Monday, November 11, 2013

Traditional Trips

Post 2 of 2 in a series titled "Traditions" from my
blog group Homesteaders and Homeschoolers.
Traditions are a part of our family vacations. 
Not in that we travel to the same place year after year (but that would be super fun!). 
But in what we do when we go on a vacation. 
Now, if you know me well, you know my family loves animals. 
Exotic animals. 
Farm animals. 
Sea animals. 
We dig it all. 
So, when we travel, we always go to a zoo. 
Even before we had kids, Chad and I would visit a zoo whenever we traveled. 

We've been to the zoo in...
Portland, Oregon
Fort Worth, Texas
Paris, France
San Diego
Los Angeles 
The National Zoo in D.C.
St. Louis, Missouri
Columbus, Ohio
Chicago (of course!)
Houston, Texas

There are so many more for us to visit. 
Each city gives us a new opportunity to have an animal experience. 
Yet at one zoo, we have the same experience. 
Whenever we go to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, tradition stands that Chad and the girls will pose in front of the lion grotto and I'll snap a picture. 
These are just a few in our arsenal.

There's always a way to get up close and personal with creatures. 
We love to pet and feed anything we can get our hands on. 
We all get giddy with excitement if we can pet an emu or feed a giraffe. 

Giraffes are always popular. 
So friendly no matter where we encounter them. 

Sometimes we do stay local and visit our hometown zoo which is awesome. 

We've met up with cousins and friends at zoos in different states.  

And we've watched our children grow up with wonder and respect for the world at their level. 
They've learned about conservation, extinction, and nachos. 
They understand the difference between a monkey and an ape. 
And the difference between an Icee and a snow cone. 
They've seen sea lions, okapi, elephants, rhinos, tortoises, constrictors, meerkats, eagles, millipedes, crocs, koala bears, and every other animal. 
Except one. 
Panda Bears are on the list, yet to be seen by these two animal enthusiasts. 

Learning to love all creatures on this expansive planet is a big tradition of ours. 
A tradition of teaching our children that we are all a part of this thing we call life. 

Visiting a zoo on a vacation is a family tradition of ours. 
I can't wait for them to see those pandas!

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