Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

This summer, we decided that going on a big family vacation would not be a good idea. Plane flights are expensive for a family of nine, and a 16-hour car ride with five one-year-olds sounded almost as pleasant as having a root canal. Because we were stuck at home all summer, we tried to come up with a few fun things that we could do with the kids, while still maintaining our sanity. A little before school started, we decided to take everyone to the zoo.

Anyone who lives in Austin knows that it has a really lame excuse for a zoo. There are hardly any really exciting animals and it is kind of pricey for what you get to see. However, Waco, which is about 1.5 hours north of Austin, has a really great zoo. The Cameron Park Zoo is not to big, but not too little. It has most of the zoo animal favorites (lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, etc.) It also has several trees and shaded walkways, which make a big difference in the Texas heat.

My friend, Halli and her three kids came with us. We also took Calvin, my friend Natalie's son, who has come over several times this summer to help with the babies. In addition we had my sister, Tiare, who was still living with us at the time, so we ended up with 14 people total for our Zoo excursion.

Despite the over 100 degree temperature and very high humidity, everyone had a BLAST! I was amazed that I didn't hear a single complaint from anyone---not even Riley and Kaiya. I think the babies were just happy to get out of the house. I am not sure how much they paid attention to the animals, but they were happy to ride around in the stroller and check out everything around them.

After the 1 1/2 hour car ride, the kids were anxious to get inside! Big Kids: Kaiya, Riley, Calvin, Lauren, Taylor, Carter, Babies: Ryder, Rustin, Kassidy, Kaydence, Kyndall



Kaiya is testing out the awesome see-through tube slide that went through the otter tank.


Calvin with the Rhinos.


Riley and Kaiya check out the Lions.

Each of the babies had their picture taken by an animal that seemed fitting for them:

Kassidy (with Tiare) gets her photo op with a snake, because she slithered like a snake when she was first learning to crawl.

Kaydence is pictured with the bear because she is my most cuddly baby. (She actually reminds me of a Koala bear--she clings to me the way Koala bears cling to their mom or to a tree, but this bear was the the best we could do)

Rustin had his picture taken with the monkeys, because he sounds like a monkey when he talks "ooh ooh ooh".

This animal (see the one up to the left of my head) reminded us of Kyndall because it was so small and petite, that you could hardly believe that it could walk around.

I always thought Ryder looked a little bit like a turtle (in a cute way) when he was an infant.

Carter, Lauren, Taylor, Kaiya, Riley and Calvin all take a take a break.

All in all, it was a great day! Maybe next summer I will be ready to tackle a family road trip!



Szobonya Bercel said...

It seems you really had a great time there...:) It was fun to see which little one "match" with which animal! Ryder did looks like a cute little turtle!! Amazing, I would never figure that out of myself! He is sooooooooo cute!! And the other ones are as well...:)

wheelyfast said...

As I live in Australia, I feel that I must point out if you try to cuddle a Koala you are likely to get torn to pieces- they look cute and cuddly but really aren't. Love the photos they were all really cute.

Kristi said...

Awesome! I had no idea that Waco is the place to go for the zoo! Thanks for the info! CUTE pics and cute kids!

Melissa Spence said...

Ya we weren't too impressed with the Austin zoo either. We live South of Austin, so next time we thought we might try the San Antonio zoo, but it's good to know there's one in Waco.

Great pics, looks like you guys had a fun zoo trip...even in the heat!

The FarmHouse Triplets said...

Great Pics! Looks like everyone had a great time, which makes it sooooo worth it to go somewhere.

We did the Zoo too! Yesterday and it was wonderful to let them run and have fun! I'm loving this age ... four next month.


Stephanie said...

I haven't even braved the zoo with my 3 kids, yet. You are amazing!

Steph said...

Hi! I found your blog through Karen Matsen's--I've had fun reading all about your amazing family! Your kids are darling. Glad you're doing well!

Stephanie Ison (Lines)

Kelly said...

That sounds like a lot of fun for everyone. A big ordeal, but nice to get out and see the animals and take an adventure. I know what you mean about the Austin Zoo. It's better than nothing though. We went there a couple months ago for the first time and had an enjoyable, somewhat brief afternoon visit there. Brief because there isn't enough to make an entire day trip out of it. But still worth checking out if you've never been and want something different to do for a couple hours. I wonder how much longer the babies will fit in the stroller. Use it like crazy until then!

Team Serrins Springfield said...

We really love the Waco zoo. We usually stop there on the way to Dallas for the weekend and get out and see the animals and take a nice walk. I love the way the walkways are set up. The idea of taking a picture of each baby in front of an appropriate animal is very cool.

twin2trip said...

Ok i want to know how often to the babies get out of the house? Daily, bi-daily, weekly? Seriously my boys are lucky to leave the house every other day. Oh well!

Arnold Quads said...

It looks like you guys had so much fun. Isn't it fun to take our little monkeys out to see the world. It looks like they had so much fun. I was going to tell you, I showed my older girls your blog the other day and they thought it was so fun that there was another family like ours. (minus 1 baby) Any way.. It was kind of fun! I hope every thing is going well.


Rickie said...

You guys have to be the coolest parents ever. I love the pictures of the kids in front of the animals they remind you of. So cute!

Kristen said...

so cute! i love that zoo, too. Hey, a new girl that moved into your ward is my friend...Stacey C. with a baby girl:)

Carroll Family said...

I love that tube-slide through the otter tank - awesome idea! Looks like fun!

Christine said...

We love the Waco Zoo. You'll have to do it again when they are older. The zoo rents out wagons. Our twins are very good about staying seated until we are at the next animal. This year they were able to climb out and back in themselves. Thanks for reminding me to get my zoo pictures together.

Moni Graf said...

What sweet pictures! I think the animal/quint comparison pics were a HIT!

Our BBGB quads are almost 10 months old and so we decided to leave the zoo for next spring when they're a little more aware of the animals.

Looks like you had a great crew helping out. Glad you had a good time.....heat and all.

Love from KS,

Anonymous said...

Awwww, this is oh so cute, as always. I especially adore the "Giraffes!"-pic because Kaiya looks so adorably small and Riley is such a cool one with his shades. :> Ryder actually DID look like a sweet turtle baby! And cutey Kyndall with her bow-thingy!

I´ve been following your blog eagerly for the past 13 months and am astonished how fast the babys grow.

Keep it on, I wish you all the best!!

Love, Lu (from Germany)

The Kopers said...

Hi, I've been "blog stalking" you for a while. I just love to watch your kids getting bigger - they are so cute! You almost make me want mulitples....almost. I lived in Austin when you had them, and I remember seeing your story on the news. I live in San Antonio now and the zoo here is pretty nice. Very kid-friendly and just near it is a GREAT park. Next zoo visit, you'd enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

I live in Waco and have been following your blog since before your quints were born. Thanks for the plug for our zoo!! We love it and think everyone should see it.

Adonis said...

I would also like to go for such a wonderful vacation trip.