Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Break!

Alice had spring break last week, so we totally went on an exotic vacation! Just kidding. We had no plans. We talked about going somewhere new and nearby for a few nights, but in the end, we didn't have our act together and Jon ended up getting a ton of work that kept him busy all week. 

Another mom on Facebook said that her four-year-old woke them up on the first day of spring break to ask "Is it spring break? Where are we going?" because one of the kid's classmates was going on a trip to China... This mom asked us what we all had planned for spring break. I mentioned that I was on my way to the gym so my kids could run wild in the "Adventure Zone" and I would get a little break from their whining and crying. I definitely think that spring break was invented to torture parents...

Anyway, we made plans to go to the zoo with friends on the first day of spring break. We've lived here for a year and had somehow not been yet! We got an annual pass, so we can make sure to go more often now! 

Right off the bat, we got up close and personal with a gorilla. Elliott loved it. He was patting on the glass and laughing and even waved "hiiiii." 

Before we entered the zoo, we could hear a peacock crying and soon after the gorilla, we crossed paths with one. This gorgeous guy strolled along in front of us and hopped up on the rock next to us so we could admire his fabulous plumage. Seriously, I was fixated. I could not stop staring at all of his beautiful colors and patterns. My unedited photos hardly do him justice, obviously, but I kept thinking that I wanted a luscious bed made out of these colors and patterns and silky textures.
He was not shy at all and didn't seem to mind me getting close to take his photo. I was a little nervous and tried to keep a safe distance, just in case he decided to claw my eyes out or something. He finally hopped down and made like he was going to stroll away, and then instead, he fanned his glorious tail. I was so excited. 

Alice was standing in front of me, right up close with Mr. Peacock, and got some nice shots with her little camera. 
Pretty pretty peacock.

I thought the zoo was nice and intimate with really accessible exhibits. They also had some cool animal sculptures and other interactive displays that the girls were super excited to play in and on. In fact, Alice was a lot more excited about those things than the animals... 
Ivy rides a hippo.
We saw the lion triplets, born in October 2014, lounging around really close to the viewing areas. They were probably the most alert lions I have ever seen at a zoo, except for the one in Amsterdam, who actually devoured a steak while we were watching... 

 We finished off at the carousel, which the girls loved at the LA Zoo. This was the first time Elliott got to sit on a carousel horse! I didn't get to watch his face during the ride, but Jon assured me he loved it.  Luckily, I got a few photos before we started.

Our friends took us to a great taco shop nearby for lunch where we finally had some decent Mexican food. I was stuffed for the rest of the day and fantasized about going back all the next day. I can't wait to go again. 

We had a few boring days after that, with a few trips to the gym, and then on Friday, Jon was able to get away from his desk long enough to go to the aquarium. The octopus was putting on quite a show for us, changing the color and texture of her skin, and swimming upside down. I was SO excited. Her circular enclosures are super hard to photograph, so my pictures are never great. 

 Elliott loved patting (or smacking) all the glass on all the exhibits. Pat, laugh, pat pat, laugh laugh laugh. He loved it.

Look! An otter!!
The otters were putting on quite a show, too!!
 In one of the exhibits, I saw the tiniest sea star I have ever seen. It was smaller than Alice's little pinky nail. This isn't a great photo, it was white, so very hard to photograph!
 The Lionfish is one of my very favorites, even if they are a horribly invasive species that is terrorizing Florida right now... 

After the aquarium, we made our way to The Crumpet Shop for lunch. Alice and Ivy love crumpets, so we were excited to try it. 

We all got crumpets with egg and cheese, Ivy also requested a tomato, and Jon and I got ham. They were delicious. We also got another crumpet for dessert with ricotta, and the girls asked for orange marmalade. They loved it. I don't love orange marmalade, and though I do love ricotta, it just wasn't my favorite combo. I'll have to try something else, next time!! 

After lunch, Jon was still craving something sweet, so we stopped at Le Panier - our fav - for treats. Alice asked for a macaron but at the last moment, like the very last moment while the nice boy was waiting behind the counter, she changed her mind and asked for a "cinnamon fluff." I had no idea what she was talking about, so she had to drag me over and point to the lovely meringues. She wanted the one dusted with cocoa powder. She loved it. Man, I love eating in the Pike Place Market.

So, it was a low-key, but fun spring break. Jon had too much work to squeeze in the Tulip Festival this weekend, but we're hoping to go one of these days soon! 

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