Rebel Emily: Zoo Atlanta

When stuck in a rut or going through something tough we all have different ways of coping. For me, sometimes I just neeeeeed to get away. Get out. Go somewhere. Do something else than my everyday routine!!!

A couple years ago I took Kye (and quite the crew) up to Zoo Atlanta. It all worked out great because Zach (and other Aflacers) were working up near the zoo area so we were able to stay together in the hotel room Zach was already having to pay for. We made a couple days of it and saw both the zoo and the aquarium. This year I talked to Zach about doing a similar trip. I’d love for Britt to see the zoo and aquarium too! She’s much more into animals than Kye has been so I knew she’d love it! Well it just didn’t work out…Zach ended up staying with his cousin, Ryan, when he went to work that group and it never was able to work for us to go up there while he was working in order to justify two nights stay in a hotel.

With the emotional junk going on for me lately I had that “let’s get out of here” itch and decided to be rebellious. Go CRAZY! And what, might you ask, is considered CRAZY by Emily standards??? Skipping the kids naps, driving to Atlanta, going to the zoo, staying in a hotel room, then driving back the next day. Yes. I said skipping naps. Britt is a full YEAR younger than Kye was before we ever, ever skipped his nap. Heck, she JUST got down to one nap a day! I mean was I living willlllld or whhhhhat?!?!

It all worked out for Casey to come with us (there is no way I’d go at this adventure solo!). I had a free hotel night stay and found a great room near the zoo area. I also got free tickets for all four of us by renting the Zoo dvd from the local library! We left right when the kids woke up that morning and drove up to the zoo. We stopped mid-way for a potty/gas break and I have to say that it REALLY helped. Zach never likes to stop when we’re on our way somewhere, but I think it helped the kids big time to get out a bit! We got to the zoo soon after they opened for the day!

I took a TON of pictures (duh). Britt hasn’t been to a zoo since we went to the Jacksonville Zoo when she was like two months old so I was REALLY excited! She was SO FUN!!! Every single thing was interesting to her and got her so crunk. Casey and I laughed and laughed at all of her “coooooools” she kept saying about everything. She was such a joy!

One of my favorites of the day was watching the giraffes eat!

Aunt Casey’s favorite animal!

This RANDOM deer type thing was a favorite for the kids for some reason?

Love my little lions! They both ROAR constantly around the house!

Willie B!

Pretending to be a bird…Casey told him to do this…which is much more like a chipmunk look to me?

Hands down the best exhibit were the gorillas. Britt was SO devastated when we had to move on and leave them. She kept “talking” to them and even kissed the glass. It was so sweet! I think because they were SO easy to see, she enjoyed them more! They are such awesome animals though and provided us with a good bit of entertainment…I loved seeing the mommy and baby together, of course πŸ™‚

Precious Girl…talking to the gorillas!

Kye was in a BIG TIME picture taking mood which was funny! Every animal we visited he’d ask for a bunch of pictures taken of him…guess he’s catching on huh?

I thought she was going to do something sweet like kiss the gorilla or something…but instead she gouged out the eyes haha

We packed our own lunches and it worked out great! Notice at this point we still hadn’t spent a dime other than the gas money to get there πŸ™‚ I told Casey that really it ended up being cheaper for us to take this trip and see a LEGIT zoo rather than buy season passes to Wild Adventures which is right down the road from us haha. I can’t hate on Wild Adventures though. Zach explained to me recently that I need to be positive about Wild Adventures and tell more people about it as it helps our local economy when people visit. So if you are in the South Georgia area, def visit Wild Adventures πŸ™‚ It’s worth the trip (even if it’s only to do some awesome people watching…I promise it won’t disappoint!). 

The Atlanta Zoo really is SUCH a great zoo! It is so nice and shady and has such beautiful, big trees everywhere. Unfortunately for my dang foot though…it’s also a lot of hills and “rough terrain.” Thankfully Casey was sweet enough to trade off pushing the stroller and we let the kids run a lot too so the stroller was much lighter πŸ™‚

This deer the kids were FASCINATED by as well. They loved the most RANDOM animals haha

Probably the second biggest hit for my kids, after the gorillas, was the Reptile house. Britt was in total awe and Kye literally wanted Aunt Casey to be by his side so she could see every single thing with him. Both of them clung to Aunt Casey and I kinda wondered why I even needed to be there πŸ˜‰ Kye really liked all the big snakes and Britt’s favorite were the little turtles πŸ™‚

This is NOT the best picture but I think the COOLEST animal were the naked mole rats. I mean you expect them to be so cute since they have such a cute name…but no…they are creeeeeeepy looking. They have these super long fang teeth and they do not look at all like I was expecting. We have the book The Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and read it often but I think seeing them in real life has scarred me!

