Sunday, September 29, 2013

At the zoo with Henry and Anabelle

Coffee and treats
Up in Beaumont Village is a little shop that makes amazing mini doughnuts!
Pip's is owned by a couple that used to be youth staff at New Song. Jamie was a great mentor to Alyssa but Krystle benefitted from their ministry there as well.
Cherise hadn't gotten up to Pip's yet so we popped up there after taking Cameron to school.

 A lovely latte, some hot chocolate an a variety of yummy doughnuts were a great way to start the day.
 Open ~ open ~ open
We got up to the zoo a bit early. The gate was open and the parking lot was full of cars but that was because of a fund raiser breakfast taking place on at the zoo banquet facilities. We needed to wait for the official opening time to enter.
We walked over the the Les Aucoin Plaza and I admired the fall colors. The plaza is at the ground level above the Max tunnel that runs through the west hills. We decided to take an elevator ride down to the train platform and back up.
 We entered the elevator at 693 ft above sea level.

We got off the elevator and walked around. We were able to see a train coming from the west and watch it disappear into the east bound tunnel.
 The platform is at 450 ft above sea level. How many stories is 243 ft? However many it is it was nice for the boy who rode up and down the 23 floors of their apartment building multiple times a week to get to ride in an elevator again!
 Our time inside the zoo

 I enjoy the early morning time at the zoo. There are few people and there are lots of places to stretch your legs and let the little people run ahead.

Not too far ahead though. Henry is a great map reader and Anabelle notices birds. Even if the bird isn't making any noise. Cute.

 Henry has his own zoo key but it was in their car not mine. So I bought a flamingo one for Anabelle and she let her big brother borrow it whenever there was a box to access.

 An early lunch at Cascade Grill

It was time to leave and head back to town for the rest of our adventures.
We decided to take the scenic route into town. We saw this pink sightseeing trolley had the same idea, only it was coming to the zoo from downtown.
I was awed by the loveliness of the day, so I pulled off to take a picture of a bit of the urban forest that we were driving through. Portland really is a pretty city.

My recent zoo visits

I have been to the zoo 4 times in the past 2 1/2 weeks. I've loved getting to see the progress they are making in getting ready for Zoo Lights which opens the day after Thanksgiving.
Long weekend with these grands
We had the kids for a long weekend a couple weeks ago. It was fun to hang out with them again and they were excited to go to kid's church at Central Bible. But first they had to sit through the song service.

The next morning Garrett and I dropped the kids off at their school and headed for the Oregon Zoo. We   actually went on Friday morning and again on Monday morning.
Here are a few pictures of our visits.
On Friday we explored Africa
(after a few stops along the way)

We even ran into a cousin! Annie was there with Cooper that morning. These two guys are six months apart in age and are 2nd cousins.

On Monday
After visiting the gift shop we walked down and explored the Great Northwest exhibit only. We saw 4 black bears, two eagles, three river otters, two beaver, lots of ducks, fish and turtles. One of the great benefits of having a zoo pass is that we can visit for a short or long period of time and enjoy our time there. When the inevitable meltdown starts, we can leave and come back another day :)

While I was taking pictures of him climbing on the fence and up the rocks he pointed and laughed.
He had just seen this leaf fall and land right behind me.
I love watching the grandkids experience stuff like this!