Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Amsterdam Zoo

This day was David's birthday, so we started the morning with special notes we'd written for him...



 
Moving back home meant we had to select what was being shipped (could get lost easily...Kuwait itself did not have a postal system, and even shipping things out from there made me nervous! Also VERY expensive) and what was traveling with us (three different plane rides, a train ride, and multiple cab rides...could be lost by airline, and also a pain to have to carry around during our travels on our way home) so everything was pretty meticulously packed, and there was little spare room...so I had not packed any presents for David, nor did I have ingredients to make up his favorite breakfast. But we picked up some things in Amsterdam for him throughout the rest of the trip, and that morning we walked up the alley to the restaurant on the corner for breakfast...

 
...which included bacon, obviously...
 
 
 
Then we set off to spend the day at the Amsterdam Zoo!
 

 
 
As soon as we arrived, these two scoped out the map and planned out our day...


It was a really nice day, but I remember we felt extra chilly because we were so fresh outta Kuwait.





 
The handsome birthday boy and his kids...
 

 
 
I asked a man with a fancy camera around his neck if he would please take a family picture of us. He agreed, as you'll see below, and then proceeded to give me a 90 second lesson in how to properly use our camera.
Apparently I'd had our settings ALL WRONG.
Good to know. 

 
 
We saw so many fun animals...
 

...most real, others not...
 






It's making me laugh to go back and recap these pictures, because I keep coming across ones that look like this:
...and no matter how much I zoom in, I'm like "what was I trying to capture here?" and I think the answer is trees.
I was just so enamored by the trees.

 
These mountain goats were so much fun to watch! There were two little ones that kept playing together, and one of them head-butted the other off a little stoop! Even goat kids fight over spots =). The four of us cracked up for a long time over that.
 





Ok so I thought this part of the zoo was equal parts awesome and terrifying...
 








I mean...we were RIGHT THERE, which was so cool.
But also a little please-don't-bite-the-top-of-my-kids-finger-off-I-don't-even-know-where-the-nearest-hospital-is too.

 
Back to enclosed animals...
 


 
Trying to peak on these lazy lions required an assist from Daddy...



We were feeling extra lucky to be able to visit the zoo on this day, as there was a brand new elephant exhibit that had opened to the public that very week...
 




 
I was trying to warn the kids we might not get to see the baby...





 
But then we did!!!
And she was THE CUTEST.





 
We loved walking around and taking it all in.
Our plan had been to spend the morning at the zoo, and the afternoon elsewhere. But quickly into our time at the zoo we realized there was way too much to cram into just a morning, so we scrapped our plan so we could just take our time at the zoo and not feel rushed.
 
 



 
 







 
 
These things freak me out, man...


 
 
And honestly, this little guy made me a little nervous too...
 ...he's small, but he looks like he could do some damage.

 
 
We all agreed this guy was pretty cool though...

 
We watched this guy and his buddies run around for the longest time!










We went into the butterfly house...
 







 
And then walked around the grounds a bit more...



 










 
 
They had a bunch of dinosaur statues outside the aquarium...






















 
 
 I coulda stood there and watch this guy chill all day. He was the coolest...
 



 





We stopped to get lunch and play in this little play area...
 











 
(Can you see the crocodile tail back there? I thought that was pretty cool, but quickly learned my kids had become hard to impress since our trip to Dubai. Snobs. )





 
 
We got to see a jaguar...
 
...that impressed them!







We let the kids each pick out a souvenir from the gift shop. Our daughter picked out a lemur and named him "Sticker" =)...
 


Our last stop of the day was this really cool microbiology exibit.
I'll be honest; I did not think the kids would be into this, and hesitated when Dave suggested we check it out.


I was totally wrong.

 

 
The kids totally dug it.
They got little paper "petri dishes" and had to learn about each little exhibit before they could get that one's particular stamp, and they were all about it.
They learned a ton.
I learned I will throw out my sponge every three days and sanitize my door knobs way more often. 


 
By mid-afternoon, we'd seen it all, and really enjoyed it...


 
(sister thinks it's funny that brother is hardly in that picture ;) )
 
 

We had a really nice walk home, observing how it IS possible to have an outdoor garden, even if you own a houseboat...
 

 
and playing with puppies along the way...
 

 
 
The kids were so cute that night, comparing stamps before bed...
 
 
 Amsterdam Zoo was definitely a highlight of our entire Europe trip! We were thankful we scrapped our original plan and just enjoyed nearly the whole day there.  


2 comments:

  1. Justin had a pet lemur when he lived in Mozambique!

    Also, THIS IS WHY I DON'T USE SPONGES!

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