Lions, Tigers, Bears, AND FISH!

Having a kid is a great excuse to get out and do all sorts of fun stuff… like visit the aquarium and zoo!

A few weekends ago while my family was in town, we all took Avery to the New England Aquarium.  I had been last year just after our wedding with my family, but Vinay hadn’t been in 13 years, and Avery had never been.  We toured the penguins first…
My favorite and Avery seemed very interested in them.  Probably because his entire nursery is covered in penguins – so maybe he recognized the little black and white creatures.

He even made friends with one…

We checked out some fish and jellies…

It was a fun trip, but the aquarium was REALLY crowded.  If I could share any tips from our trip, the would be:

Tips for Taking a Baby to the Aquarium:

  • Go early or order tickets online to avoid the long lines.  When we got there, the line was rediculous.  So, I jumped in the Express-line for will-call tickets and ordered them on my phone, so when I got up to the window, they had my order already!
  • Don’t bring a stroller!  We brought Avery’s because there’s lots of walking but to get him the best view, we  picked him up to the windows, so the stroller became obsolete and a pain in the butt.
  • Take a break.  We split our visit in two by stopping for lunch at the cafe (a little pricey tho) so we could feed Avery and get fueled up for the rest of the exhibits.

Last weekend, while in NYC visiting Vinay’s Mom & Aunt, we took a trip to the Bronx Zoo.  Unlike the aquarium, this wasn’t Avery’s first Zoo visit.  We took him to the San Fransisco Zoo in June.  But this is supposed to be a pretty awesome zoo, and is was!  Even the zoo entrance was pretty grand…
We saw sea lions, reptiles, flamingos, elephants, zebras, and a tiger!
Our big goal for the day was to try the monorail, which took you around this big area with lots of animals.  We were so excited for Avery to see all the animals up close – but about 2 minutes before we hopped on the ride (after standing in line forever) he fell asleep.  Slept thru the whole thing!  Little bugger!  I guess it was a good trip though… he was pooped at the end of the day…

Tips for Taking a Baby to the Zoo:

  • Go early or order tickets online to avoid the long lines.  We spent the first 30 minutes waiting behind a large group buying tickets before we even got into the zoo.
  • Visit the attractions you want to see most, first! Maybe if we had planned our timing better, Avery could have seen the monorail animals.
  • Bring a Stroller AND Carrier.  Avery got bored of the stroller a lot and holding him is tiring, so I wish I had also brought our carrier to use 1/2 the time to give Avery a good view, and not be stuck sitting all day.

What tips/tricks do you have from experiences visiting the aquarium or zoo?  We’d love to hear… because we’ll be going again…

Californi(va)cation – Days 4-6

Here’s the recap of the last leg of our vacation in California…(If you missed them – here’s the first part of the trip….Day 1, Days 2&3)

Day 4: A Trip to the Zoo!

Sunday = fun day!  We spent the day, just the three of us, at the San Fransisco Zoo. The drive took under an hour and we were right on the coast the last bit…

We saw giraffees, a zebra, flamingos, monkeys, a hippo, lions, tigers, and (polar) bears!  We had nice weather – a little chilly, but sunny. This is Vinay showing Avery the Gorillas…

After the first hour, we stopped and had lunch in their cafe.  Avery was having a blast watching all the hustle and bustle of other families at the zoo…

And then it was off to see more animals! We even took Avery to the petting zoo!  He pet a goat… well… we’ll use the term ‘pet’ very lightly.  Avery hasn’t quiet learned ‘gentle’ yet – because he hit the goat and pulled its hair!  This is Avery and Vinay after the petting zoo with a zebra in the background (you can’t really see him but I promise he’s there!)

Then after touring the rest of the zoo, we stopped for a pretzel snack before heading out…

Avery loves pretzels!

After the zoo we stopped in to see the grandparents, and called it a day.

Day 5: Grandparents & Movie Date

Another day at the grandparents, but today we also squeezed in a mini date.  While Avery was spending time with family, Vinay and I stole away and saw the Avengers movie.  It was soooo good!  We hadn’t been to a movie since Christmas time.

That afternoon, Vinay’s cousin tested her photography skills on her new model, Avery.  Pictures coming soon…!

Day 6: Grandparents, Lunch Date, & Travel Night

Our last day was spent visiting the grandparents again – making another quick lunch date to Carl Jr’s (they don’t have those in Boston either), and then it was time to fly back.  We had a red eye and the plan was for Avery to sleep thru it all… and he did!  Well, Avery got sleep but Mommy didn’t.  I can never sleep on planes – so uncomfy!  Avery was in my Maya wrap so I wasn’t ‘holding’ him, but I still can never sleep on planes.

We got into Boston at 5:30AM, headed home, and turned around and started our day – Avery to daycare & us to work.  We would have taken the time off but both our jobs are demanding right now so we couldn’t take the day to rest.  Oh well, at least I didn’t spend the 6 hour flight with a screaming child – could have been much worse!

How old was your little one on their first flight?  Did it turn out as you planned?  Did you buy any supplies?  We got the maya wrap & packed light – our wonderful family in Cali had the big stuff we needed so we didn’t have to pay the rediculous checked bag fees!