Today was Nora's first trip to the Oregon Zoo, and a first day at the Oregon Zoo for hundreds, perhaps thousands of other babies!
We hit traffic on north I-5, and later saw a complete blockage of I-5 Southbound, tying up traffic for miles. We should have known that this would be the theme for the day, but that was ok.
It took some time to get to the zoo itself because traffic off the exit was long, the zoo parking lot was full, and we had to walk a good 1/2 mile.
In the parking lot, a woman asked me if something special was happening at the zoo today, and I said "All I know is it's the first day in 6 months it hasn't been too rainy or too cold. I think anyone with a kid wants to be at the zoo today!"
We decided the best way to get in to see animals quickly wasn't to pay a one-time fee, but to buy an annual pass. That cut our waiting time in half, and in no time at all, we were able to eat lunch (by some miracle the line and wait in the restaurant was remarkably short), and get on the way to see animals!
It was so sunny and warm today, Miss Nora got out the Baby Banz sungless and hat set that Mommy bought her while she was still WAY too small to wear it. She did great with her new shades, and aside from a little bit of sunscreen on her arms, the hat shaded the rest!
We saw otters, and big fish. Nora was pretty impressed by anything with a tank, as she'd watch something swim by and follow it. She had a harder time seeing the things we all have trouble finding -- the cats sitting in a shaded area, that sort of thing. But she thoroughly enjoyed watching the big stuff like polar bears and sea lions.
We stopped into the restaurant again for some water and a rest before going on to the Northwest exhibit. Turns out it was an elephant's birthday so the African area was a ZOO! There were HOARDS of people...I'm actually shocked that things were as controlled as they were.
At the bottom of this large winding path, we finally were smart enough to ask for a family picture to be taken. Nora was about done by then, but hey. She still had a few smiles in her, we just didn't get it in this photo.
But Miss Nora did great today. She is absolutely enthralled with the camera, and during our lunch break I got this picture of her.
And let me say this about Oregonians. Never have I seen a cluster of kids, strollers, parents and the potential for meltdowns and accidents. I frequently heard people apologizing for cutting others off, or just getting in their way. Even little kids were polite, and one little guy held the door for me into the polar bear area so I could get the stroller in.
AND at lunch a grandmother with a young family fell on her back while trying to sit down at their table. I told Brian to go get someone from the zoo staff (he was just coming back from the bathroom and missed the fall), and not one but TWO men stepped right up and said they were paramedics or EMTs, and helped the woman assess whether she was seriously hurt. Eventually she was able to get up and was deemed to be fine.
The ride back was an earsplitter, as Miss Nora decided she Was Not Tired At All But Did NOT Under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WANT TO BE IN THE CAR SEAT!
Yeah. That was super fun.
But seriously. The rest of the day was worth it.