Today Susannah and I took our kids to the Reston Zoo. Susannah has been there a few times before but it was our first time. It was great! Susannah drove, so we loaded all four kids into her Toyota and trekked the 45 minutes out the suburban “zoo”. It was really fun but sort of a crack up. I guess it is more like a petting zoo. They have different small exhibits of monkeys, reptiles, birds, tortoises etc, but the highlight is a large barn with multiple pens of goats and sheep that you can feed. There is also a “safari” ride through a small field to look at camels, zebras, ostriches, buffalo and some cattle from India. This is where it gets amusing. The safari ride is a tractor pulled trailer. The tractor is a big attraction for our boys and the ride part was fine. The funny part is that you get pulled around a small field that is bordered by home developments where people’s yards back up to the “zoo”. Don’t mind us, we are taking a safari in your back yard! It was killing me.
The safari was fine but the best part of the day was feeding the animals and the boys taking pony rides. As previously described, Jack LOVES goats. I mean he really loves goats. Susannah and I both bought huge buckets of feed and a baby bottle of milk for the boys to feed the goats and sheep. Oh, my gosh. Those two boys couldn’t have been more adorable feeding the animals. They were entertained the majority of our trip by trying to get the babies to drink the bottles and the bigger animals to eat the feed out of their buckets and hands. The cutest part is that Jack really try to endear himself to the animals. At any given moment you would hear him talking to each goat or lamb. When we first got there, he was trying to figure out their names. “What’s your name? I’m Jack, what’s your name?” followed by “Mom, I’m trying to get their names!” Later both he and Ian were calling “Here baby, here baby. Here’s your milk.” And then they started to feed the animals handfuls of the feed. Jack sort of stuck his hand out to individual goats and tried to really feed one particular animal at a time. Ian on the other hand, would get a handful of feed then sort of toss it at a group of animals. Both got the results they were looking for– lots of goats and sheep trying to eat all their food up! Susannah and I were both mesmerized by a pregnant goat that looked like she could burst at any moment. We both kept trying to get a good photo of that poor Mama. Talk about your baby being transverse. It looked like the baby was lying sideways in the most uncomfortable position! Makes me thankful that my babies are proportionally much smaller than a goat’s!
At the end of the day the boys each took a ride on a pony named Shellie. They were so tired but they enjoyed their rides. Jack was pretty into the pony and the saddle. He seemed very proud to be riding. Ian liked the pony too, but he was more interested in watching the riding lawnmower in the nearby grass and the tractor that passed by. Machinery is so much more interesting than pony rides!
As usual, Garrett and Isla were pretty chill. They ate, they drank, they rode in strollers and got carried in various baby-wearing paraphernalia. We’re lucky to have second children that just like to go with the flow. The Reston Zoo was a great way to spend a warm spring day!