I’m not a big panda fan…not really due to the pandas, more because of how the zoo WORSHIPS them. I miss the Willie B days because gorillas are legit cool…and pandas? I mean not nearly as cool. But it was neat to have an upfront view of them and watch one eat!

Nap time came pretty quickly. We got to the zoo at 10ish and 1 is nap time. I was pretty interested to see how it would go down. And, surprisingly, it was the opposite of what I’d anticipated. Here is Kye at 1:30:

Here is Britt (you know…that child who hasn’t ever missed a nap before?) at 1:30:

Honestly, they both did great. Kye got a tad crabby…but Britt? Not crabby AT ALL. I assumed since she has so, so much energy that not having her sleep would mess her up pretty bad b/c she plays hard, sleeps hard. But instead her energy just kept on going and going and going. Non-stop. And she was so happy and so fun! It really made my heart happy and helped me know I did an okay thing with my crazy, wild, rebellious decision πŸ˜‰

We set it up to end at the petting zoo and it was fun! It was actually the MAIN reason I wanted to come to the zoo. I knew Britt would love the animals and getting to interact with them. I didn’t expect for Kye to enjoy it as much as he did. He took is SUPER seriously and literally made sure to brush every goat there. This kid likes to work and takes his jobs hardcore πŸ™‚

Talking sweetly to the goat

Britt was a little cautious at first. Which is normal for her, there were a TON of kids and lots of animals and it was a bit much to take in. But once she got comfortable, she ran around with her little brush and visited with all the goats and sheep. She made me a tad nervous b/c she can be rough but luckily no ear pulling or biting occurred!

Kye announced that this goat was his favorite and requested a picture with him!

Last time we came we only rode the choo choo and I had planned to only ride it again but when we got up to buy the tickets I found out that adults rode for free so I figured why not ride both the train and the carousel since I’d be spending the same amount of money to ride both that I’d expected to spend to just ride one? 

When we went to get seats together on the train a group of kids were all getting on and were SUPER rude to Casey. Casey is not someone to be messed with. It was pretty hilarious to witness and I can imagine her putting her students in their place at school! We ended up being able to get seats together but the group of kids were still pretty rude and obnoxious majority of the ride. Whenever we went through little tunnels they screamed like CRAZY and it scared Britt. But we survived and both kids enjoyed it!

Carousel time!

Britt picked an otter which was too cute!

I totally wasn’t being “typical Emily” at all. I mean I was already being super cool by going on this trip without having it pre-planned weeks in advance. Then I was super cool by skipping naps. And even cooler by letting the kids ride both rides. But guess what? Yes, it’s possible…I got even COOLER. I know. I know. It’s hard to imagine πŸ˜‰ More of our amazingly crazy awesome cool mom day up next πŸ˜‰


  1. Sabrina
    September 25, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    Awww, so fun! Let me know if you decide to come to zoo Atlanta again! We have a family pass and could meet up and get you in for free again. :-). We were just there last week.

  2. crissy
    September 25, 2013 / 7:50 pm

    I love wild adventures! and plan to keep it cool as long as the kids will let me πŸ™‚ -Crissy

  3. Kelly
    September 26, 2013 / 4:48 pm

    Love Zoo Atlanta! We are members (live in Marietta) and we try to go as often as we can. Guess from the pictures that you didn't try out the new Sprayground? We went last month and the kids loved it! But that visit for us was definitely more about that than the animals. Plan to go back and see the baby Pandas when they are out. I do love them but the gorillas are awesome! And I miss the days of Willie B, too. We have wanted to try Wild Adventures when we pass through Valdosta headed to visit my grandparents in Northern FL. Is it just not as good as the Zoo? Worth the stop or not?

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