We ended our vacation with a trip to the award winning St. Louis Zoo. The zoo is FREE y'all. FREE. As in you are not required to pay one penny to walk around the zoo and see every single animal there. Now, there are some extras that require payment (carousel, railroad, feeding stingrays, etc) but you can purchase an adventure pass and do everything all day as many times as you want! Since we are members of the Waco Zoo (thanks, Gigi and Pops) we got four adventure passes for HALF off so we were able to roam around this place for a whopping $38.
We all LOVE the zoo - I think we could easily be "that" family that makes a goal to see all major zoos and be totally content. I know, that's weird, but also awesome. By this day, I had given up our "real" camera so these pics are straight from my phone.
(Our REAL "real" camera is being repaired and we didn't get it back in time and I'm pretty sure the iphone camera is actually better than our 2007 SLR camera.)
I long ago gave up trying to take a picture of everything we stopped to see because what are we going to do with pictures of animals and I would end up missing fun things the animals were doing trying to take a picture of them doing it.
Does that make sense?
The butterflies were a King family favorite - Emmy tried desperately to get one to land on her finger to no avail.
We arrived early for the sea lion show so we could see them do a last minute training session.
They put on a heck of a show and had us all laughing.
We made our way to the stingray village and made it just in time to snag a cup of fish. Eck.
Emmy gave it a shot and decided that she didn't like it. At all. She gave her remaining fish to Landry and Radley.
Radley would have stayed there all day long. He would have jumped in the pool and tried to figure out how to become a sting ray. I think if he could be any Disney character, he'd pick Mowgli, except he'd want to live in the ocean. I am always so amazed by what he knows about the ocean. He is constantly reading books on ocean life and asked me to start researching the best schools in the nation for him to be a marine biologist. There's hope for the oceans yet, y'all!
I sang Adele's Riverly no less than 173 times walking through the River's Edge. This is how impressed the kids were.
Also - the girls are very into posing in the most random places with random objects - example: "Momma, take our picture by this cave with this flower we found."
Radley is less into it - note his strained (but still adorable) smile.
The hippos were so dang cool. They are HUGE and adorable and were not impressed by the humans wanting their attention.
Have I ever mentioned that I wanted to get married in a zoo? I mean, how gorgeous are these backdrops?
We snacked our way through the entire space... stopping to ride the train, eat an icy, taste the french fries and enjoy some candy.
They even had the adult variety which basically sealed the deal that St. Louis has our heart. Beer at the kids' museums AND zoo - sign us up!
Someone was pretty pumped by the name of the railroad "except they spell it wrong, Momma".... I didn't tell her that we spell it wrong.
We ended at the carousel to top off one last day of vacation fun.
I think it's safe to say that 8 hours at a zoo was more than enough fun for the day - this was them exactly .76 seconds after we got in the car and turned on the air.
Next up - the long road home...