July Pittsburgh Zoo Members’ Night

Our cousins came to town just in time to enjoy some summer fun with us. One of the things we did was take D to the Pittsburgh Zoo Members Night on July 31. We always love our time at the Zoo, and Members’ Night is always an added bonus.

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I’ll admit it, I was tired from BlogHer (can’t you just see it in my face?) and had already gotten a lot of steps for the day. For the first time in my 30 years, I voted for a ride on the tram. (Of course, we passed Arianna’s preschool teacher as the tram took us to the Elephant house stop.)

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For some reason, all three kids can’t look at the camera at the same time!

It was a pretty run of the mill night at the Zoo, we made it all the way around the main part (we typically skip Kids’ Kingdom due to the the fact a lot of big kids are running rampant and our ‘lil ones get lost in the mess.

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With a bit of time to spare, we decided to go back to the Elephant House. That night, it had been super busy and the Elephant Keepers were doing something neat we’d never seen–letting us inside the big room and up close to the elephants. Not like “stand for a second and take a picture that you paid $10” close (which we do and love), but up close and personal close.

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It was an amazing experience for the girls who both love elephants. Evan wasn’t as thrilled, but he did have his merry time in the Tropical Rain Forest. All in all, the crowds and being tired was definitely worth taking a few hours to bond with our kids and D.

I’ve shared a few more photos of the night on Flickr, in case you’d love to see more.

Smart Beyond Her Years (a Saturday Bonus Post)

It was Members’ Night at the Zoo. Normally, we would head to the zoo with cousins and spend our time in Kids Kingdom before it got too busy; however, this time, A had her opinion. When asked if she wanted to go, she said, “Mama, I really need to see my Ellies and Monkeys, they’re my favorite!”. There was no denying the kid of her happiness (and besides, I think that she’s too big for the “toddler” play area and too small for the antics of the line cutting older kids–but that’s a whole different post that I am sure Mr. Burgher would LOVE to share with you), so we embarked on our trek through the animal exhibits.

When we got to the Elephants, she of course had no qualms about “going to the stinky”–walking through the elephant house. For several moments, she stood amazed at the Mother Elephant eating her dinner. Finally, she looked up at me, blue eyes a’glow and said, “Mama, that’s you if you were an Ellie. It’s the Mama Ellie, she’s eatin’ her dinner!”. I was touched that she knew the parallel between mothers, so I asked her if she was an Elephant, what would she be. Of course, because she’s smart beyond her years, she laughed and said, “Mama! I’d be your BABY ELLIE, silly!”. And without batting an eye, she bid farewell to the Mother and headed out the door.