The second half of our vacation this month was spent doing day trips and being close to home. Matthew found a great deal online for tickets to the Toronto Zoo using blue airmiles. We are chronic air mile collectors but never do much with them. We only fly on points from a credit card air miles but I don’t think they actually intend for you to fly with blue airmiles because it takes a bazillion points to even fly regional which is not exactly the most efficient use of them. The very most we have ever cashed them in for was grocery store gift cards which I recently heard you are no longer permitted to do, so when Matt said he found this deal using points for the two of us to get into the zoo for free I was elated.
The Toronto zoo is three hours away and something that I thought we would do once when Lillian was small but then not again for some time. It turned out to be one of the happiest little trips leaving a huge impact with our girl so much so that on the way home Matt said he would be sure to see if he could get us another set of tickets for next year. Being that it is three hours away I thought it would be prudent if we stayed overnight close by, the zoo is a lot of walking and in the summer we wanted to get there early out of the heat of the day and walk until we could no more. Having saved the money on not buying the tickets meant all we were would have to worry about was cost of the hotel and food, not such a bad deal. We picked up a cheap hotel room, thai food, put the baby to bed and enjoyed a quiet evening but that was after I got to snuggle this guy,
When Matt pointed out the out that the Zoo was on the other side of Toronto I immediately thought, then we can see Veronica and Theo and they are on the way! Blogger friends may know Veronica and I have had the esteemed pleasure of getting to know and love her and her boys for the last couple of years. Veronica graciously invited us over the for afternoon to play before we headed off to crash for the night. Theo and Lillian played like long time friends as we neurotically ran around trying to get sweet snapshots of them and talking a mile a minute to get days worth of a visit into a few hours. Just the most gracious of hosts, I was so glad we got to spend some time with them.
I adore this photo that Veronica snapped of us. Theo is just the snuggliest little guy and I was glad for the full arms.
The next day we were off to the Zoo bright and early. If you have not been before it feels like you are going into the middle of nowhere. Matt just kept muttering that he didn’t think the major roads came out that far into the sticks, it is a little tricky to find though most people that time of day down those roads were headed to the zoo so we simply followed the crowd. Everyone had warned us that the day would entail a lot of walking and that we could bring out own snacks. We loaded down the City Mini with a days worth of supplies, put on our comfiest shoes and hoped our feet would hold out. What we were not expecting was that Lillian would out walk us all. She walked for close to to five hours straight. She refused the stroller, did not want to go on Matt’s shoulders, just marched along happily. For five hours. She kept paced and just marched. Well, marched and fell. Three falls were significant enough to send us to the aid station for band aids and by the second time in they knew our names and offered her a cool drink.
Lillian says the panda’s were her favourite, perhaps because they were the first animal we saw. We were lucky to see them as apparently panda’s sleep 22 hours a day and we were able to see one out and enjoying breakfast. Both Lillian and Matt were enthralled.
The otters were another big hit for Lillian because it was so active and moving around. She got to watch them swim and now every time she is in water she wiggles around and says,
“Look! I an otter! I swim!”
Matthew loves aquariums and fish. We have had an aquarium since 2008 and Lillian has picked up his love of fish. The multiple fish tanks were a big hit.
This was the face she gave me when I told her that was a tiger, like Daniel Tiger on PBS. Mind. Blown.
This last photo was taken in the parking lot of the zoo after 6 hours of walking. Cookie still in her hand, a bite still in her mouth she passed out hard before we had even gotten to the entrance gates. It was such a lovely day.