Anyway, back to our trip. As I said, much of our time was spent playing with Logan. One time, while the grown-ups were all out talking, he brought me into the bedroom that Athena used until we moved, and started playing with toys. He had a toy truck that he was playing with, and for some reason I picked up a little toy cat...which Logan decided to start trying to run down with the truck. I kept making the cat dodge, but one time he was too quick for me, so I had to leave the cat on the floor because it was injured. Or at least the idea was that if you hit a cat with a truck, it gets injured. I think Logan figures it doesn't matter if it's just a toy, because he didn't let it faze him at all.
Instead, he started playing with a little toy house. I suggested that the cat might like to play in the house if it was feeling better, and if he apologized it would feel better. So he repeated after me, "I'm sorry for hurting you," (only of course it didn't sound like that), and the cat was healthy again! So he took the cat...and started ramming the house with it.
The next day was the really important part of the trip. We went to the zoo. A lot of cute stuff happened at the zoo. First of all, there was only enough room in the car for one stroller, and Logan was distinctly unhappy when he saw that it was to be used for his little brother. He was a good sport about it though, and contented himself by making sure he would be the only one pushing the stroller. It was so cute--he just kept going and going.
He had to stop before we went inside the zoo, though, because Steve had invited a coworker--the same coworker whose son Sarah used to babysit, so a friend of Logan's was joining us, too. We waited outside the gate for a while, and while Logan was variously pushing the stroller around, dancing, and doing other things to pass the time, his shoe came off. He's very particular about that, so he picked up his shoe and walked all the way back to his mother to get her to put it back on. Athena told him to say, "Mom, will you please help me put my shoe back on?" so he said, "Ma ma ma ma ma ma shoo ba(ck) on?" It's so cute--he tries to repeat anything we ask him to.
Finally we went into the zoo...and that's where the Twins got distracted by animals. Oh, but first, Logan pushed the stroller to the effants. That was super cute, too, because he found a spot where he could see the elephants really well, so first he ran over and took me to see it, and then he went back to the stroller and pushed his brother up to it. He's so thoughtful! And then he watched for a while, and then he took the stroller and walked off. Athena said, "Logan, where are you going?" "See rah." So we went to see the tigers.
Or the daddy tiger, anyway. The baby tigers weren't out yet. They were the main reason we had to go to the zoo. The zookeepers have them on a schedule so they don't get too stressed out being surrounded by tourists. The daddy tiger was being pretty interesting, though, because his environment had changed, so he was moving around restlessly. We watched him for a while, and soon after we decided to move on, Logan's friend arrived, and he hadn't gotten a chance to see the elephants yet, so everyone started back to that exhibit...
And then I saw it. There's an exhibit next to the tigers that we always like to check in on, but rarely get rewarded for doing so. It's where they keep the black-footed cats--the smallest cats in the world. I think they're nocturnal, which would explain why every time we'd been to the zoo they had been curled up and asleep, usually in one of the various hollow logs in the enclosure that prevents us from being able to see them very well. But for some reason or another, this time, they were awake and running around! Like, literally just running around in circles. It was one of the cutest things ever. And then one of them starting growling. I don't know what it was growling at, but it was so adorable. Maybe the tiger being restless makes them restless.
So anyway, we wandered around the zoo a bunch, and we got to see Logan do his Ninjago move. (Apparently in the show, they spin around to transform into a ninja or something? Logan likes to imitate that. He won't do it on demand, but if you hang out with him long enough, he'll do it for the heck of it.) And he decided all on his own that he was going to see the stingrays, and he didn't even wait for a grownup to get him past the ticket window. Afterward, we put some of the foaming hand sanitizer on his hands, and, not realizing that it was the quick drying stuff, he decided he needed a towel...and used the bark of a nearby tree. He also decided all on his own that he was going to feed the giraffes, and even tried to go in through the exit to do it! So I redirected him to the ticket window so he could pay the two dollars. When he did, the lady gave us a receipt, which I handed to Logan...who promptly started walking back the other way.
We'd heard murmurings from other grownups that Logan would not want to feed the giraffes, which was odd, because he always wants to feed the giraffes. He was feeding them like a champ before we moved away. But sure enough, when it was our turn, he was pretty nervous. We even have pictures of him recoiling from the giraffe's outstretched tongue. I can't help but wonder if there was an incident. At any rate, he overcame his fear and fed the giraffe and it was super cute. And then we noticed something that we wanted to race over to, but first we waited impatiently for Logan's friend to take his turn recoiling from the giraffe's outstretched tongue. He's not as used to it as Logan, so in the end, his mom fed the giraffe, but it was still cute.
But as for the thing that we noticed! It was half an hour early, but the baby tigers were out! Oh my goodness, they were sooooo cute! Athena got a few pictures of two of them walking across their mom. They mostly just played around like kittens, only they were bigger than your average kitten.
After that, we had lunch, and then we'd mostly seen everything we were interested in, so we stopped by Sea Lion Cove, and then went to the Reptile House, where there was a zookeeper showing off one of their snakes. Logan took a turn petting it, and immediately wiped his hand on his shirt. The zookeeper had made the kids promise to wash their hands after petting the snake, but I don't think that counts. The zookeeper said that's one way you can tell a zookeeper--before they shake your hand, they'll always wipe their own on their pants.
By then we were ready to go, so it was time to head over to the train station. We took Logan along because he loves trains, but it was a really bittersweet experience. He got to see a couple of freight trains go by, but we got there two hours before our train did, so in the end we sent everyone back home without us. Sarah told Logan to say "I love you," and then we said goodbye. Later, the new voice message sound went off on Athena's phone, and it was Steve calling on behalf of Logan, who started talking about how we went on a train and went far away. Awww, I miss the little guy.
Today I'm thankful for getting to go to the zoo with everyone, getting to see the baby tigers, getting to see the black-footed cats, finishing work early today, and having a couple of days of free time on our schedule.