We’re Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Andy had to go into work on Monday, so G and I were on our own to start exploring the city.  Like any good mother of a toddler, I had already scouted out info about Zoo Basel, and Mondays have discounted admission.  So I decided that would be our first mama/daughter destination.

After figuring out which tram line we needed to take, and somehow miraculously guessing the right way to walk to the stop, G and I hopped the tram and headed to the zoo.  The first stop was the playground, obviously.

G only got minorly damp from hanging out on this hammock.

After looking at the zoo map, G said the first place she wanted to go was to see the elephants.  We checked out some “lowland gorillas” on the way, which was my first run-in with either poor signage or poor translation.  I guess it could be a case of false friends.  At any rate, they were definitely orangutans.  (The signage continued to be a struggle for me throughout the zoo.  It was in German and French and I didn’t want to use international roaming data to try to translate everything.  So I tried to only discuss animals with G that I could easily identify on my own.)

Those guys were putting on quite a show!  Running, climbing, swinging, hanging upside down and trying to knock each other off their respective ropes.  Very entertaining!

We finally made it through the construction zone (literally) to find the elephants.  G was super excited!  But there was a lot of, “What’s the elephant doing?” over and over, ad nauseam.  It’s exhausting to have a toddler!  I need to get better at my ability to just make up answers!

I actually felt really bad for these elephants. See that crane in the background?

Caterpillar! Just like home.

The project they were working on was a bigger elephant enclosure, a new restaurant, and an observation deck.  But it was loud, and the elephants were obviously distressed.  I tried to steer G away from this area as quickly as possible.

G loved this flock of flamingos, and I was able to bust out another one of my few zoo facts, which always makes for a proud parenting moment.

Flamingos are pink because of the food they eat, such as shrimp.

We found the lion pride, and it was huge!  I counted one male and six females, and it’s entirely possible that I missed a sleeping female or two.

G absolutely fell in love with this baby rhino statue.  Another little girl in the learning center kept wanting to ride it, too.  It was a lesson in sharing for sure.

"I want this baby rhino to walk!" Good luck! #lavieve #latergram

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Then we got outside and found the rhino family napping together.  G was enchanted.  She’s never shown much interest in the rhinos at the Peoria zoo, so I was really surprised.

I’ve never thought rhinos are particularly cute, but there’s something about a family of them snuggling together that gets you right in the feels.

“I want them to swim, Mama!”

Penguins! 🐧 #lavieve #latergram

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We had lunch at the zoo.  I was pushing my luck, but I figured we could eat, see some more animals, and then head back to the hotel for a late nap.  The food is not this good at the Peoria zoo, I can tell you that.  My pasta was delicious.

G was really upset with the way milk is pronounced in Switzerland, versus the way Little Pim has taught her. The missing “e” at the end of “milch(e)” makes a huge difference.    ETA: Andy, G, and I all misremembered the pronunciation of milk in German, and Andy and I were both mispelling it the same way. Little Pim taught us a lesson over the weekend.

G showed the most patience waiting for a goat to come over so she could pet it.  She even tried serenading them, and maybe that’s what eventually worked!

The most patience, that is, until it was time to pet the ponies.  If I didn’t know better, I would swear these guys were all teasing her!  “Pony!  I love to ride on you!  And pet you!  Please come over here!  I love you!”  (How could anything, even a pony, resist that?!)

It was too warm, and we got there a bit too late in the day, but when the conditions are right, the Emperor penguins take a walk outside and you can see them eat.  I can’t wait to bring G back to check that out!

Watching Finding Nemo with Grandma Kathy made a HUGE impression.  G did not want to stop watching the clown fish in the vivarium, and a stuffed clown fish (“Nemo’s dada!”) was her souvenir choice.

They are pretty cute, as far as fish go.

After nap time, and after Andy got off work, we met him at a German restaurant for dinner.  I’m not much for German food (since I have an issue with most sausages), but I figured when in Rome…

I’m pretty sure this is why he wanted to go there:

Andy's reasonably sized beer from last night. #latergram #switzerlandprep #basel

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But that’s OK, because G and I got to eat these delicious pretzels.

And Marlin. Obviously.

All in all, a great day with my best girl.

How can you not love this face?

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