Monday, March 21, 2011

The Columbia Zoo

Friday the kids had school off for a teacher work day, which meant a full day with them! We decided at the beginning of the week to go to the zoo in Columbia, SC.

It's about a two hour drive, and the constant stream of questions from Michael helped to keep me alert. "What's the most popular color car? I think it's white." "Do you think a pink limo or a purple limo is more rare?" "What state was that licence plate?" "Do you think that car is going to the zoo, too?" "Do you get car sick? I get car sick." "Have you ever been to the zoo before?" "Who is the most famous rapper?" " Do you know what I want for Christmas?" and on and on and on. 

Not once, though, did he ask, "Are we there yet?" 

Maura just hummed along to her MP3, and inserted a comment here or there, if she thought our conversation was worthwhile.

Once we arrived, mid morning, the sun was hot and bright. I was shocked by the ticket prices for this zoo - $11.95 per adult, and $9.25 per child!

I loved the flowers! The entire zoo was well taken care of, and a pleasant place to spend the day. The paths were leisurely, and there were lots of little things for the kids to enjoy....

like these bronze statues:

We spent a lot of time going through the fish, reptile and amphibian exhibit. There were lots of nasty snakes, cool frogs, and gross lizards. Michael had a ball, of course, and Maura had her share of excitement, too.

I am used to the shark exhibit at the Cleveland Zoo, which is rather depressing, and in sore need of expansion. The shark exhibit in Columbia was beautiful, though. The coral and underwater plant (don't know what else to call them) varieties were colorful and bright, and there were schools of fish and eels hiding out amongst the sharks.

Maura had a great time trying out my camera with the flamingoes and penguins.

My favorite part was the monkeys! I could sit and watch the howlers for hours. There was a baby baboon, too, that was adorable to watch. He hopped around, darting this way and that, too fast to catch a decent picture. 

baby  & mommy baboon

Did you know that a baboon's bottom is tough and leather-like to provide a cushion when sitting on hard, rough surfaces, like trees and rocks? Wonder why God made it pink, though...

The kids got some Dip-N-Dots since, they were, "...just so hot, Ashlee!!" When I told them to smile for a picture, Michael said, "Alright, but make it fast. I've got food to eat, here." Gotta love that kid. :)

On the way home Maura and I turned on Taylor Swift. Michael wasn't too happy about it. Even though we promised only three songs, he was still complaining away. Finally he came up with his own solution:


This past weekend was also enjoyably spent with my dear friend, Ashley, and one of Daniel's good friends, Josh. What pictures I do have I will post after Ashley's second visit next weekend. Check out the  first weekend from the lens of a real photographer here:

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