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.