Friday morning my dad, stepmom Janell, and stepbrother Jake met us at Tracy’s house so we could leave by 8:30. Although we were all there on time, we got to chatting in the driveway (since it was the first time we had seen Dad and Janell in a while and the first time they had met Emma) so we got on the road around 8:45 (still not bad, eh?)
We met Travis, Abra and Maggie at the Kansas City Zoo right around 10am. It turned out to be a cooler morning than I had planned for and the girls were a bit shivery to begin. It didn’t stop them though from jumping right in though and having a great time!
Right past the front gate was the polar bear exhibit. And we must have hit the bear’s frisky time of day, because he sure was putting on a show! He would dive into the pool, swim up to the picture window, then use his back paws to flip himself backwards into the water. It was too funny!
After watching the polar bear for awhile we headed into a converted IMAX theater for a free bird show. It was the first day of the show, so it still had a few glitches (such as birds not wanting to fly back to the trainer or head backstage like they were supposed to) but everyone took it in stride.
You could even donate money to help endangered birds at the end of the show. The gimmick: they had a raven sitting on top of the donation box and he would take the money from your hand and drop it in the box. I am pretty sure every single adult in our group fished out their dollar bills to give to the kids – who thought it was the coolest thing ever!
Tracy and I had mapped out the zoo the night before on their website and we had decided what route we would be taking after the bird show, so we rounded everyone up and headed out.
We visited “Asia” and “Australia” before settling in for lunch. In those areas we saw tigers, monkeys, and wallabees among other animals. (Our family kinda lost track of the others at some point due to a major Lily meltdown, but met up with them at the lunch spot.)
Most everyone had packed some sort of picnic lunch, so we let the kids run around a playground while the dads retrieved the lunches from the car. Then we got everything laid out and all the kids (and adults) fed before snagging rides on the carousel and feeding some of the animal nearby.
Next up: the sea lion show. Truth be told, it wasn’t the best I had ever seen, but it was fun to see the kids having such a good time.
We finished up the day by visiting “Africa” where we saw elephants…
… and Elliott took the older two girls on the aerial safari to see the giraffes and zebras (which were the one thing Lily insisted she wanted to see at the zoo.) I hung out with Jake and the two little girls (who had fallen asleep) in an eatery for the longest time until we discovered that due to a threat of lightening the tram service was suspended for awhile, stranding Elliott and the girls at the north part of the zoo, who in turn had a terrific time taking in the lion and monkey exhibits as well.
We had a great day. Except for one tiny thing.
The Stomach Bug had hit.
It started with my sister Tracy, who threw up at the zoo (twice) right after the sea lion show. But she was a trooper and didn’t want the rest of the family to miss out on any fun. So everyone headed back to Travis’ house for dinner (as planned) and Tracy collapsed in the dark closet for the next 6 hours, appearing right after dinner to hang out on the couch and chat with Abra and I.
But then her daughter Jessie started throwing up. Several times. And babies just don’t give you any warning. Luckily for us, most of the time she was on a hard floor, so clean-up was minimal, but still….
And that’s how it started.
That night Travis got sick right after bedtime. Then his daughter Maggie started throwing up around 12:30am.
Oh boy, it could be a long few days…..