Saturday, July 16, 2011

Part II of O-hi-o, O-hi-o, It's Off to the Zoo We Go: Toledo Zoo

The day after our visit to the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio we continued on the zoo theme and went to the Toledo Zoo. We have taken Bethany and Connor to the Toledo Zoo many times when they were younger, but the last time we were there I was pregnant with Lucy. It's such a great zoo, and I was really excited for Lucy and Mathilda to get to check it out too.

First let me say the day didn't start out so great when the cap fell out of my tooth at breakfast. Ugh. Disgusting! I called my dentist to see if there was anything I could do about it until I get into the office and he said to use Elmer's glue. I bought some Elmer's glue but have yet to muster up the nerve to touch it, so luckily the tooth is way in the back and I'm okay with only chewing on one side of my mouth until Tuesday, which is when my appointment is.
Anyway, our Toledo Zoo day was thankfully about 10 degrees cooler than the day before, but it was still 100% sunny and felt super hot. Lucy started complaining about being exhausted just after the walk from the parking lot to the gate (and it was packed, so it took us awhile to find a parking spot). So we rented a stroller for her, which ended up being a very good decision. 

I really love this zoo, but as I said, it was super crowded and that takes away a lot of my enjoyment. I can't stand when adults are crammed at the front of exhibits and blocking the view for all of the kids. I had to resort to loudly telling my kids, "don't worry guys, it's almost our turn to see the animals, just be patient" several times, and sometimes people took the hint and sometimes they didn't. We got there later and stayed until closing time, so it did start to lighten up a bit eventually, and regardless we had a great time. The really good news is that my awesome mother-in-law got us an annual pass, so we will definitely be going back at least once or twice in the next year.

The one animal we were really excited to see was the baby elephant, Lucas, who was born earlier this year. When we first started going to the Toledo Zoo, Lucas's big brother Louie was born, and this year he had his 8th birthday. Baby Lucas was adorable, totally worth waiting to see.

What first drew me to the Toledo Zoo eight years ago was a picture I saw in the AAA magazine of their hippoquarium, where you can watch the hippos swimming around underwater. Unfortunately, it was under construction this time, so hopefully it will be better than ever next time we're there. Actually, there was quite a bit of construction going on, which I take as a good sign of big improvements on future visits.

We saw lots of animals and had a really awesome time, although the crowd and the heat made it perhaps not the best zoo day. That's okay though, we take what we can get. I really like their Aquarium, which could be a visit in and of itself. There is really so much to see at the Toledo Zoo, we didn't come close to seeing everything. So we have lots to look forward to next time we're there! The kids really want to see the shark and penguins at chow time, so when we plan another trip, I'll try to find the feeding schedules online ahead of time so we can plan accordingly.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, the kids were clamoring to go to the pool. Lucy spent quite a bit of time in the jacuzzi, which, after the hot day in the sun, did not end up being such a great idea. I'm not really sure what was wrong, but she was burning hot all night long, shivering, and woke up talking nonsense repeatedly. My best guess is too much sun, not enough hydration, and then too much heat in the hot tub. Which all lead up to another unpleasant breakfast the following day, when poor Lucy threw up in the hotel breakfast room. Needless to say, our plan to visit the Toledo Museum of Art before heading home was quickly nixed. Instead we packed it up and went straight home, where I gave Lucy some Tylenol and worked on getting her re-hydrated. By bedtime, she was feeling much better.

We always find cool things to do in Toledo and the surrounding area, lucky us since it's so close to home. There's a chance we might even get back there this summer...we'll see.

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