Day 2 – San Antonio Zoo
I’m sure most of you will laugh when you hear that I dared to hope the boys would sleep in since we allowed them to stay up until about 11 p.m. last night. I didn’t go to bed until quite a bit later and I thought maybe we would have a slow, leisurely start to our day. Ha!
Riley was in bed with me while it was still dark, and up playing with his brother before 6:30 a.m. We had gotten dressed, packed the car and tidied our borrowed residence by 7:30 a.m. Our first stop was Shipley’s donuts and then HEB to pick up some food. Let me interject here that “vacation” has always been the time where I planned well and then didn’t worry about money. I love eating out and so part of the treat of vacation is eating whatever we decide and not worrying about the cost. But my boys don’t enjoy food quite the same way; definitely not in proportion to the amount of money it takes to feed them. As a result, we packed a HUGE cooler with water, drinks, Lunchables and sandwich fixings.
By 10 something we were on the road. I have to brag on our boys because they were great travelers both yesterday and today. They didn’t ask me a million questions. They didn’t fight over stupid things. They didn’t scream in jest or anger. I wanted to brag now because I can’t imagine that will continue all the way until we return home.
We drove straight through from Waco to San Antonio. Thankfully due to the early rising of the boys, they all napped and it was rather peaceful for the middle chunk of time. When we arrived in San Antonio, we headed straight for the Zoo. We didn’t know anything about the San Antonio Zoo so we just drove up and decided to wade through all the details. There was lots of parking before we reached the gates, but we didn’t want to get confused and park further than necessary. We drove to the gates and then started looking for a parking place on the other side. Thankfully, the very first lot said “Full” but the policeman sitting there waved us in and we were even able to park in the shade under a large interstate highway bridge. And the best part is it was FREE!
Joey broke out the lunch we’d packed and we ate in the car – everyone including Weston. Well, the boys were supposed to eat. But Joey gave them full, undiluted juice in boxes first and then amazingly they weren’t very hungry.
From there we picked up our tickets and entered the park. I can not tell you how much I loved this zoo. It’s my favorite zoo by far. It also might help you to know that this is not really my kind of thing. I love my boys, but being outside where its HOT and smelling stinky animals all afternoon is just low on my list of choices. However, I found myself repeatedly feeling thrilled that we had chosen to visit the Zoo and grateful for all of the memories we were making.
There was a huge Africa exhibit that held a special place in our hearts since the last time Joey and I saw those animals together we were actually in Africa.
And they have a ginormous (as my boys would say) toddler area where the boys played in the sand, petted animals, went “fishing” with magnetic poles, waded in a river replica, camped out, and saw even more animals. It was outrageous how much there was for my 3 and 4 year old to do.
Honestly, I went into this weekend worried about how the kids would do. I mean it’s unbelievably hot in Texas right now and we went during the middle of the afternoon to the Zoo. But the San Antonio Zoo is laid out better than any zoo I’ve ever been in before. It’s an older zoo but it’s been well maintained. The benefit of its age is that it has a wealth of trees that have grown up and over the walkways and exhibits to provide much needed shade. In addition, the newer areas have air conditioned exhibits, covered breezeways and shaded outcroppings strategically placed so that you never get too overheated.
After several hours though, little legs were getting tired and even the adults were tired and thirsty, but we couldn’t leave without taking a ride on the Zoo Train.
The tracks for this train were originally laid in 1956, it covers 2 miles of Brackenridge Park and takes about 20 minutes to complete the full circuit. In the first two years of its operation, a million people rode it. Now more than 300,000 ride it every year. It was the perfect cap to my boy’s visit to the San Antonio Zoo and they will gladly tell you all about it.
After being hot, grimy, tired and thirsty, it was definitely time to find the hotel. We arrived, showered, and headed back out for dinner. In a different post, I will share about our hotel and our dinner. But for now ALL of my boys are sleeping and my eyes are drooping. I better crash so I can keep up with all of them tomorrow. We think we’re going to hit the Dallas Cowboys training camp first and then hit a full day of Sea World!
I received one adult ticket in exchange for this review. All opinions presented in this blog are completely mine and reflect no bias.