Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My….

This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Anderson-Nielsen Mother’s Day trip to the Omaha Zoo. Saturday morning bright and early we headed over to Omaha, though our trip got off to a rocky start. When getting Addy ready to go and combing her hair, we found a tick on her head. That was fun trying to get it off. I think we used 8 matches or so on its body. The thing was toasted. Then tweezers to get it out. Addy was, and still is, kind of freaked out about it. Especially after seeing a picture of one zoomed in on my iPod. So the whole day at the zoo Addy had on a hat. And said on the way back, “Daddy, when we get back to Iowa I need to wear my hat”.

So after that we met up with Kim & Jason and headed west to Omaha. We got off to a little later start than last year I think but got to the zoo at 1020. The parking lot was packed already but the line was short getting in there. For those who aren’t reading this, if you haven’t been to the zoo there, you can spend a day or more there. We were there for 6+ hours and didn’t see everything. Last year we were there probably 7+ hours and didn’t see everything. First exhibit was just a little pond of ducks and other birds, and the “peacops”(as Addy said it) that were walking around. Brady has his map out ready to go check out everything.

Then after that, I was attacked by a Hungry, Hungry Hippo!

And we were then off to a few other exhibits.

Eventually we then saw the Bears, and then gorilla’s. The sun bear’s claws look like they could just rip a arm off. I did wish we could have seen the polar bear swimming. I think that is the one thing about zoo’s that the visitors would like to change. Let’s see the animals in action. The gorilla’s were moving around a bit. They look amazing. It’s weird how human they are. We were talking like do you ever wonder what they are thinking when we are looking at them? After that was a few photo ops with some gorilla's.

Then the great thing about the Omaha Zoo was that they allow you to take a cooler in there. Lunch came and went, then Brady was excited to go see the cats! I’m with him, they were pretty cool. The tigers were mostly relaxing but you got a up close shot of their paws. The lions were more just hanging out far away that we couldn’t get a great look but if there was a battle royal of cats…the Tigers would maul the Lions. Later on we saw the cheetahs, I think the should have let a gazelle go in there to see how fast the cheetah goes. After the cats was the aquarium, which I swear the building was heated. Brady was ready to eat calamari!

Got to see sharks, rays, and a sea turtle (which was hanging out the same spot in the aquarium as last year). Brady then crashed and we walked around to the other exhibits. While he crashed we saw some cranes, prompting Jason & I to do our best Daniel Larusso impersenation.

He woke up just in time for the Madagascar exhibit with the zoombafoom lemur’s. they were pretty cool. The elephants and the sea lions (and Brady was sure there were sea tigers too!)

After that we headed to the hotel. Instead of going out for supper we ordered in Valentino’s pizza. Great idea! It was really good. The pizza didn’t stand a chance with the 8 of us hungry like lions and tigers and bears. Afterwards we all swam for a bit. The pool was really warm, until you went to the hot tub. If you went back it was really cold. Kids loved it. Brayden got a cold though so we headed up stairs to get a bath and into pjs. By the time the girls got up he was ready for bed and playing with cars. After the girls got cleaned up Addy curled up in a ball on the chair and was out. Brady, Shawnna and I were up till about 1045. Watched a bit of Betty White on SNL. She was hilarious.

Sunday slept in till 830. Yes that is sleeping in with a 2 year old. Got cleaned up the van packed and ready to go eat at Wheatfield’s. After a 40 minute wait (with reservations) we got in. Got water spilled on my by accident from Shawnna. I think her mimosa had too much champagne in it. But the food was great. I had to have the omelet taken away from me because I was stuffed and didn’t want to feel overly uncomfortable. Next was a stop at Whole Foods – Des Moines, why don’t you have one? Wouldn’t it work in Jordan Creek? – and to a mall. There after the kids played in a play area, Addy took the next step to growing up. She got her ears pierced. 5 years earlier then I wanted her too, but I was out voted 3-1 by the adults there. They do look good on her.

Next we were east bound and down with Brady sleeping before we left Omaha. He slept Omaha to our garage. Drove around 300 miles on the van this weekend, but to see how much fun the kid had and how much fun we all had, it’s worth every penny and mile. Only 363 days till the next trip to the zoo. Hopefully Brady is potty trained and we are stroller free!!

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