06 January 2012

A New Friend

Being animal-less for a week now and thriving in such gorgeous weather, we made grandiose plans to entertain ourselves at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX.  We didn't come across anything that would let us actually touch them but gazing at them across the fence line was sufficient.
We really lucked out on the timing.  With most kids back in school and parents at work, there were plenty of spots where there was absolutely no one to be seen.
The playground was a hit with all the kids.  Evelyn jettisoned down the slide, followed by Claire on my lap.  After, Claire headed straight for the snake and sunbathed in his mouth until we moved along to see the animals.
 
Though most of the animals were occupied with their late morning snoozes, most of them had plopped down right next to the glass where we could easily observe them.
Meerkats just can't help but be adorable.
The lions were especially impressive, even as they slumbered.  Claire kept cooing, "Kitty, kitty" while Evelyn did her best to wake them with an intimidating roar.  They flicked their ears but didn't wake up.
There were lots of other creatures of the animal kingdom:  African elephants . . .
. . .white rhinos, capybaras, bald eagles, white-handed gibbons . . .
 . . . and a very friendly giraffe.
After all of the excitement, by far the best part was the enclosure with the squirrel monkeys.  The little primates have always been a favorite of mine, probably because they are so delightful.  Seriously, you can't stare at one and not melt inside.
One in particular took a liking to Evelyn and began strolling slowly by, making faces at her and sticking his tongue out at her while she jumped and squealed with delight.

Then he really wanted to play.  See?
 
(That's a very excited Claire growling in the background towards the end)

It went on for several moments more before he ran off to play with one of his own kind.  I always knew Evelyn liked animals, but maybe she's an up and coming Dr. Doolittle!
Claire was captivated by the sculptures and quietly babbled to them as if they were real animals.
We'll definitely be returning to explore the zoo further and bond over our mutual appreciation of animals.  Maybe Evelyn's new friend will remember her when we do.

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