We did the zoo today. We ate cold cereal and rolled out early before it got too hot. The zoo in Albuquerque has a combo deal that allows you to see the zoo, the botanical gardens, and the aquarium, as well as ride the train.
Albuquerque Zoo is about the same size as Hogle Zoo, but it has some great animals. The koalas were really active, jumping and even running around the cage. They were Laurie’s favorite. Glen and Mark liked the cheetah that walked right over to where we were sitting and looked back at us. Natalie most enjoyed the roadrunner that had gotten himself stuck in the macaw cage. The macaws were screeching and freaking out, and he was trying to get out any way he could. Dad liked the exotic bird with the Phantom of the Opera Mask. Dax’s favorite was the seal feeding, and Seth, of course, liked the alligators and crocodiles, which are always his favorite. Everyone liked feeding the ducks right out of their hands. There was a small train ride that took you around the zoo, and then a larger train took you on a 25 minute ride to the aquarium.
|The macaws were not happy about this roadrunner in their cage.|
|Seth was super excited about the alligators and crocodiles.|
|Laurie was a good sport about helping Seth see things at the Zoo.|
|A bunch of monkeys in front of the monkey cage.|
|We have lions at our zoo, but we love to see the big cats.|
|The mountain lion was laying on the bridge, so you could walk right under her/him. The adults could have poked her through the wife, but we didn't!|
|This was probably the most memorable part of the day. The boys love feeding ducks right out of our hands.|
|Mom loved it, too!|
|Seth was a pro!|
|The koala was super active.|
|We riding from the zoo to the aquarium and riding the train around the zoo.|
|Mark loves the cheetahs!|
|Mom was also a fan of these baby chimpanzees.|
The best part about the aquarium was lunch at the expensive little café built into the side of the building. The biggest, best tank of the aquarium had a private viewing section in the wall of the restaurant, and all the coolest fish spent their time back there. So as we ate our meal, we watched rays, sharks, sea turtles, puffer fish, and many other things swim within feet of our table. Surprisingly, the boys did okay eating in this environment.
|We loved watching the sharks and rays swim by while we ate.|
|We had awesome seats in the restaurant.|
The aquarium was small, and since we have a big one in Draper, we didn’t spend very long, maybe just 45 minutes. We only stopped at the large tank we’d seen from the other side for a few minutes to watch the scuba divers swimming in the bottom cleaning up the sand. Much of the aquarium seemed to be undergoing renovation, too.
|They have a tunnel to walk through filled with fish like the aquarium in Utah.|
|The boys liked this light-up great white shark so they could see the actual size of the shark.|
We had better luck outside in the botanical gardens. The first thing we tried was a children’s garden, where we were shrunk down to tiny insect size. There were huge dragonflies, ants as big as us, a garden with carrots as high as basketball hoops and a pumpkin we played tag in. The boys loved running around in this imaginative section of the garden. The next thing in the botanical garden was a huge section for miniature trains. There was probably a third of an acre of trains, but they were not running today. Luckily, Mark spotted a frog in the lily pond, so this wasn’t a complete loss.
|Seth was as small as a pinecone.|
|Mark and Dax inside the giant pumpkin. It reminded me of James and the Giant Peach.|
|Dax ate his way through a carrot.|
|The boys really wished the trains had been running, but they were still fun to look at.|
|The frog that Mark spotted was super green.|
The next stop was the Bugarium. This building was brand new and we really loved it. Draped across the entire building was a rope and leaf-cutter ants were carrying shredded leaves across it from a pile of leaves to their home. They were amazing to watch. The boys were also fascinated with the walking sticks and large beetles, though Mark did not like the cockroaches at all. There was even a game where you stood on a pad and flapped your arms playing as a honeybee trying to gather nectar in a set amount of time. It was pretty funny to watch the boys swooping around the pad!
|Watching the boys try to fly was pretty amusing.|
|Laurie told me there were cockroaches in the bathroom, and I didn't believe her! But when you leaned closer to the mirror, they appeared. It was awesome!|
|The leaf cuter ants were just out in the open, but they never stopped working.|
We had to catch the final train back to the zoo at 3:45. Then we let the kids play at the playground and the adults rest in the shade before heading back to the truck. It was dinner by the time we got back, so Mom whipped up some pasta. Then we played in the pool and went to bed thoroughly exhausted. We’ve been rotating who sleeps with whom, and Mark has been the most difficult, kicking Dax out of bed and trying to do the same to Dad. Last night was Dax’s turn with Seth. We woke up in the middle of the night to hear Seth snickering in his sleep. This morning Dax was sleeping on the floor again. We’re not sure if these events are related or not!