What better way to celebrate the end of 2010* and our continuing good weather (the rain finally stopped - but it should start again Monday) than taking the grand-girls to the zoo? We live about equidistant between the L.A. and Santa Barbara Zoos - and we always head for Santa Barbara. The drive is much prettier and while the zoo is smaller, it's just the right size for young legs and attention spans. Leia loved the elephants (see her telling PopPop about elephant noses?) and gorillas but the exhibit that most fascinated her was the penguins. Their pool is set up so you can watch them from the top and then walk downstairs, beneath the pool, to see them swimming right in front of the viewing windows. One little guy was showing off for us, spinning and diving through the air bubbles coming from the floor vent.
There are lots of kid-friendly exhibits here. Naia tried measuring her wing-span to that of a condor. The verdict? She still has some growing to do. Leia wanted to try it too - of course; anything Naia does, Leia tries - and when Naia didn't move fast enough to suit her, she resorted to full-body shoving. It may look like she's cozying up to her sister, but that's an all out effort to get Naia to move.
We took out a family membership today and the zoo guy wrote each girl's name on a gorilla pin-backed badge and gave it to them. Leia spent the entire 3 hours we were at the zoo with her hand on her badge, afraid it would fall off if she wasn't holding it. I took it off when I put her down for her nap; the first thing she noticed missing and asked for when she got up? Her badge.
*Don't let the door hit you in the b*tt on the way out, 2010. I won't be missin' ya.