Yabba Dabba Zoo

We've wanted to take the grandkids to my favorite zoo since summer began but each time we planned the trip, something seemed to come up (like new grand-daughters). But with Addy visiting from Colorado and school starting tomorrow for Naia, today was finally the perfect day. The Santa Barbara Zoo is great for younger kids; it's smaller than others in our area which makes it just right for shorter legs, and it has some great, kid-friendly exhibits like the climb-on-me turtle sculpture that Addy made friends with. The kids all enjoyed the little train that circles the zoo and Naia totally loved feeding the giraffes, with their long, purple tongues slurping up her offering. ($4 per person; a very cool experience and a great way to make $$ for the zoo!)

Miles' favorite things were running everywhere - he was in constant motion most of the day - and climbing on fences to get a better look at things.
(Dick is standing right beside him, ready to make the grab if things go awry.)

I thought Addy's favorite would be the monkeys - she loves looking for them in her books -
Mommy, grandma got me my own monkey! (And she hasn't put it down since she got it.)

but she loved the elephants. We got 'wow, wow, wow' when she first saw them; she would have stood watching them all day if we hadn't carried her away.
The zoo has added/enhanced the children's play area since we were last there. The tunnel was great for climbing and crawling; Addy loved following the big kids. The 'astro turf' on the hill was good for kids. Addy made it all the way to the top a couple of times; I had to catch her on the way down though - she got going so fast she couldn't stop. All three kids had a blast here; they didn't want to leave when it was time to see the rest of the animals.

I thought all this activity would wear them out and they'd fall asleep as soon as we got back in the car. Silly grandma. All three stayed awake the entire trip home. Just barely in Addy's case; she struggled to stay awake, not wanting to miss a single minute with Naia and Miles, but she passed out as soon as we laid her down on the bed.

And for Carolyn, the only flower photo I took all day. It's amazing how little time you have for taking 'pretty' pictures when you're wrangling three little kids.