Monday, June 5, 2017

A fun zoo outing (and comparison photos)

On Saturday, we were invited to go to the zoo with the company Jerry works for. Once in a while, they'll host a fun outing somewhere, and this year, they chose the Detroit Zoo. They actually rented out the entire zoo just for employees and their families!

The zoo normally closes at 5:00 pm, and our event started at 6:00--so we had the whole zoo to ourselves. Usually (well, almost always), I regret going to the zoo. It's always miserably hot, the animals aren't very active (and I feel sorry for them being in a zoo in the first place), it's expensive to get in, and there are SO many people. It always sounds like a fun idea to go for the day, but then when we get there, I regret it.

This trip was entirely free to us--including parking, zoo admission, a huge dinner, and drinks. So, there was no reason not to go. Since it was in the evening, I hoped it would be cooler outside than when we usually go.

Anyway, the weather was nice--hot, but as the sun was going down, it was getting cooler. When we got there, they gave each of the kids a little stuffed giraffe, and Jerry a portable cell phone charger. We were all hungry, so we went over to the food tents right away. They had pulled pork, chicken breasts, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, salad, rolls, and probably a dozen other things. So much food! They had beer and wine, as well as tea, pop, and reusable water bottles.

The four of us sat down and ate, and by then, the sun was down enough that it felt great outside. We started walking around the zoo, and it was fantastic not to have big crowds to wade through. Nothing super eventful happened, so I won't bore you with details. But I did take lots of pictures, and today, I went through old pictures from the zoo to compare. It's crazy to see how big the kids have gotten.

And Jerry and I took our traditional binoculars photo. I have no idea why we started this--just being goofy, I guess--but now we take this photo every time we see these kinds of binoculars. I can't find ALL of them, but here are a few, in chronological order:

1999 (the photo that started the tradition)

2009

2010

2016

2017
Clearly, our weight has fluctuated as much as our hair in the last 18 years ;)  I think I actually like this year's photo the best, probably because I was in a much better mood than the other times at the zoo!

Here is a photo of the boys and me that we have started taking the last couple of years. It's cool to see them get taller.

2009

2016

2017

In 2009, I crouched down and used the kids to try and hide myself as much as possible, because I was embarrassed of my size. The kids have grown, so I obviously don't have to crouch down anymore, but I like to for comparison's sake. They are going to be taller than me soon!

Another picture I like to compare is of Noah and me. Again, I tried to hide my body as much as possible...

2005
2017
 Two more sets of pictures, and then I'll be done, I promise ;) These ones are just the boys:

2012

2017

2012

2017

They grow up so fast! Anyway, we stayed until 9:00, and we all had so much fun. We feel spoiled now, so it'll be hard to go to the zoo in the crowds again! But it was awesome that Jerry's company did this for the employees.

I did make a short video of the evening, so I wouldn't overload this post with photos of animals. I used the 1 Second Everyday app to compile several clips (nothing terribly exciting, however):

video

All in all, it was a super fun evening! We almost didn't go, because we were doing so much yard work and house work Saturday that we didn't want to stop. The kids weren't even sure if they wanted to go--but we were all glad that we went!

Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

15 comments:

  1. Ah, this makes me think I need to take my kiddos to the zoo...its been years...

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  2. I love all the comparison photos! How cool to see how you have shrunk while your boys have grown :-) I have never been to the zoo in Cleveland with my son. It makes me think that I should go! How fun to be able to go without the crowds.

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  3. Holy cow your kiddos are tall!! They look so grown up! Guess I really shouldn't say kiddos, huh? Haha. They look like quite the little gentlemen! Looks like a great day!

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  4. Nice pictures!!! How fun to get the zoo to yourselves!!! I feel the same way about zoos, it seems like a great idea until you are there and got and crowded!!!

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  5. Wow, great photos! Your boys are getting so big!

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  6. I love this! Now I wish I did those kind of pictures to see my kids grow up right before my eyes. Looks like fun!

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  7. I love these comparison pictures, especially the ones of the boys...five years makes such a difference! I'm really impressed that Jerry's company rented out the WHOLE zoo! :o And the food, too! Very generous...what a nice perk!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  8. What a difference in opinion about the zoo we have, but I can see where you're coming from. I buy the season pass every year and we go OFTEN. It's not too far from our house. The parking is probably the worst part, but once you're in it doesn't feel too crowded. My son likes routine so we have a very specific path we take...ride the train first, then the sea lions, penguins, playground, ultimately ending with a train ride back to the front and the gem dig. There is probably so much we haven't even seen because he won't stray from our "path", LOL! We love the zoo!

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  9. Wow! Those little boys are now young men! How beautiful, this evolution of your family.

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  10. I love seeing the comparison photos-thanks for sharing those!
    As always, proud of you! :)

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  11. Never apologize for all the pictures. It's so fun to see the changes in all of you through the years--the boys are growing so fast and you shrunk as much as they have grown!!

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  12. That is so lovely! It is awesome when the kids get to be bigger than us.

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  13. Lots of great family memories at the Detroit zoo, but I agree-it always seems so hot when we go! Looks like a fun family night and the comparison photos are so cool!

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  14. I love the comparison pics! Your boys are growing so quickly! Sounds like a very fun outing!

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  15. Beautiful pictures!!! I love your blog!!

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