Our Zoo Adventure
Yesterday we went on a family trip to the San Francisco Zoo. This was our first time there and first day trip in a long time, but it was with mixed emotions that we were setting out. We knew it was going to be a long day out and, well, there just isn’t a way to put this delicately, I always pray that any drive longer than 15 minutes doesn’t involve puke. The problem we have is that both our girls get carsick.
We start out armed with wipes, a trash can and hair bands. If we are lucky, I remember to pack a change of clothes and some plastic bags. And we have recently just started making sure to give the girls motion sickness meds every time we go for an extended car ride. I hate to do it, since I much prefer to use a natural method. But we were in a time crunch and knew we were going to be driving multiple times throughout the day, so we wanted to be safe. Next time I’m trying something more natural. If I find something that works, I’ll be sure to share!
I wish I could have gotten a video, but my phone doesn’t like me right now. My husband was telling the kids all the things we would be seeing on the drive to the City and got cheers for everything he said. “We are going to San Francisco today!” “YAY!” “We’ll be driving over a bridge.” “Yay!” “You’ll get to see Alcatraz from the window.” “Yay!!!” This went on for several minutes and it was so much fun to see how excited they were for their adventure!
We were to meet our daughters Girl Scout troop for lunch in San Francisco and then drive from there to the San Francisco Zoo. And we made it to the restaurant. A bit late, but in time for lunch, so I call that success! After lunch we headed to the Zoo.
The kids couldn’t wait to get in to the Zoo. I couldn’t wait to get in to the Zoo. Once there we saw a sign proclaiming that there was a special Tarantula exhibit as well. This made little one’s day! She loves bugs. She definitely doesn’t get that love from me! But I do have to say I think she gets her stubbornness from me.
We started in the African Region. I got to see my favorite zoo animal, the giraffe. For some reason, I’ve always loved giraffes. When I was little I had a little giraffe stuffed animal and I think that they hold special childhood joy and memories for me. So whenever possible, I go visit the giraffes.
The zebras were also fun to see. One of them snorted when we were there and my older daughter got a huge kick out of being able to hear them make noises. And the gorillas were pretty amazing. But through all of this, my little one was whining and complaining. All she wanted to do was go see the Tarantula exhibit. We told her to be patient and have a good attitude and we would see them soon.
From the gorillas, we moved on to the Primate Discovery Center and got more complaints about wanting to go see the Tarantula exhibit. Then on to Penguin Island. The kids were enamored with the penguins. They were swimming around, flapping their wings at us and wiggling their tails. It was almost like a choreographed show. One would swim by and flap a wing, roll over and wiggle its tail. Then the next one would do it too. It was hilarious. We could have stood there watching them for hours. I think this was my son’s favorite. He asked if we could go back to watch them again.
In favor of appeasing my little one’s desire for bugs (and ours for not having to subject ourselves and everyone around us to her complaints!), we went to the Tarantula Exhibit. She LOVED it! She searched for the big, hairy spiders and made sure to point them out to me when she found them. I personally stood back at a distance and didn’t look too closely when she pointed. By the time we left the exhibit she had asked “Mommy, when I’m in high school can I have a tarantula? Please?” And as the ever-generous mom I am, I answered, “Of course, we can definitely talk about it when you are in high school!” (“high school” equals being older to her 4 year old mind, lol!) From that point on, she was the happiest little girl at the zoo. (Hot tip: sometimes it is worthwhile to give in to your little one in favor of keeping peace. I wish we had visited the tarantulas sooner!)
Then we got to my favorite for the day. We got to see the hippo being fed. What I loved about this was that we got to see it from so close up. The zoo employee had turned on water that the hippo either just loved to be sprayed with or was trying to drink. So fun to watch! They fed it corn on the cob and what looked like radishes, or some other veggie with red on the ends. It sat there with its huge mouth open forever, like it was waiting for more. It was super cool!
We even got to see one of the tigers drinking water, which gave us an opportunity to have a really good look at it. Its paws are huge! We did our best to try to see everything in the time we had, but unfortunately missed a few spots. One thing we did figure out is that we love the San Francisco Zoo and can’t wait to go back again!
So for our first day trip, I’d call it a success. I know we all will have great memories of this day and our time at the zoo. The day wasn’t free from stress or perfect by any means. But what I think is important is that we did it together. I love my little family and can’t wait for more adventures ahead!