Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Day At The Zoo… In The Snow?


We’ve been having a bit of our “Seattle” winter weather this week. No, it’s not the fun stuff that everyone imagines when you think of winter, but rather, a nice cold snap that puts down a nice layer of frost each morning. By 11:00 in the morning, the sun is up and the frost is disappearing and everything just starts to look wet again. Even when temperatures stay below freezing, that pesky sun still melts off all the frost and we are stuck with just a nice day outside.

So, to end our Winter Break, we decided to go hit the zoo and renew our yearly membership. I’m pretty sure that since Evie was born, we’ve only missed a year of having a zoo membership, and if I could encourage you to do one thing for your family this year, getting a zoo membership is a great one to consider. The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle (about 45 minutes from us) offers adult flex passes that allows the primary account holder to take anyone with them they choose and the membership gives us discounts on taking additional kids with us as well. It’s a great deal and something we use quite often throughout the year.

Anyways, commercial over, and back to the story. We decided to hit the zoo instead of the beach – even though it’s cold, the beach is great for flying kites and such – and we set off about 10:30. We swung into our local coffee shop to grab some breakfast on the road and a cup of coffee. From there, it was a pretty quick drive south. The weather was cold, but clear and beautiful when we left Monroe. As we approached Seattle, it was getting cloudier and cloudier and I joked about snow.


Evie decided that it would be a great opportunity to use her new camera and capture some of the animals at the zoo with it. She had a great time lining up shots and taking photos of the animals. This was her perfect shot of the hippos, that also introduced her to the “zoom” function that she became so enthralled with the rest of the day. After clearing the African Savannah, we moved onward to the rest of the zoo.


The bears were in great form in the cold weather. Ok, honestly, both of them were just lounging around enjoying the colder weather I’m sure. Normally during the summer months, the bears are playing in their pool and walking around. Today, hibernation mode must have started as they were just laying around a bit.


The river otters were no where to be found, but the bear enclosure was pretty warm so we hung out for a bit and enjoyed the heat more than anything. After a quick snack for the kiddo, we moved onward… and then we saw it… snow. So, it was only a flake or two on the way up to the birds at Willawong Statiotion, but it was till a snow.


Ara and Evie had a great time feeding the birds. I had one that was so friendly he just hung out on my shoulder for a selfie. I’ll get that one posted to my Instagram account later for sure. I mean, how often do you get a chance to post a selfie with a bird on it?  After feeding the birds, which if you are even at Woodland Park Zoo, it is a must do, we continued on to see the Snow Leopards.


That would be about the time the snow really started to come down. It started coming down at a pretty good pace, but it wasn’t sticking anywhere. It was just a nice alternative to what could have been falling if it was about 5 degrees warmer.


Evie finished up documenting our visit to the zoo at the Penguins. Using her trusty camera, she captured a few images of the penguins doing their thing underwater. She really had fun with the camera and couldn’t wait to write a story about it.


So, rather than lose that momentum, we swung into the cafe for lunch and let her get down to business about writing her hippo observations down before she forgot them. I see a future in journalism or blogging for this kid, I tell ya! Of course, while we ate, the snow slowly stopped before it had really started. Nothing really stuck to the ground and the pavement just got wet. It made for a good drive home, but didn’t make things look pretty either.

By the end of the day, we didn’t get the couple of inches of snow that I had hoped for when I saw the first flake fall. We also didn’t get stuck in Seattle or Woodinville due to terrible weather. I guess overall, it was a pretty spectacular day at the zoo with the family, even if we did get teased with the “Big Snow of 2016” that didn’t quite happen.

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