Tag Archive | African

Off to the Zoo

July 15

What is the best way to have one last bash with good friends before everything changes? Well… if you have kids a trip to the best zoo in the province is definitely a way to go! And, on top of that, allowed us to use up our zoo bucks (a Christmas gift from Kathy and the only way we would have been able to make it to this particular zoo). We even convinced Esther to join us in the fun!

Waiting on the rest of our group

So after we made it into the zoo itself and the Bleau family caught up with us it was time to see the newest attraction at the zoo (and one you would remember from the LAST time I went to this zoo with just Kathy and the girls)… the penguins! This time the line up was short so we went INTO the exhibit where you get us really close to all the penguins they have. It was noisy and splashy and the kids LOVED IT! 

My big kids

Close up and personal

Out from behind the camera… it was not an overly warm day which was PERFECT for zoo visiting.

Don’t forget the peacock who was right at the front entrance… on the way back he was showing off ALL his tail feathers… so we got the best display ever!

Checking out his reflection


Even with 5 adults it was a bit like herding kittens but we managed quite nicely. With so many little and not so little boys we HAD TO run through the new dinosaur exhibit. So much excitement running here and there with Darryl at the front of the pack egging them on! 

What a group!

Echo with a favourite aunty

Strike a pose

The leader of the pack

That left Sharon, Esther, Echo and myself to bring up the rear. With the aunties more than willing to walk the baby. Note that miss Echo went through MULTIPLE costume changes during our 3 hours at the zoo… for some reason zoo and walking and all that means pee through ALL your clothes!

Miss Esther

After dinosaurs it was time to see more animals. And a variety of those there was to see!!!


Emanuel was amazed that there were so many types of animals in the “same box”


Add in a bathroom break in the African exhibit.

VERY necessary

And a play break at the playground…

Birdies at the park and super close

With her god mommy

Baby and the Beasts

We managed to visit my favourite exhibit – the butterfly one. And with less kids in the zoo it was MUCH calmer which meant better pictures of butterflies at rest! I will share more of my favourites in a separate entry. 

A 5 day old moth

So many on one bush!

After the butterflies it was time for Emanuel’s most requested ELEPHANTS!

Emanuel and his super special pose

We took a photo together here our last trip to this zoo together… when Emanuel was less than a year old!!!

Riding the stone elephants

And then after a few wrong turns… the baby tiger was out for show! 

Baby tiger AWWW

With the tigers our crew was done in and it was time to head back home. Of course with a stop off half way to see Karyn, collect passports (yup EARLY) and have lunch at Quiznos. YUM!

We took up 3 tables!

Hungry and tired

Definitely a day to remember. And I have the souvenir penguin to add to all of that! I am so glad that I got the chance to take our kids there and with such good friends too boot!

Siblings of the heart


Now for the BIG excitement for the week… a trip to the CALGARY ZOO!!! You read that correctly… Kathy, myself and my girls at one of the best zoos in Canada. The last time we went here was when Emanuel was a tiny baby! A LOT has changed!! First off, 5.00 fee for parking! We parked in the Tiger lot! Trinity thought that was cool.

At the zoo

One of the amazing entrance statues

It took a little pre planning and organizing but we managed to get to the zoo when it opened at 10, pay our admission (ouch! even with a coupon) and get going. Apparently quite a few schools figured it was a good day for a trip to the zoo as well so it was a little busy. BUT we managed to see everything we wanted to and really enjoy a rather perfect day. 

Ready to see and do...

We started with the penguins. That is, the ones you could see from outside the main exhibit. The wait when we got there and when we were leaving was well over 30 min and the penguins that were visible from right past the entrance of the zoo were exciting enough for our two little ones.


Of course we had to take pictures in front of the exhibit sign too… it was just too cute.

Me, my girls and the nifty penguin statues

We decided to bypass the North American exhibit (umm can see most of that ANY time) and the dinosaurs (new exhibit but lots of walking AND we had the wrong “e” named child with us for it). Instead we headed right over the bridge (what a high water level there is right now!) and onto the African exhibit… we needed to get in our lion time (though really all we got to see was a VERY well groomed head)…


The tortoise on a walk was much more rewarding!


Though the renegade peacock was more exciting…


And the visiting sparrow… we figure he was there for the same reason we were… a little zoo culture! 

Another visitor

Let’s see what else was there? Of course Trinity had to pore over that map and choose the animal shapes that interested her the most!

Master map readers

Oh and lots and lots of flamingos, an unexpected find! And pink to boot… 

Trinity and the flamingos

We had to stop for a hot dog along the way… just a snack to tide the girls until we got our lunch break. Of course that was coupled with a potty break. 


We HAD TO see the elephants, Trinity was emphatic about that. 


There was also the last remaining dinosaur from the original dinosaur exhibit to check out. Trinity was quite interested in what seemed to be a hole in its neck. Apparently it is a historical landmark now. 


Trinity was very intrigued by the train that was NOT a real train… a part of the children’s area it ran out on the walkways without a rail. She was certain that that was NOT the way it should be! 

Train that is not a train according to Trinity

We also saw the red panda… a favourite of Karyn and mine! 


And a goat with the neatest curly horns!

Very curly

Oh and I got a close up of a second roving peacock…

Another peacock

Lunch was a bit of a rushed affair with two slightly cranky kids but it was totally yummy and gave us enough energy to see our last exhibit. My favourite exhibit was the butterflies. It is way bigger than when I went as a child and still a lovely place. Though with all the children in from school trips the butterflies were not landing very often. Trinity had to check out the pond in the middle of course. 



And another

On the way out we had to take a picture on the pink light… All in all I think we spent around 4 hours out and by the end of it we were ALL ready for a nap… so… we did!!!


I got the boys each a pencil and we got a special postcard to share… and then each of the girls got a little kitty teddy… so we did really good with our shopping as well.

Now post nap we had ANOTHER exciting activity planned – dinner with Esther! At HER place! This was our first visit there AND our first dinner cooked by the lovely Esther. Both were wonderful. We caught up, hung out and generally spent some wonderful girly time together. Trinity even had her nails done AGAIN! Spoiled!

Esther in the kitchen

Painting nails

The girls

So that was one of our best days in the city… not only did we see some of our favourite critters but managed to corner the elusive Esther in her natural habitat. With a promise of a repeat visit! Seriously this week was an eye opener. I have missed these people. 

Late night boardgame with Kathy and Neko

The most interesting fact we could find about hippos

And the hippos who live it