The Time We Went to the Zoo...

Growing up I loved, loved, loved zoos. I'm pretty sure zoos were half the reason I thought I wanted to become a veterinarian when I grew up (and then I discovered biology, chemistry, and the like, and promptly re-evaluated my life plan).

I also have to note that I grew up going to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. If you've never been you have no idea what you're missing. It's consistently at the top - sometimes THE top zoo - in the nation (last year it was ranked the top zoo in the world). So, my zoo bar is set pretty high.

So naturally I had these huge hopes and aspirations when I planned Marcus' and my trip to the Los Angeles Zoo

Our inaugural trip went like this...

We fought the 110 freeway traffic for nothing short of an eternity. Reached the zoo parking lot just as the gates were opening. Found a killer parking spot (under a tree - my car would be in the shade most of the morning - praise the Lord). 

Bribed Marcus with Reese's Pieces if he would just stand still in front of the gates and flash a convincing "cheese." 
You can have all the Reese's Pieces, buddy.
Viewed a few animals. 
Left: Flamingos. Obviously.
Upper right: That fish followed Marcus' hand when Marcus moved it across the glass. I'm convinced the fish thought Marcus' fingers were worms.
Lower right: The view finders were probably a bigger hit than the animals.
I didn't take all that many pictures. Honestly, I don't find pictures of the back of my child's head looking at an animal 200 feet away all that interesting. And, if you've seen one picture of a lion in a zoo you've seen them all.

Roughly an hour into our trip, and several ginormous hills hiked (damn, that zoo has some steep hills), Marcus informed me he wanted to go home. He wanted to go to The Cube. He really wanted to go home.

I refused to give up hope that Marcus would magically change his tune and suddenly become the zoo enthusiast I was hoping he'd be. 

A few more animals were viewed. Some even slightly entertained Marcus (the screeching, pissed of momma chimpanzee was a show stopper). 
Upper left: More view finding fun.
Lower left: A gorilla (sitting on the right) ignores all the gawking people, Marcus doesn't seem to know a gorilla is behind the glass...
Right: More bribing for the slightest of smiles.
But, after our second hour I knew I wasn't gaining any ground. I'd pulled the last little bit of life out of our zoo trip and Marcus was over it.

Clearly the zoo trip wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it in my head. But, it was still fun pointing out the animals, asking what animals Marcus liked the most, and getting out of the house to do something a little different. 
The odds are very high that his smile was because we were on our way out.
With that said, I'm not sure we'll be making any more zoo trips this summer...

The zoo might not have been the success I was hoping, but we can cross it off the Bucket List and perhaps give it a go next year.


  1. I love how things on your list keeps getting crossed off! You're def. making the most of this summer!

  2. You should go to the Kansas City Zoo! We love it. The Omaha Zoo is great too.

  3. Oh no! So sad he didn't like the zoo. Did you like the LA Zoo though? I've been wanting to go back ever since we went that one rainy night for the zoo lights. Maybe we can go next year and Marcus will love it? A girl can dream!

  4. I've been to the Omaha and it was AMAZING! We also are obsessed with the Columbus zoo. And this weekend are heading to Detroit and going to that zoo! :)

  5. We're going to take Rhys to the zoo for the first time later this summer!

  6. Hilarious! I've never been a zoo person...because yes, if you've seen one lion, you've seen them all! But now that I have kids, zoo trips always sound like a good idea once or twice per year! Love that you bribed him with candy. Sounds like something I would do.....errrr, have done....on a regular basis. :)

  7. I don't dislike zoos, but I don't love them either. Reese sure loves them though, so it's always a fun treat when we get to take her. Maybe next year Marcus will be more interested? I love seeing palm trees in your pictures though - I wish we had some here!

  8. I feel the same way about a zoo trip. It's usually pretty quick since H runs from one exhibit to the next. We do have a membership, though, and free train rides on Mondays, feeding the goats, as well as a playground make it worth the trip. Plus our membership got us a huge discount on zoo camp that H has attended the past two summers!

  9. I always LOVED the zoo too. Maybe it's a girl thing. You'll have to try again in about 4 years and let us know how that goes.

  10. With so many amazing things to do where you live, I can understand why the zoo probably isn't the highlight for him like it was for us when we were little. Mac only really likes the zoo when he can pet the stingrays and ride the train. The animals are just happenstance...like, oh look, there's a lion. Whatever. :)

  11. I never ever went to a zoo as a kid, how sad is that? But we are making up for it w/ the boys. Have been to Doorly - it was the day after a nasty wind storm, things were a mess and half the animals were put away. Womp womp. Def want to give it a try again. There is one on this side of the state (in Moline) that is perfect for kids ages 5 and under - very little walking, the animals are RIGHTTHERE, forget that natural habitat stuff where they can hide, and it's super cheap! Oh, and you can take your own food and drink it - winning! We liked the KC zoo, too. Anyway, sorry M wasn't a zoo enthusiast - maybe next year! :)

  12. I wonder if his opinion of the zoo will change over time. I heard I wasn't too crazy about their either when I was a kid. But those flamingos are so cool!

  13. I have never been to the Omaha zoo. If I ever make it back to the midwest any time soon, I will have to sneak up there to check out the zoo.

    Maybe next year he will like the zoo more.

  14. I looove zoos. I always thought it would be fun to visit all the big zoos - zoo road trip? But I'm glad our zoo is pretty small. We go we do a loop or two and leave. Aria never wants to do more, so it wouldn't be that exciting to do a bigger zoo yet. Maybe one day she'll get a kick out of the zoos like mom! Marcus too!

  15. We love and adore the zoo, too! But, summers in Texas are brutal and just no fun for zoo trips. Bummer, right? But I am adding the zoo to our Fall bucketlist, for sure. Glad you were still able to enjoy the Zoo. Totally sounds like Mason. Cute pictures!!

  16. You know how I feel about zoos... but we did go to the Cincy one and it wasn't too bad. Really. I'm good for a couple hours then... take me home. I feel like Marcus and I have the same zoo mindset.


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