Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day #18: A lovely day ... but no zoo!

Do you remember me telling you that we planned to go to the zoo today? We planned our whole day around it! Emma had a doctor appointment this morning at 11 a.m. so Di took Emma to the doc and the boys and Grandpa and I stayed home. We knew we would have the whole afternoon ahead of us to visit the zoo, so we just relaxed and played around the yard while Ems and Di were away. We made a bunch of stencil pictures first, but then Grandpa suggested that I make some paper airplanes and launch them outside ... there was such a cool and pleasant breeze today where they would fly so nice!
We had SO much fun with our airplanes. Christopher was especially delighted. And he is very very good at throwing an airplane so that it catches the wind just right. I made each of the boys two different kinds of airplanes, and then I made some for Grandpa and I to fly as well. We flew them all over the yard ... Christopher's landed in a tree twice ~ but we were tall enough to reach it ~ and one of mine landed way up high ... on the roof of their house! Christopher thought that was so funny. Paper airplanes are the one of the cheapest forms of entertainment you can find ... it was my favorite thing to do when in Austin with Jackson and Karis ... and now, it was a favorite with Chris and Matthew too!

Di and Emma came home from the doctor appointment, I made Emma an airplane while Di fixed lunch and then after we ate, we got ready for the zoo. Everyone was so excited about seeing the new lion exhibit and anticipation was pretty high. So you can imagine how disappointed we were when we arrived downtown at the zoo at about 1:45 to find the parking lot FULL, cars diverted to an outside lot, and the entrance line about 10 blocks long just to buy tickets to enter the zoo!

We parked in the outside lot, walked over to the zoo, got in line with just about every other family in El Paso to purchase our tickets. There was no shade. The children were hot. The line was moving very slow ... and then we found out that the zoo closes at 4:00 in the afternoon on Wednesdays. We should have known that ahead of time, but we didn't think of checking on closing time when it was spring break and an obviously money-making week for places like the zoo. Why close the park at 4:00 in the afternoon? How absurd.

We decided that since it's costly enough to purchase a zoo ticket, we should really get more than two hour's worth out of it ... so we are going to return tomorrow morning and do our zoo visit then. We grownups were cool with Plan B. But there were three little kiddos who were very disappointed.

Diana had heard about another place downtown that was having kind of an underwater sea exhibit kind of thing ... I've forgotten the name of it ... so we did drive there and walk around the place for a little while. However, most of what was there was actually for older children who knew more about nautical history, etc.
This is Matthew playing in the toy yellow submarine that was on exhibit ...

And Emma making her own sea colony ...

Probably the coolest thing there was the STINGRAYS ... not as cool of an exhibit as we saw at the John Ball Zoo last summer because this was a small tank that was about three feet off the floor and only had four stingrays ... but they were very soft to touch and the boys and Diana were really happy to spend time by the tank and visit with them. Emma was kind of put out that there was no food to feed to them, so she stayed at a nearby exhibit that interested her.

After we toured the exhibit, we went to a pet store so that Diana could get some food for her various pets, and she also picked out a new lizard to take home with us. It's probably not a lizard, but I've forgotten its biological name.
After supper, we spent a good long hour reading books. Emma read us the entire "Green Eggs and Ham" book, using a lot of expression. She did a nice job of it! And then since I had brought a whole bag full of books from home, I let the kids pick out stories they wanted me to read. We read another Christopher Churchmouse chapter, we read the story of Queen Esther as well as Joseph and his brothers, and two stories about Moses.
We made more paper airplanes after that. Look how interesting Christopher colored his!
This is one of the lizard pets that are around their house ... I'll have to get the exact name of it from Diana tomorrow. It's a pretty interesting animal!

Well, tomorrow is another day ... hopefully it will include the zoo. It is our last day in El Paso. Jesse is supposed to come home from his field assignment, so we'll at least get to spend some time with him before we leave town.


Thursday said...

That is a bearded dragon! Cool!

Emily said...

That's what I thought too! My cousin had one a while ago.

mom and dad hand said...

Sure love the pictures of everyone.
The paper airplanes were a hit and
the kids will remember that forever.
We did that with them here too.
Looks like you made the day fun anyway. Hope you get to the zoo today.