Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Day at the Zoo

Another beautiful Sunday morning... another fun day at the zoo. Embry has been asking about the stingrays for months and they finally arrived at the zoo this weekend. So, of course, we had to go and see them. This is not her first stingray experience, however. We saw lots of them at the Georgia Aquarium when she was 1 1/2 (one of the most awesome places ever!) but I'm pretty sure she doesn't remember.

So we went early, so as to avoid the crowds that always come with a new exhibit, and also to avoid the extra charge that is waived for the first hour that the zoo is open. (We have a zoo membership, so virtually everything else is free for us as well.) We still had to wait in line, but for less than 10 minutes, which was not too bad since Embry is surprisingly patient with this type of thing. As we got to the front of the line, we were instructed to scrub our hands and arms up to our elbows at a washing station before we went in. Then a zookeeper showed us, with the help of a stuffed stingray puppet, the correct (and incorrect) way to pet them.

Embry was so excited as we walked in and sat next to the shallow pool that the stingrays were in. The wall around it was just high enough that Embry could still reach her hands into the water. The stingrays were just swimming around in circles and coming up to peoples' hands to be pet. Very cool. It was easy for the adults to reach deep enough, but we had to lift Embry up a little. After about 5 minutes a big one swam near enough and shallow enough and she got to feel it! She described it as "like a puff ball," which I assume means soft.

Like all popular park exhibits we had to exit through a gift shop filled with ocean themed paraphernalia. Embry is not normally the type of kid who begs for this stuff, because she knows we don't buy it, but Grandma was with us. So she came home with a surprisingly cute stuffed stingray with a tail on it so long that I had to tie it up so that it wouldn't drag on the ground. Thus adding to her collection of usual stuffed animals. "Ray," as we now refer to him, has joined "Lou" the emu, "Corn" the otter, and "Crackers" the horse.
**I just had to include this cute top-of-Matthew's-head picture. Enjoy!

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