Friday, July 25, 2014

A quick get-away.

We’ve been really busy. We’re always busy, but lately, it’s been even more-so than usual. Neither of us had time to plan a vacation, but we had ONE weekend in all of June/July/August that wasn’t already busy with some obligation for one of us. I knew I really wanted to go somewhere to reconnect with Eugene, and also to give the little one some special attention before she’s no longer an only child. My hormonal, indecisive self couldn’t function enough to plan a trip, but thankfully, Eugene saved the day {or my summer} by booking a hotel and buying zoo tickets on a Friday night, just in time for us to leave the next morning.

We woke up at normal time {read: early, thanks to a certain two-year-old}, ate breakfast, got our stuff together and headed 2.5 hours away to Toledo. The little one napped in the car, thankfully. So the trip there wasn’t too bad, other than construction. We stayed one night at a hotel that had an indoor pool so the little one could swim, and then we woke up and headed to the Toledo Zoo. {I didn’t know until Eugene told me, but the Toledo Zoo is ranked #1 in the Nation by USA Today.} We stayed as long as the little one could handle, which worked out to be perfect. She reached her max right around 2pm, and we had finished almost all of the exhibits in that 4 hours, so we headed home and she napped before we pulled out of the parking lot!


Our hotel room had a nice view of the river…


Not surprisingly, she loved swimming with Dada – mainly jumping in nonstop…


We walked across the river and enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant on the river. {Pardon the blurry phone pic.}

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She was so enthralled with the boats. It didn’t matter whether the boat was moving full speed or docked!

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She and her daddy got some really good time together on this trip. He’s been working some crazy hours lately, so it made my heart so happy to see them get such quality time.

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And here begins the zoo pictures. Quick family photo before we entered the zoo. {BIIG ole belly! Only 4 weeks to go!}


We got to see them feed the penguins first…


There was a nice playground right next to the penguin exhibit, so we couldn’t escape without a few rides down the slide “all by myself!” {She’s getting so independent!}


Since she loves Curious George, I figured she’d like the primate exhibits. She was so focused the whole time, not even smiling, but I could tell she was just taking it all in. Later on, she talked with excitement about how the monkeys were eating fruit and swinging.  

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I like the picture above to the right. Two sets of gorillas in love, ha!


I have had a longstanding fear of birds, but I faced that fear and willingly walked into the free-flying Parakeet exhibit. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but I survived. ;)


She loved the elephant exhibit, kept wanting to go back to that one.


The picture above is her mimicking the horns. 


I think her favorite exhibit was the seals. It was really the only time she broke her intense focus with a laugh. The seal would zoom by her and she’d just smile and giggle.


Eugene & I both liked the polar bear exhibit. This guy was so playful and active, jumping off the ledge and diving after a bucket….


You can tell by her tightening grip around her daddy’s neck that she wasn’t as big of a fan as we were. I guess it is a little scary to see a huge bear flopping around right in front of you!


The zoo was great. It had an incredible interactive kids area that would have been perfect if the little one were even just a year older. The zoo was reasonably priced, was clean, contained well-communicated exhibits and paths, had lots of places to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch, had a fun playground area and ample restroom facilities {which is important with a potty trained toddler & a pregnant lady!}, and had interactive experiences to enjoy throughout the day. I’d recommend the Toledo Zoo for sure.


We had a great little get-away, and I’m so thankful that we got to experience it together. I love my family. {So much.}


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