Sunday, February 8, 2009

Adventure Day at the Zoo

We are truly Minnesotans. Now that the weather is a balmy 35-ish, we feel liberated, adventurous, and ready to tackle the outdoors once again.

We ventured to the Minnesota Zoo's new Russian Bear exhibit, and had a splendid time. Between the playful otters, the show-off bears, and lazy wild boars, there was much to see. The new exhibit has so many viewing areas, that in spite of their sprawling habitat, the animals are nearly always visible.

Maya watched the bear in the tree for a long time!

This bear was rooting around in their den, which also features a viewing window.

Throughout this adventure, we noticed that Maya was thoroughly in her element. Even when her lips turned blue and her shoulders trembled from the cold (35 isn't actually all that balmy), she didn't want to leave the bears for the inside exhibits.

But my Oklahoma relatives will be happy to know that Elliot is staying true to her warmer roots. About 10 minutes into the bear exhibit, while the rest of us watched with fascination as the bears mauled a tree, Elliot started voicing her protest.

Unless held tight to daddy and wrapped in a blanket, she was thoroughly upset. Good thing we brought the giant stroller!
Can you tell daddy REALLY liked the bears?

Even when we headed inside to visit the sharks and dolphins, Elliot shivered and complained. To be clear, I dressed her in layers of polar fleece in addition to her lovely leopard print jacket. Still, she spent most of her zoo time huddling around the hand dryer. All of the hands on exhibits encourage hand washing after messing with the sea creatures, so there were hand dryer's blowing warm air all over the place. Elliot ran from one to another, barely noticing the fascinating sea creatures all around her.

So if we've learned nothing else this winter, we've learned that Elliot much prefers long hot baths inside to long cold walks outside. Go figure... She must be grandma's girl!

Maya really enjoyed all the different aquatic life.... we'll have to go back soon!


Bonnie said...

So sweet! I love zoos (unlike Grandpa) and I love warm weather, just like Elliot! I did walk outsid last night and if it quits raining I will today! But I'm content to sit by the heat register! See you soon! XXOOXXOO Say hello to the love bugs!

Emily said...

I must say that it's been a windy 48 degrees here lately and I still feel chilly!! Maya is a brave girl :) I'm with Elliot on the hot baths!! Miss you and wish I could see your sweet girls!


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