Today was Sara’s Birthday. (I’ve been forbidden to say which one!) So I took the day off and we celebrated the day my wife was born by first having a Micky Mouse breakfast (sorry, no pictures, it was before we were in any state to be blogged!) complete with pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice etc. served on Mickey plates and glasses and then it was time for Mickey Mouse gifts I picked up when I was at Walt’s Place* earlier this year. Then, after nap time the real adventure of the day began, it was off to:
(click on any images to view larger)
We purchased a membership to Brookfield Zoo this year since it’s just under $100 and pays for itself in just two visits. (Free admission and parking and some other benefits) We figured with a two year old it would be a good idea this year. Today would be Luke’s first visit to the Zoo in his entire life!
So, of course, we invited Grandma and Grandpa to come along, who were also free because members can always bring a free guest and they give you six free additional free guest passes in addition to all the free passes in all the mailings we’ve been getting trying to sell us the membership!
We decided to have WILD DAY at the zoo to celebrate Mommy’s birthay!
While this picture of a camel isn’t very exciting (remember, you can click it to see a larger version!), it is the first big animal Luke got to see at the zoo. He even said “Hi” when he saw it! Just be thankful I’m not posting all the pictures of animals we took!
I managed to get this giant kagaroo to stand still and let Luke pose for a picture in his pocket. This picture is worth clicking on to see the adorable look on his face.
Luke enjoyed the animals but he REALLY liked all the cork and sticks on the ground!
Probably the highlight of the day for me was the trip to the Lion’s lair. Not because of my childhood memory from this zoo, but because of what happened today. (Kids from my past ministries and camps have heard the TRUE story of how I was attacked by a lion at this zoo as a young boy, but I will blog that story sometime later this year after another visit to the zoo, until then, you’ll have to just ask a kid from my ministry to tell you.) As for TODAY – as we were talking toward the Lion’s area, Luke actually spotted the lion in the distance before I did and before I had a chance to tell him where we were going he pointed and said, “LION!” I was shocked! I guess those Baby Einstein videos do work after all! The lion even started roaring for us. I was going to toss up a flash video I captured, but it’s really not that exciting to watch, though he did roar for over thirty seconds as he settled down for a nap. It was kinda a “I’m here, I’m bored, I’m a lion, and You’re Not” kinda roar” rather than “I’m going to eat you for dinner” kind.
Which was a good thing, because he probably could have if he’d wanted to. He was pretty big. It was fun to see Luke taking the animals in since up to this point large animals like this were things he’d only seen in books or videos. (Though he has seen a lot of deer in our neighborhood!) He has seen cows on some vacations and that would explain why he called a few animals cows!
This was one of my favorite pictures that Sara captured as father and son walked around the zoo. MAN (or should I say ‘animal?’) did it STINK in that Pachyderms House! I couldn’t wait to get out of there! Whew!
Zoo Boy with Birthday Girl!
I’ve had the privilege of being in front of hundreds of kids entertaining, but I’m enjoying more just introducing one little boy to the wonders of this world. Just pointing and saying, “Look at that animal God made….” and “I wonder why God made that that way?” “Hey, Luke, check this out….” Being able to expand his world is the most incredible joy. Fatherhood is beyond anything I ever imagined it would be.
Mommy and Lukie stop for a much needed rest after so much walking. This mom is blossoming into the most wonderful mother. She is so patient and tender and caring and selfless. And for Luke too.
On the way out, Luke gave the Buffalo a kiss good-bye. (where’s the wet wipes?) We ended Mom’s special day at her favorite restaurant, TGI Friday’s before heading home with a very sleepy boy. It was a great day with the little family.
* AKA “Walt Disney World”, just called it “Walt’s Place” to see if Steve Tanner reads this post and goes ballistic in comments. :)