We DO go to Como Zoo every Summer though, it's free and takes about 2 hours to do everything, perfect for littles!
Grizzly Coast is one of the newest additions. There were a ton of people at the zoo and this exhibit was packed. I did not get any good pictures of the Bears, they were too far away and through glass and chained fences. They were fun to see, they are very soft and playful looking, although we know better. One was under water and was very playful with all of us viewers through the glass.
We also loved the Butterfly Garden! The above one is a Zebra Butterfly, but the others I have no idea what kind they are! Butterflies were everywhere, they were so beautiful!!! They were constantly on the move. Jedi just informed me this butterfly (below) is a Viceroy Butterfly. Jedi took this trip to the zoo pretty seriously, he constantly had his map out and was mapping out where we were going next and what animals were coming next. He actually wore out the map, it was well used! (I did get many pictures of him doing this! -It was SO cute!)
This below is a Black Necked Stilt. The birds were amazing! We did take in a bird show while there, I think it was one of my favorite parts. The albino Red Tailed Hawk flew very close to the top of Ballerina Rosie's head! The trainers were funny and very fun to watch.
This is a Cougar, he was very close, but of course this was taken through glass.
This is a Victoria Crowned Pigeon. She was very close and very beautiful! The flamingos are always amazing to watch. They are such an interesting bird. We also saw Tapirs, Gibbons, Monkeys, Red Pandas, Lemurs, Raccoons, Moose, Wolverines, Wild Horses, Camels, Caribou, Takins, (Talkins) very large bugs, Wolves, Coyotes, Bats, Boa Constrictors, Warthogs, Sharks, Fish from the Coral Reef, Leopards, Tigers, Lynx, and many other animals, this is just off the top of my head.
This was the first year we did not have a baby on a family outing like this. Babycakes is 2 now and did not even use a stroller until after our picnic around 2:30. It was a lot easier. I can see how people who do not have that "pro-life" or "open to life" mentality, decide to not have any more children. Things are easier little by little and they start thinking, I guess, that it would be too hard to start over with a little one again. It's really too bad. I guess I understand, but I do not agree with it of course. It was just different. It actually made me really wish for another baby. Wish and dream of that new personality.
This is the first time in our marriage that we are using NFP to not achieve pregnancy. I need to lose at least 20 more pounds knowing once pregnant, my diabetes will help me gain at least 60 pounds. I feel this pressure to get it done, hopefully this summer. I love being open to Gods will. Open to His gifts. I could never say "no thanks, God, we are done, we do not want any more of Your gifts"! I do believe that God knows best how to plan our family. He knows how many we can handle. (these are just my thoughts and feelings for myself) I think this little break though will have blessings. The break is for health reasons, I am diabetic and need to be at a healthy weight for a healthy baby, healthy pregnancy. I am trying to just enjoy the blessings of the children we DO have and the blessing to enjoy Babycakes while she is still the baby, enjoy Mary, she is only 3. Enjoy the big kid things Jedi and Ballerina Rosie like to do.
This trip to the zoo without a baby was interesting and thought provoking. Made me think of good things and feel that desire for the gift of a baby. That desire that is a gift from God.
(Maria: that desire is your gift, thank God for it. It is what helps you to be the best provider for your children that you have helped to teach for 20 years, it is the desire that helps you to love. It is the desire that makes you special. Whether the desire will be for your own birth children, adopted children, foster care children, or any child God puts in your path, it is a desire from God.) Prayers for you always, to know what to do with that desire, if anything.