Saturday, May 16, 2015

Riding The Storm Out

Friday marked a check-up with Grace's orthopedic doctor at Children's Hospital in St. Louis, and we always try to do something fun after a doctor's appointment or check-up.

We usually try to plan all our appointments on Fridays because that's our day off from work, and it means we don't have to rush back.  As it turns out, Friday is also a good day for Kyle's sister, Mikaela to join us on excursions, and this time her husband, Scott, took half a day off work, and we all met at the zoo.

Just monkeying around with Uncle Scott and Aunt Mikaela at the St. Louis Zoo.
Despite watching the iffy weather forecast all week, it was a pretty day when we left the hospital for the zoo, only to start raining moments after we got there.  But we're used to making the best of a situation, so we headed to the Lakeside Cafe for some lunch to ride the storm out.  

Grace and her mommy are ready for adventures at the zoo.
When we arrived at the zoo, we saw lots of buses in the parking lot, and the zoo was full of students on field trips. At lunch, I saw Kyle wave across the cafe at someone, and it turned out to be members of the Nokomis High School Lady Redskin softball team. Earlier this spring, they honored Grace at one of their home games, and let her throw out the first pitch.  On our zoo trip, they came over and asked if they could get their picture taken with Grace, and we happily obliged.

Grace seems to have a fan club everywhere we go. Here she stops for a photo with members of the Nokomis High School softball team.
After having lunch with Scott and Mikaela, we ventured out to wander around the zoo.  It was a little overcast, but still sunny too.  I really thought we might even see a rainbow.

Our first stop was the prairie dogs, which is one of Scott's favorite animals to watch. Since it wasn't too hot, there were lots of them out playing and eating, and we enjoyed watching their antics.  

There's always time for a family selfie!
Then we made our way to the gorillas, which sort of turned out to be like "gorillas in the mist," as it started pouring down rain on us.  We managed to find an overhang to hide under, and watched the gorillas, who seemed to like the storm about as much as we did.  One stopped right in front of where Grace's stroller was parked.  She liked watching him, but mostly liked just hanging out with the four of us while we waited for the rain to die down.

For the next hour or so, we dodged raindrops and checked out the 1904 World's Fair bird cage, and then tried to find places to stay dry.  We didn't let the rain damped our spirits, and just enjoyed visiting and being together.  Even Grace didn't seem to mind the rain.

The hippo exhibit is always one of our favorites.
When it finally slowed up enough to wander around, we practically had the zoo to ourselves.  We wandered around the River's Edge, and loved watching the hippos swim around their habitat.  The elephants are always a favorite too.

Still all smiles, even on a rainy day at the zoo.
Before leaving, we decided to take Grace to the Build-a-Bear Workshop to make a new friend to take home.  Wea settled on a pink flamingo, because that's one of mommy's favorite things to see at the zoo.  With a little help from mommy, Grace got to press the pedal to fill the new toy with stuffing, and she got to add the red heart too after giving it a kiss. It's sure to be one of our new favorite friends to snuggle.

Grace with her new Build-A-Bear friend, a pink flamingo!
Before departing our separate ways, we stopped one more time in the sea lion tunnel to watch the animals swim.  It was much less crowded this time, and we all enjoyed just watching them swim and play.  A perfect way to end an almost-perfect day.

In life, things don't always go how we plan them to. We certainly wouldn't have planned to visit the zoo on a day it poured down rain, but we definitely had fun "riding the storm out" together.  Make the most of all your chances, and don't let a little rain spoil your fun. 


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