Friday, August 7, 2015

Exploring the St. Louis Zoo

We woke up and went to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. We loved the buffet. Ashton had boiled eggs for the first time and loved them. But not without wearing her daddy's cap of course.

This morning we went to the zoo! But of course we had to all meet up in the lobby first. And Ashton with her typical energy was doing laps with the boys and Little Miss A.

I don't know if any of the other kids where worn down from all the sprints, but Ashton was not tired in the least. She was excited to go to the zoo.

Before seeing animals or anything, Ashton wanted to ride the train. So we did. And wow! This train ride way outdoes the Indianapolis' zoo train ride. It had tunnels and went around the perimeter of the zoo with several stops. It was awesome!

We rode in the second to back seat. The last seat was reserved for the conductor. and at every stop before they'd start up again, he'd say "All aboard!" and then give his speaker to Ashton to say all aboard as well, but she'd always shake her head no.

We told her finally on the last stop if she said, "all aboard" that she could ride the carousel. So she shyly did. It was so cute. I wish I got video of it.

And though this is a zoo, yes, the next stop was not to see an animal but ride the carousel. And those that know Ashton know she LOVES carousels.

But I saw this cute penguin and had to get a photo op first.

And what's funny, is we ended up meeting some of the ICC group and we got to all ride at the same time.

Then it was off to see the animals. I don't see any in this tunnel...

We don't have hippos at the Indy zoo, and I don't know about Ashton, but I was very excited to see hippos. Then I read about the fish that swim with them and why they swim near them and pick at them... all I'll say is look it up if you don't know, interesting.

After seeing the elephants, cheetahs, and hyenas, Ashton wanted a cave to sit in like they did.

Then it was off to the petting zoo. Ashton loved brushing all the goats. We even got to see fennec foxes, however, they were behind glass and sleeping. Unlike her previous experience with fennec foxes, they weren't up close and personal, much to her dismay. But she was still excited to see them.

Then we rode the carousel and train one more time before we headed back to our hotel. On the car ride back, Ashton was crashed. We then napped together for a brief window before meeting up with the ICC group for dinner.

At dinner, they played some slideshows of the children's SWIs and work ICC has done as of late. Notice Ashton "adopted" a fennec fox from the zoo. This is her newest fox love, named Radar. 

Miss K then came to us saying that her SWI wanted to give Ashton something handmade from the staff. They made her a couple of pink bowed barrettes and a yellow bracelet. I made sure I got a photo of Ashton wearing them with Miss K by her side to send back to the SWI to say thank you. 

ICC also came with chopsticks from mainland China. They each came in a sleeve and each chopstick set had different designs on the ends. On the table that had the chopsticks, I spotted only one that had a green sleeve. So that being her favorite color, I made sure she got that chopstick set. And of course I didn't give her the set. It's only be drumsticks. So I will hold on to them until she can use them properly in the future.

Then after dinner, we went outside for some photos. And being that our hotel was a train station, we had a cool backdrop!

Here are our kiddos of the ICC group who are from Sanmenxia. Most of the group  was from Hengyang and I think one family was from Changsha. But regardless where our kids were from, they were touched by ICC and they were loved.

These cuties probably spent a few months together in the baby room.

Then the group picture. We didn't get everyone as some left early and others don't arrive until tomorrow, but at least we got a lot of the group.

Then Ashton begged to watch "The Croods" before bed. So her and daddy curled up together to watch it, needless to say, they didn't get through it. They both snored together.

Love my family!
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