All Things Zoo.

Oh, we had such a fun day at Oakland Zoo . I mean it started out great, the kids rode on the back of a large, fake turtle. We like our animals staionary and plaster. But quickly, we moved on to the tigers, which most of you know I love the most - well next to lions, who were not as cooperative in being photographed on that day. Too many paps, I totally understood.

And then onto the giraffes. There were seven of them that day. That's two more than our family. We were duly impressed.

We even saw the giant (real) tortoise eating lunch - a nice, crunchy, leafy salad. We were a little hungry but we moved past it acknowledging that slow and steady wins the race almost every time.

Oh, and then we paid homage to the elephants. Most of you know, Kata has an obsession with pachyderms. She sleeps with her stuffed toy version every night. His name is Gate. No, we're not quite sure why. But the name stuck, so there you have it.

There were these marvelous apes. You could hear them from a mile away. They were screaming, "Woot!" I swear. It sounded like a group of small children. It was incredible to watch them swooping and woot-ing from branch to branch. I asked the zookeeper if they ever fell into the moat around their enclosure. He looked at me and shook his head, "No." Hey, I'm a Mommy, I had to ask.

At the chimp cage we were met with this reassuring sign - "One of the six layers of glass broken. Still very safe and secure. Yes, big male chimp did it. Probably threw a rock." I was simpatico with the male chimp, I'd throw rocks if people stared at me all day.

And then our favorite - The King of Madagascar came down for a look-see.

Bella loved the Children's Zoo the most. They had little doors just for her.

And little ants she could observe without her mother freaking out and grabbing a can of Raid screaming something about, "Dear God, do not let them get into the pantry!"

But, the alligator was a disturbing sight.

It was getting late and windy. Boy, were we all tired.

So we hopped on Daddy's back, hey if the monkeys could do it, we could too.

There's a wonderful little train that circles the Zoo. We boarded it quickly before meltdowns ensued.

We rode on out in style and chugged along happily waving to passersby. Many thanks to Grandma Sandi and Uncle Rog (who cleverly managed to not get into any of my pics) for making it a special day all around.

So now go and visit your local zoo and note how very similar we are to the animals surrounding us. Just a matter of a few chromosomes, in most cases. Woot!

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