Saturday, June 05, 2010

Miami Metro Zoo

A friend of mine has a little girl that is just a little older than Shaylee and had posted some really great pictures on her Facebook of them at the Miami Metro Zoo. They looked like they were having so much fun, that Nils and I quickly planned a family trip there ourselves. It was a celebration of our growing family and marked our last family trip as a family of three, as soon we will have one more added to the mix! So it was off to Miami Metro Zoo- just Nils, Shaylee, my mom, and myself. I had to laugh at the amount of snacks we had packed for the two hour car ride- you would have sworn we planned on going cross country! Guess that's how you have to pack when traveling with a preschooler and a pregnant chick!

The weather was sunny- a little too sunny. The forecast said it would be about 90 degrees but our humidity and heat index made it feel closer to 102 degrees. And it was a LOT of walking. At one point at the very beginning, I almost got throw up outside the koala exhibit, sick. I had to take a break and sit in the shade while Nils hunted down something to drink. All I kept thinking was "Please don't let our entire trip be ruined because I can't take the heat being pregnant". I certainly didn't want to spoil the fun for everyone else, especially Shaylee. After getting a drink and touring the bug exhibit, which was indoors, in the AC, I was good to go again.

 There was several other times towards the end of the day where I had to sit briefly but otherwise the walking was not an issue. The heat, however, was tolerable only with the help of multiple water playgrounds and stationary misters. By the end of the day, Shaylee was COMPLETELY soaked from playing in the water in her clothes, my mom's tank top was drenched from standing under so many fountains, and Nils and I were both damp not only from sweat but also from sticking our heads under every fountain we could find. But we had a blast! Even if we all got much more sun than we were anticipating- should have worn our sunscreen!

The highlight of the entire trip, and my motivation to keep walking, was getting the opportunity to feed giraffes. Of course this exhibit was located on the farthest end of the zoo, so in order to get to it, you had to really hike! It was so much fun! Their tongues are like 14 inches long! Shaylee and I both got to feed them big pieces of romaine lettuce at $2 a person. Shaylee, being an animal lover, even reached out to pet one on the nose. I got licked by one as it took the lettuce from me- its tongue felt very much like our dogs' when they lick us, not rough or anything like I half expected.

Some other memorable moments were the hilarious meerkats. There was one that would sit in the food bowl and block the others from getting anything out of it. At first we thought it was just a coincidence, but after getting the time to sit and observe them, we saw this little booger was actually blocking and would turn his body so his back and rump blocked the others from getting food! What a porker! Shaylee's highlight, other than getting to play in the water, was the merry-go-round. The zoo wasn't very busy and the man that ran the merry-go-round was nice enough to let Shaylee ride twice in a row. The whole start of the trip, all she could bug us about was getting to ride the merry-go-round! And ride she did!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being amazing and comparable to the San Francisco Zoo that Nils and I consider the ultimate zoo and 1 being lame) Nils and I agree the Miami Metro Zoo ranked a 7. Our complaint would be that many of the exhibits were so large and so spaced out that you often could not see them very well. There was a lot of walking in between exhibits with nothing more to look at then trees and plants. It did suck having to pay extra for things like the merry-go-round but the food and drinks were very reasonable and made up for it. It also was a bit confusing with the layout- there was so many service roads that were on the map and most of them were not very clearly marked, that if you were not paying attention, you could wander down!

It did score higher for the variety of animals, the fact that most of them were not in cages but in open exhibits separated by deep moats that kept the animals in plain view without jeopardizing their safety or our own (and much better photography opportunities), and for its multiple playgrounds- both wet and dry which catered to kids. Having special exhibits like the giraffe feeding and the camel rides added to its appeal. I also liked that you are able to rent motorized scooters, strollers, and even these bikes that seat up to like four adult and two small kids that you can peddle around the zoo (which is good cuz again, it is a LOT of walking!) We'd definitely like to come back after Baby K is older!

1 comment:

Neabear said...

Fun pictures! I am glad you had a great time inspite of the heat and humidity.