Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jacksonville Zoo- Part One

At last, our Jacksonville trip!  I have edited til my little fingers cannot edit no more.  I have to say, that junk is pretty addicting!  So let’s not diddle anymore, get right to the juicy stuff…pictures yo!

We started our trip Thursday night.  At first we could not decide rather to leave Thursday night or Friday morning bright and early.  My opinion was the babies would be well rested to go to the zoo all day Friday if we got in Thursday, relaxed and ate dinner.  Hubby thought it would be best to leave bright and early Friday morning and go straight to the zoo, saving the extra night hotel cost.  When we arrived at the zoo, and began our day, we realized how thankful we were that we got in the night before.  The babies were in such a great mood and were so happy to be there…definitely worth every penny.

We got up around seven and headed downstairs to eat at the hotel.  Side note: if you are EVER in Jacksonville, looking for a hotel, and have kids (or don’t have kids), we HIGHLY recommend the Hilton in Saint John’s Town Center.  The hotel was so nice, the people that worked there were amazing, and it is in this outdoor mall with like over 200 stores and restaurants…TOTALLY worth it.  Once we parked at the hotel we did not have to drive anywhere, everything we needed was right there.  We left the hotel about 8:00 and headed to the zoo.  The GPS said it was only 15 minutes from the hotel, but we wanted to give ourselves “get lost” time.  The zoo opened at 9:00 so we thought that was plenty of time.

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We got to the zoo very early, like a half hour.  We decided to do diaper changes, and I wanted to get to something I could start taking pictures of…

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So I found a couple flowers and this turtle…and the fun begins!

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The first part we saw was a bird exhibit.  It was like a big cadge that you could walk through and the birds were just roaming freely.  The babies thought it was so neat.  Both of them were screaming and waving their hands, so excited. 

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The bird exhibit had a stork!!  This was my first time ever seeing a stork in real life…and I was not impressed.  Bless his heart, he was not a very pretty animal.  Looked like a buzzard with an extra large turkey guzzle.

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After the bird exhibit, we headed to Africa!

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Daddy had to pick up little man and baby girl and show them all the animals.  Little man enjoyed telling the warthog “eat you” and the other animal, I cannot remember their name but he called the a cow and enjoyed mooing at them.

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These are actually native birds to Florida and are not part of the zoo.  However, they migrated to the zoo in the late 1990s and have not left since.

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After we left Africa, we headed into the snake exhibit.  This REALLY worried Daddy and I because little man was fascinated with the snakes and did not seem scared at all of them.  I want him to be a little scared of them so he knows they can hurt him…but no he thought they were super cool.

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Bless his heart, another u-g-l-y bird!

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Funny story: as we walked past this bird it started making loud noise, almost like a mating call or something.  The babies were stunned by the awesome noise this bird was making and they watched/listened for a little while.  After we got down the path a little ways I looked at little man and said “what did that bird say”, because he honestly looked at it like he knew exactly what that poor bird was screaming about.  He looked at me and in all seriousness said “kaaaa kaaaa kaaa” and mocked the bird EXACTLY how it sounded…we DIED in laughter!!

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A new part to the zoo is the stingray bay.  You could pet the stingrays, which we thought was really cool…little man did not.

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The paths leading from exhibit to exhibit were so pretty and well landscaped.  I probably took 50 pictures of just plants and flowers.

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The giraffes were amazing.  We were able to get really close to them and they were so active.  Little man even got to feed them with Daddy…he thought that was SO cool.  

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Right after you leave the giraffes there is a metal elephant…look at little man in scale to a adult elephant.

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Next we were on to the Florida native animals…gator swamp…

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Can you see him?  He is nice and hidden. Blinded right in with the grass.  Try this: explain to a two year old that there IS indeed a gator in there you just cannot see him because he is blinded into the grass…yea didn’t go too well for us either!

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On to the black bears, nothing exciting, they just slept.

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The Florida Panther.  Such a beautiful creature.  Little man called it a kitty, I agree does look like a kitty and may be in the same family as one…I’m not sure.

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Then another snake exhibit, these were the Florida snakes…he still was fascinated with them

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I think I maxed out my limit on pictures in one post, so I had to divide them up into two separate posts…can you tell I got a new toy?  I have a condition that I need to have looked at, it is called “trigger happy finger” I cannot stop taking pictures. Smile

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