We spent the entire day at home yesterday, which is not usual for the Jones crew, so this morning D.Jones and I were trying to think of something fun to do. The Mall of America and it’s rides are totally out of the running on weekends now, until after the holidays. It’s just way too crazy. Then we realized it’s been about a year since we brought Cooper to the Minnesota Zoo, so the zoo it was….
Cooper was totally into it for about the first 40 minutes, and then something snapped. Apparently my boy can only handle so many animals in one trip, because after that point, he was more interested in befriending other childern, and pulling his shirt up and slapping his belly (oh God, he really is going to be a frat boy like his Dad, isn’t he?) and pushing buttons on soda machines, than actually looking at anything.
Thankfully our $33 to enter at least got us about an hour. And we did see some really cool stuff. Here’s a little glimpse of our trip…
We began in the Tropics area where we first encountered my favorite….
And some cool coral reef action
And this guy. Are those teeth or is that just how his mouth looks? EIther way, he was kinda freaky…
And lots of turtles, which Cooper really seemed to dig.
we passed this guy leaving the Tropics, and some lady walking alongside me said “There’s no sign saying what it is…do you think it’s a Kookaburra?” Suffice to say I was singing that song in my head for the rest of the trip. Thanks lady.
We stopped into the Zoo Lab, where I remember them having snakes you could touch and stuff, but there was no such thing. I’m probably remembering times from my own Girl Scout days, so it probably hasn’t been there for years. What they did have was just an area where kids could play with some animal-related toys, and do some photo rubs of animals. D.Jones tried to help Coops do a rub of some kind of animal picture, but by this time, he was too scattered to pay much attention.
Speaking of scattered…. While D.Jones was trying to do learning activities with our child, I was doing this…
The place was like a sauna, too, so we didn’t stay long. Plus, I quickly bored of taking pictures of myself in mirrors, so off we went to the aquarium.
I guess we had spent too much time at the coral reef prior to that, though, because Cooper wasn’t even interested in the dolphins, who were zipping around so fast I couldn’t get a good shot of them. They were totally putting on a show and it was awesome. But I did get pictures of my child running crazily through a shark’s mouth…
The last stop was the Minnesota Trail. You walk partially outside, so it was freezing, and it was the last straw for Cooper. He loved the first part of the exhibit, which is still inside, and involved frogs. Anything frog-related is good by him and if it’s frog-related and makes noise? Heaven on earth for Mr. C. Jones!! We had to tear him away from this thing, which allows kids to push buttons and listen to the frog noises of their choice. Very, very loudly, I might add.
After the frogs, you begin your outside journey through some MN lake stuff, and then a wolf area, which is awesome. I love wolves! There is something so beautiful and yet so intense about a wolf. And a little bit creepy. I jumped a mile when I was standing on the trail trying to get a good picture of a wolf, in front of a big red sign that says “Caution: Animals may bite” (what!?) and all of a sudden I hear the loudest wolf howling ever! I start looking around all frantically as D.jones starts laughing. Cooper had found yet another noise-making button.
I did get a few shots of my wolves, though…
After the wolves, we saw a beaver dam, and some owls (which are another animal I think is super cool), and then we were alerted to a ruckus a little farther down. Doug was trying to stop Cooper from pulling an emergency alarm on the wall, and I headed down to see what people were talking about. Turns out one of Doug’s favorite animals, the wolverines, which he refers to as “B.A. animals” (for bad ass), were in a bit of a B.A. scuffle. I managed to get one shot of them attacking each other’s faces.
Unfortunately, the next ruckus I heard was Cooper Jones-related and signaled the end of our zoo day. He had run outside into the snow and was refusing to come back onto the trail. After wrestling him into his stroller we told him that his behavior was resulting in a hasty exit to come home for nap time, since he was now screaming bloody murder through the remainder of the exhibiit. People love that in confined spaces, don’t they?
He calmed down as we really did near the exit and he realized we weren’t kidding. As we were walking through the parking lot he returned to being our sweet boy and said “Mommy, Daddy? I’m sorry for yelling in the zoo.” I told him that it was okay and that sometimes people just get overtired and perhaps hungry and that it usually means it’s time to go, to which he says, in the cutest voice ever “Oh yeah…sometimes it just happens. So, mommy and daddy, are you happy again?” Yep, we are, buddy.
For some other pics from our day, check out my photo blog here.