The zoo is one of my favorite things to do with my family, particularly with my niece. She loves the zoo and loves the animals in the zoo, so much so that she says, “Hi!” to each and every one. And waves.
Our family trips to Brookfield Zoo usually begin at the new petting zoo. Parakeets first too.
After we had had enough of the parakeets, I took my niece to walk with the wallabies, or as I call them, mini-kangaroos. She hopped like a kangaroo and saw many of the animals hopping, which is cool if you haven’t seen that. Then we said, “Hi” to a few chilling in the shade. At which point, I pointed to a baby sticking out of a pouch! Then another wallaby’s pouch moved. It was so neat to see that up close. She told everyone about the babies.
Then we were done. The attention span of a 3 year old, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Next to the Red Panda…Niece was unimpressed so we moved on. The vacationing-in-Chicago-before-heading-North-to-help-Santa reindeer were next. No red noses as I’m pretty sure I’m pretty sure Rudolph headed South to like Jamaica or something. She actually liked the reindeer.
And then llamas, as is Llama, Llama, Red Pajama or as the Genie reminded everyone, “Careful, they spit.” Again, unimpressed, so we moved on.
Time for the goats, who were in fine form too. She loves feeding those goats. I had a few waltz up to me all lazily like and give me a look of, “Whatcha got for me?” As soon as one tried to eat my sister’s shirt, I bolted.
And so we saw dolphins who threw balls with their mouths when they played, sea lions, the sleepy lions and tiger and sadly no sloth bear. We saw monkeys and gorillas and dodged a fake storm in Africa. We ate our food and watched the peacock walk by. Oh and we talked to geese (an animal she can see anytime too).
Finally, the carousel.
Grandma asked her who she’s liked to ride with and she pointed to me. She then said something like, “I want to ride with Aunt Amanda because I love her.” Melt my heart kid! The highlight of my day was riding the carousel with my niece. We waved at Mommy, little brother, Papa (Grandpa) and Grandma as we swung by. She smiled and giggled and made me super happy.
She and her brother hold a special place in my heart. I will never forget that moment on the carousel and the pure joy on my niece’s face.