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a trip to the zoo and meeting George! the monkey

June 10, 2013

We went to the John Ball zoo in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago.  It’s a cute little zoo, a good size for little ones. It’s not quite as awesome as the Milwaukee County Zoo, which is the zoo that I grew up going to, and it’s got a great selection of the big awesome animals.

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The John Ball zoo does have a troupe of chimpanzees, and Lilly enjoyed crouching and saying, “Hi!” in a tiny voice while looking down into the chimpanzee enclosure.

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The bear was another favorite from the zoo, but probably the biggest hit were the chickens.  And the soft pretzel that we stopped to snack on.

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She was interested in the sheep, but totally not gonna touch them.  The chickens, though, oh my.  Several of them walked over to where we were and Lilly is all, “Come here chickens!” and mama and dada were like, “Shoo! Go away gross weird birds!” only we sent our message non-verbally with foot stomps and the like.  Birds make me nervous, especially large sort-of broken-looking roosters with spurs.

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She was into the brown bears, and their new enclosure puts you RIGHT THERE with them.  But her biggest thrill came from checking out the fish in the aquarium.

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The zoo wasn’t open very late when we went (it closed at 4 pm!), so we took our early dismissal as a sign that we should grab pizza from a nearby brewpub.  The silliest moment of the meal was when the waitress took Lilly’s plate and she began to cry her hurt feelings cry, then she got off the chair to chase after the waitress.  It was so sad and sweet.  We get an award for A+ parenting: we got her to settle down by promising ice cream on the way home.  She now demands chocolate shakes 4 out of 5 car rides… regardless of where we’re going.

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A second fun and recent adventure was the local public library’s party in the park.  We went downtown (and actually, our town is reasonably small, so I feel like I should put that in quotes — “downtown”) and got to hear a series of children’s stories by several different adults dressed up as characters from the books.  We saw many that we recognized — the Cat in the Hat, Madeline, Harry the dog (wearing his rose-covered sweater), and others that I can’t remember now.

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Lilly was really excited to see Curious George there with his friend, the man in the yellow hat.  After we had listened to about 30 min of stories, she wanted to chase down George, so we did.  Since she is usually shy at first, I expected her to just stare at him until it was time to leave.  And she stared at him for a long time while other kids hugged him and had their picture taken.

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But then!  She gave him a super-awkward and very sweet little hug, and that was that.

Of course, probably the most fun of the day was running and splashing in the empty fountains.  It had rained just prior to the event, so there were many puddles to play in, and lots of friends to play with.

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We followed our story time in the park with an impromptu lunch with daddy since we were just a few blocks from his office.  Such a fun afternoon with my little person!

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