded. One of the advantages of going in the afternoon (other than it being warm) is that most families had already started heading out, so there was plenty of zoo for us to explore without lots of people. We started out by feeding the giraffes, which is always a highlight. Madeline was a bit scared to feed the adult giraffes, but she fed the baby giraffe...even though its about 6 feet taller than her. After the giraffes, we headed to the monkey house, but Madeline wasn’t having any of that because of the smell. We then went to the reptile house where Madeline was very excited by a king snake that was crawling around outside. She pulled up a little chair and just watched it slither around. She wasn’t scared at all. Then we went for a ride on the carrousel. Madeline spent the rest of the day asking if we could go back to the carrousel, so it clearly was a hit, even with the other kids. We saw a grizzly bear, snow leopard, tiger, lion, and cheetah. All the animals were out and about. One of the best things we did was feed the parrots and budgies. The kids got little popsicle sticks covered with seeds and then they fed that to the birds. We spent about 30 minutes trying to get the birds to sit on our hands or arms while we fed them. It was a lot of fun. We saw an alligator and got to pet a wallaby. In all, it was a pretty incredible day at the zoo and a fun day with the family.
Madeline knows her animals and the sounds that they make so well for a 2 year old. After seeing her excitement at the Atlanta Aquarium earlier this month I knew that she would get such a kick out of visiting the animals at the zoo. After doing a quick 2 year old photo shoot at Monument Valley Park we headed over to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The first thing we did was go straight to the Giraffe exhibit so we could feed them. There were a few other people there as well feeding the giraffes. This sweet lady lifted Madeline up and gave her some of their lettuce so she could feed the giraffe. Madeline was all on board until the giraffe came too close to her. She wasn't having it after that. Still, I bought some lettuce just in case. I ended up feeding the giraffes but Madeline loved looking at them as long as they didn't get too close.
After the giraffes we walked past the zebras and lions. The lion was sleeping in the lion house so we didn't spend too long there and instead headed to the Elephant area. She LOVED seeing the elephants. The elephants are probably one of Madeline's favorite animals. She loved watching them get the hay from the barrels and put it in their mouth with their trunks. After that we saw the alligators, snakes, and kangaroos and eventually we made it to the see the tiger and bear. She LOVED both of those big animals. They were both very active which made it fun to watch them. As we were making our way back to the entrance of the zoo we passed by a turkey and heard it gobble gobble. For some crazy reason Madeline just loved that turkey and wanted to go back up the hill to see it. It was so funny that of all the animals, she seemed to be the most excited by the turkey. Go figure.