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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zoo Atlanta

July was INSANELY busy! We went to St. Augustine, had Blitzen's ultrasound the day we got back, then left the day after for Atlanta! Zach and Matt (and Mom and Mr. Rusty) had to work up there for Aflac stuff so Robyn and I decided to take the kids up there too and go to the Zoo and Aquarium. Mrs. Charlotte, Courtney, Casey and I had wanted to plan a trip to take the kids and it just never worked out so I figured this would be a good opportunity to do it. It even worked out better than we planned as Mrs. Charlotte, Courtney, Casey and the kids ended up tagging along too!

Robyn, Lorelai, Kye and I took my car up on Wednesday July 6th. I was a little nervous about how the ride would go with two toddlers but overall it went great. Thankfully I had Robyn with me to change the movie and offer snacks when needed ;)
We decided to skip Kye's nap for the first time in his LIFE while at the Zoo. Zach wasn't too happy about it since we had let him stay up the latest he's ever stayed up two nights prior to watch fireworks. I understood where he was coming from and I wasn't too pumped about it either (and regretted the whole fireworks decision) but there simply wasn't another choice so we rolled with it ;)

I was looking VERY forward to our trip to the zoo as I grew up going to Zoo Atlanta and have such wonderful memories there. Plus we got in FREE thanks to this thing they do through the library where you can check out a dvd on the zoo (very boring might I add...) and when you return it they give you a pass good for two free adults tickets and two free kids ones. Score!
 Took turns with a bathroom break as soon as we arrived, I watched the kids during Robyn's turn!
 They enjoyed some snacks while staying cool with their stroller fans, so spoiled!
Before going on the trip I tried to build it up so Kye would be excited. I asked him what animal he was the most excited to see and every time he'd say "giraffe." It just so happened we got to see the giraffes first and he LOVED them...but he especially loved this statue of a giraffe ;)

 such a cutie!
 watching the giraffes


I think the two best animal spots of the day were in the beginning! We got to see the giraffes and the lions. Kye's favorite animal sound is a loud ROAR and he enjoyed trying to wake up the lions by roaring at them (failed attempts!). Robyn did great capturing his lion ROAR in this picture :)
We stopped at the first little cafe to get lunch and it worked out perfectly because Courtney, Mrs. Charlotte and Casey met us there and we all ate together. Kye was in HEAVEN with one of his good buddies and his cousins. It was very adorable to see the four toddlers interacting for the two days we were in Atlanta. 
bffs!
My favorite thing about Zoo Atlanta is Willie B. and his legacy. The dvd we had to rent from the library actually had a lot of interesting facts about him and his story is so cool. It REALLY bothers me that the pandas have become the face of Zoo Atlanta instead of Willie B. I made sure to tell the people who worked there that too haha

After lunch we had to get some pics on his statue!
 Colt
Kye
Colt's not a fan of picture taking but he did great that day!
 Robyn, Casey, Courtney and I with Willie B!
 At the gorilla exhibit!
 I rocked some of my Stella and Dot jewelry that day including: La Coco Turquoise Bead Necklace with the Paradise Brooch, matching Paradise Stud Earrings and Sunset Bangle
 Mommy gorilla with her baby and Colt
We have several pictures of Brandon and I climbing on these same statues when we were kids
 Payton lovin' on the gorilla
 Lorelai's turn!

Seeing the gorillas was my favorite part because the little baby was BEYOND cute!!!

 G-Mama enjoyed spending quality time with all her grandbabies
 This post could also be titled "Casey's crazy facial expressions." Here's the first of many from the day!
 another cute baby!!!
 Can't you tell the kids really enjoyed it?
The reptile house and another great Casey Face
 See, I don't get what makes pandas so "cool" this guy was LAME. He just was laying there looking dead, while the gorillas were so entertaining!
 watching the pandas lay around
 tigers!
Casey face ;)
The zoo is set up in one big circle and we purposefully went the way we did so we'd end up at the petting zoo. We knew it'd be tough to get the kids back in strollers after petting all the animals and we thought it'd be good motivation for them to have good behavior when skipping naps. Honestly though I was beyond impressed with all of them! NO one slept, but everyone was happy and content the whole time. We let them get out and walk a lot which worked out fine and I thought the day went mega smooth. It wasn't even all that hot! The Zoo has great shade and so much to see that you didn't get bored one bit. The petting zoo wasn't mega exciting but the kids enjoyed it so it was worthwhile. 
 Kye was all about petting them on their butts haha
 After I helped Kye brush the goat I realized one was standing behind me EATING my skirt!!! I had to pull it out of his mouth!!!


 I thought the brushes were a fun idea and the kids really enjoyed getting to have that kind of "responsibility" with the animals!
We did a good job avoiding all the playgrounds that day. We'd RUN past them so the kids wouldn't ask to play on them...all of us agreed that letting them play would be the kiss of death! Keeping them focused was important :) However, when we finished up with all the animals for the day we did see a carousel and a train and we knew the kids would love the choo-choo (at least the boys anyway!). It was pretty dumb that they charge for it but it was one of Kye's favorite things about the day! When we were about halfway through the zoo I asked Kye what his favorite thing he saw was. His answer? "Colt!" Then at the end of the day I asked him again and he said "choo choo train!" Um. I could have stayed in Valdosta and showed him both of those things haha!!!

All the kids and mamas ready to ride
our only group shot from the trip
I tried to make it mega fun by getting the kids pumped up and saying "choo choo!" a ton

Colt and Courtney
saying "choo choo"

Courtney didn't have her camera on the trip so I did my best to get plenty of pictures of her kids too!


We finished up around 3ish which worked out well. The kids all survived skipping their naps! We enjoyed the gift shop (I got Kye a gorilla shirt and us an ornament for our Christmas tree!) and Mrs. Charlotte wanted to get each of her grandkids a little prize to remember the zoo by. Here's each of the kids with the prizes they picked out.

Kye picked out a thing of trucks...BIG shocker...
Colt got some African animals
Payton and her stuffed animal
Lorelai's favorite was the flamingos!
Mrs. Charlotte even got baby Blitzen a little giraffe :)
Our hotel was in Austelle which was about 45 min from the zoo. The kids watched Tangled for the 10th time while we drove and hoped they would fall asleep...but they didn't! They really were in good moods though and I was pretty surprised! Mom, Zach, Kye and I had a room; Matt, Robyn and Lorelai had a room, Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte had a room; and Courtney, Colt, Payton, and Casey had a room. We first said we'd take the kids swimming but we beat Zach there and he had all our stuff so we didn't have bathing suits. Plus when we got there I realized I was straight up EXHAUSTED. Like could barely moved exhausted...again my mind always goes to Disney. I was at the Zoo for less than 4 hours and I was BEAT...how will I do a theme park all day for four days straight?!?!

Robyn was very sweet to run and get us Zaxby's for dinner so we just hung out and let the kids watch a little show on tv and eat an early dinner so we could get them in bed early too. I put Kye down a little before 7 and it still took him awhile to fall asleep. I know he was over-tired and I was a little nervous about how the next day at the aquarium would go. I ended up showering and relaxing myself because I needed my rest for the next day! Having a baby in your belly will def. make you sleepy ;)
It was a fun day filled with lots of memory making and the fun wasn't over yet!

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