Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Phoenix Zoo and Zoolights with the Family

My parents are in town from Texas so we did something we have never done before. We went to the zoo as a family. My brother has a one year old and everything revolves around "the golden baby" as we call him so this is why we went. My sister and I have never gone to the zoo with the rents, nor did any of our four children. I can list many things we didn't do with the parents that our younger brother (the golden boy) did. While I say this with humor, it is absolutely true. He has been to Sea World, Disneyland, and lord knows what else, when we never went anywhere with our folks. In fact, after he was born they took a family picture and my sister and I are not in it. We were ten and twelve when he was born, and in fact no formal picture of us as a family was ever taken. Though we have a HUGE photo of the three of them framed beautifully when he as about six too. I love my parents (and my brother) but things were never fair and I think my sister and I still deal with that reality to this day. She has a harder time with it than I do, but I have three children and I could never consistantly do more for one than the other...so anyway if you are still with me (and I don't blame you if you aren't) we went to the Phoenix Zoo.
My brother has a friend that works there and she took us behind the scenes a bit and one thing we got to do was feed the elephant (Reba) and hang with her for a bit. She is 42 or so and used to be in the circus. She was amazing up close and we all fell in love with her. Ben especially enjoyed feeding her cookies and she was able to pick them up with her trunk...she has amazing fine motor control with that thing! We all wanted to touch her, but we had to stay behind the yellow line and just admire from afar. It was worth the price of admission (which was VERY expensive, I may never get back to that zoo, lol).
We went to eat after seeing a show at the zoo and some members riding the carousel and camels and touching stingray and such.

I took the pictures so I am not in any of them--except the one they took as we came in. The rents let us be in it--GRIN.
This one I took when we came back for zoolights..and paid another admission fee. My stepdad Gary on the left, mom Toni, sister Tina, brother's gf Tiffany with my nephew Ben on her shoulders and my brother Sam on the right. He is a really nice guy despite being spoiled by us all, all his life.
This was my favorite tree in the whole zoo. The lights are rainbow colored and the tree is just amazing. I even managed to get a picture without any people in it!
I suggested we all buy a little elephant ornament to commemorate the visit. Every year I buy an ornament for us (I used to do it for my kids every year, this is the first year I haven't since the baby is 16 now) and write the year on the bottom of it. I try to pick something out that reminds of us of what we did that year. This is the year of the elephant I guess. So everyone bought one so that was fun.
Got bad news from my oldest son and it has affected my mood (as if you can't tell) going to be a tough Christmas...sigh.

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