Saturday afternoon, after work, we had a great afternoon with Grandpa at the Blue Slide Park. After dinner, I did exercise while the kids were taking a bath, which had the amazingly cute consequence of The Boy coming downstairs and lifting weights with me in bare feet and pajamas. That was pretty cool. That was also a group-going-to-bed-early kind of night.
Sunday, The Wife had her normal Sunday school teaching. I met Grandpa for breakfast at The Bagel Factory (which is becoming a tradition that I welcome - breakfast with Grandpa!) with the boys, but we did not go to the JCC like we usually do on Sunday mornings. The weather in Pittsburgh was right around sixty degrees, and I had read that the Zoo had a really cool thing happening on Sunday: PICTURES WITH AN ELEPHANT.
Capitalization added for emphasis. I mean, c'mon - it's pictures. With a freaking ELEPHANT. That is so many shades of awesome, I don't even know where to begin. AN ELEPHANT!
So, around the normal time we'd leave for the JCC, I threw the kids in the car, and we went to the zoo. We've bought memberships to zoo each year we've been here - we get a discount because we're on public assistance, and Grandma does tend to subsidize things like this. (Plus, it pays for itself in, like, 2 visits.) We took the long way to the elephants area, because the pictures didn't start until after 11 and we arrived at the zoo gates a little after 10.
The Boy brought his "Tigee" doll - a small stuffed tiger, that he's named after Daniel Tiger's stuffed toy. He wanted to show a real tiger to Tigee. Both Tigee and Boy were amused.
One never quite knows what to expect at situations like this. I was honestly expected a long wait time - I refer you to the above PICTURES WITH AN ELEPHANT paragraph. It was shocking when there were only 2 families ahead of us in line! Quick wait, quick $10, quick and easy pictures.
The elephant, named Victoria, just placidly stood there and chewed on her lunch, pretending that we weren't even there. There was a handler, a photographer (who used our phones), and an assistant. The boys were really excited - even The Baby said, "L-fen!"
The Boy wanted nothing to do with the elephant - you can see his body language in the pictures. He thought it was cool but kind of intimidated by the massive size. Little Bear was enchanted and was very gentle and nice when given the opportunity to pat the elephant's leg. The Baby looked and smiled at the elephant but didn't feel a particular need to touch her.
The rest of the zoo trip went pretty well, with the exception that most of the food places were closed. By the time we got to Kids' Kingdom, we were pretty hungry, and we were starved by the time we got to the exit. We stopped at Panera Bread on the way home and got the best service we've ever gotten: the guy behind the counter brought out waters for the kids and a high chair for the baby, and the manager brought out the kids' food.
We had a family nap when we got home - we were all a little keyed up and exhausted. It was a really, really good day.