Birthday at the Zoo

Cameron turned 1 on December 14th. I have a 1 yr old post to follow with a complete update and 1 yr old pictures, but I wanted to reserve this one for our zoo trip. Her first!

The Houston Zoo

We wanted to do something special for Cameron on her birthday. Brian took the day off and it was a gorgeous Houston winter day (in other words, 70 degrees and sunny) so we chose to take her to the zoo. She’s old enough now to enjoy looking at animals and pointing at them. She really has only had exposure so far to dogs, cats and birds but now we can start to expand.

The Houston Zoo has gone through so many changes since Brian and I went a few years ago, and even more since we were there as children. A new “African Forest” exhibit was just added with chimps, rhinos and a new giraffe area. There are so many animals to see! We were there for several hours and didn’t get around to everything.

We chose to purchase a zoo membership which will give us access for a full year. It will pay for itself if we make 1-2 more visits over the next 12 months.

We started off catching the tail-end of the sea lion show then headed to the bird and hoofed animal area.

Watching the sea lions.

Some of the birds were hard to see since they were in cages and most not very big. But she easily spotted this one and referred to it as a “Dog!?? Bow wow wow wow!” We had to giggle.

The stroller wasn’t always ideal for getting the best view for a 1 year old so Daddy was nice enough to help her out.

There, much better now!

She wasn’t too sure about those huge beasts with horns (gazelles etc) but we held on to her tight and she was willing to check them out.

Daddy’s brown eyes.

Safe.

After those big scary things we were headed to the children’s zoo! What a wonderful place! Our first stop? The petting zoo area.

Little Miss Birthday Girl insisted on walking in this area. So cute!

We got to see goats, sheep and roosters in the petting zoo. Cameron liked petting the sheep best of all.

While in the petting zoo, Cameron spotted a playground on the other side of the fence with kids playing. She was very interested in watching this. Way more interesting than goats, apparently.

One day I’ll be big enough to play like that!

On second thought, maybe we should wait a little longer. hehehe

We moved on to the otters which she very much enjoyed. They’re such playful little critters. Cute as can be.

Watching the otters.

Another view of the otter exhibit.

Then we moved on to giraffes and lions, tigers and cheetahs. It’s so neat to see such exotic animals right there in the middle of the city.

Giraffe saying hello behind us.

The cheetahs were our personal favorite. They are very feral looking. It amazes me that they’re able to run so fast. My heart hurt for the two in this exhibit though because it felt like they wanted out very badly. They were pacing the circular yard over and over and over, constantly looking out the fence. They looked very out of place. I couldn’t believe the size of their enclosure. It was especially hard to watch as they looked around when the life flight helicopter flew overhead. It lands at a hospital probably 1 block from the cheetah yard. They hear that all day long and it is extremely loud. I hope they give the cheetahs something better than this dinky little yard one day.

After the cheetahs, we moved on to primates. Cameron was quickly running out of gas by this time. She lost interest very quickly and was in dire need of a nap. We made the stop at the monkeys quick then saw Africa and then headed to the car.

Little old man monkey.

Don’t mess with this guy.

The chimps are crazy. I could have spent hours watching them interact. The new African Forest exhibit is really nice. It allows for some up close chimp interaction.

The chimp is licking the bamboo after sticking it down a hole that lead to a tube with termites on it. This was so neat to watch!

After a fun and exhausting trip, it was time to say good-bye to the animals.

A tired Birthday girl with Daddy.

And Mommy.

After the zoo we were off to visit with our parents. We had a nice dinner with Brian’s mom and got to meet her new puppy. Cameron ate an enchilada for dinner! Then we visited with my parents and took the exhausted girl home. She slept snug as a bug until 7:30 AM.

What a great day!

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