Thursday, August 18, 2011

Family Fun Day ~ Guest Post by @rustilyn

While I'm on vacation this week Rusilyn from My Life As An Officer's Wife is taking over for my blog for a day.  Please give her a big welcome and lots of bloggy love.  She's a wonderful woman, wife and mom who I love chatting with on Twitter.  She's funny, witty and real.  Just my kind of gal.  You can find her there as @rustilyn or her twitterjail alter ego @hashtag_whore.  Without further ado....Rustilyn!


First – let me thank our lovely hostess for letting me take over her blog for a day while she’s relaxing and enjoying herself AWAY from here :) Thanks lady, you rock! This was a lot of fun to write :)

Second – let me introduce myself, because you may not know me (I know, I know, I’m surprised too!) I’m Rusti :) I’m married to a cop, and we have a 2.5 year old daughter, nicknamed Goose. I’m telling you this because they are my family, and what this post is all about :) Because of Hubs’ work schedule (night shift, slightly funky days) we only see him 3-4 days a week (that alternates weekly, so his schedule is predictable, it nothing else) but we do have a 3-day weekend together every other weekend – YAY!

Third – the business. When discussing with our lovely hostess what I might blog about in this post, one of the suggestions she mentioned was “what we do for fun as a family” and this summer we’ve started a new habit, maybe even a tradition (although we’ll have to see if it continues, I’m fairly certain it will) of zoo-hopping. Zoo-hopping? Pretty much it’s just trying to get to as many zoos as possible, whenever possible :) For us, we’ve only been to three so far this summer, but we have more on the “wish list” and hopefully we’ll knock at least one or two more off before the end of zoo season… let me share our zoo adventures with you :)


Our first zoo trip this summer was to our local zoo, only about 15 minutes away…

Potter Park – June 5, 2011

and while not huge, it does provide us with a fun afternoon without a long drive… it doesn’t have any bears currently on exhibit, but it manages to show off two of Goose’s other favorite “ROAR”ing animals – Lions and Tigers :) She also enjoys the Snow Leopard, the Mandrill, and the Penguin exhibits… The River Otters are always fun to watch, the Bald Eagles majestic, and she was alternatively delighted and frightened by the “feed the birds” exhibit – in which we held a tongue-compressor with one end coated in bird seed up for the birds to eat off of :) she loved feeding them, but got scared with they would suddenly fly away or near (darn flighty creatures – ha!) ;)


Our second zoo trip was a longer day… we left around 5:30am for a destination 4 hours away…

Columbus Zoo – June 25, 2011

Black Bears

Brown Bears

these boys are 5 year old twins – and they were in a playful mood :) Goose was a little frightened being so close to such large and scary animals… she liked them better the second time around

Polar Bears

these gals are 6 year old twins – they would take turns diving into the water and coming up to paw at the glass, they were a lot of fun to watch – and after a few minutes Goose warmed up enough to actually look at them ;)

Pink Flamingos, Crocodiles, Gorillas

none of these guys were very active, but Goose thought they were very cool, as she’s only ever seen them on TV

Sting Rays, Fishies and Manatees

this was a very cool exhibit, they swam right past the glass! they also had a reef where you could touch sea creatures like starfish, anemones, etc. – but the animals were on a rest break when we were in that area, and nap time arrived before we made it back that way

Play areas too (which Goose loves as much as seeing the animals)

Goose didn’t care that we’d driven 4 hours to see animals, she spotted the slides and she wanted to play, we stopped at two different play areas and let her play for a bit, she was thrilled to do it all

Also big hits were the Rhino, Snake, Water Dragon, Flying Fox, Monkey & Elephants – especially the baby!

(The big cats were all taking their afternoon nap by the time we made it to them, so those pics aren’t very exciting) We had a great time, although 4 hours on the road, 6+ hours at the zoo, then 4 hours home made for a long day!


Our third (and last) zoo trip was another semi-local zoo – it was only about and hour and 15 minute drive

Detroit Zoo -

We started out with a train ride to the back of the zoo, then headed to the Polar Bears… we caught the Zebras and Giraffes on the way, but only one Polar Bear was in view – and he was spending a lot of time chillin’ in the pool. We were able to sea the Sea Lions in the Arctic Circle tunnel – and Goose really loved seeing them swim right over her. The cats and bears were napping (thanks to the hot weather) but the Monkeys, Hippo, Rhinos and Meerkats were out and about… we enjoy the Butterfly House and Penguin Aquarium, before heading to a very special exhibit…


obviously the dinosaurs weren’t real, but they did look amazingly lifelike and the sounds and movements they made were enough to keep Goose on her toes and wary of what they might do… she did great though, right up until one suddenly shot water right at us and got us all wet – she was done after that! (luckily we stopped in there last, and we were ready to head home – also lucky, because I’d filled up the camera’s memory card!)

We have several other zoos on our Zoo Wish List, but I’m certain we won’t hit them all this summer… on our list are zoos in Cincinnati, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Cleveland, Indianapolis… we’d also like to go back to Columbus, but make it a two day trip! there are more we’d like to see, but we have to space them out, maybe we’ll get through them all by next summer ;)

What are YOUR favorite zoos? Or what do you do on your Family Fun Days?



Rusti said...

thanks for letting me take over your blog for the day - sorry about all the technical difficulties we had, glad it worked out :) I hope you're having a wonderful time!!

Mommy's Juggling Act said...

Thank you so much for guest posting! I can't wait to read about more zoo trips on your blog!
We're having a fantastic time getting away from it all!