Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

2nd Day of our Pennsylvania Summer Vacation

Today we had a fun day at the Six Flags Wild Animal Safari and Sesame Place!

(The dress she is wearing in these photos, by the way, for anybody who may be interested, is a Holly Hobby dress! I had a Holly Hobby bedspread when I was a child with a very similar pattern as the pattern on this dress.)
I would HIGHLY recommend the Six Flags Wild Animal Safari to anybody of any age. It is in New Jersey, just over the Pennsylvania border, and is only about a half hour from Sesame Place. It is such a neat place in which you can get up and close to all sorts of animals. There are two main rules of the park: don't roll down the windows and don't feed the animals. We set great examples as parents and broke both of these rules, but luckily Gabriella can't read yet and so she didn't know we were breaking rules! We of course, only did this when it was safe to do so.
The park is enclosed (no public roads) and the speed limit is very low, so Gabriella was able to ride in the front seat with us and she thought that was pretty cool.
Gabriella loves animals. I swear she will become a veterinarian. She really enjoyed looking at and watching the animals.:
WOW!:
Gabriella was not a huge fan of the ostriches...
...because they are persistent little buggers. This little guy was knocking on our window with his beak because he wanted more bread. This made Gabriella nervous.:
The persistent ostrich looking through our moonroof!:
The giraffes were so much fun! I went to this Animal Safari as a child and I had two main memories from the experience, one was of the giraffes and the other was of the monkeys. The giraffes were a highlight again this time.
What an interesting perspective it is to look UNDER a giraffe!:
A giraffe outside of our car window!:
Gabriella was not too sure about this at first, but then got comfortable with these enormous giraffes surrounding our car!:
Gabriella's expression in this photo is priceless!:
A giraffe looking through our moonroof!:
The following giraffe photos were all taken through our moonroof! It was so neat!:
This poor guy needs to see an Orthodontist!:
We are in desperate need of a carwash now because all of the windows were licked by the giraffes and they certainly do not have the cleanest of mouths!:
You don't want to mess with these guys! These are some of the animals that we DID NOT feed and DID NOT want near our car!:
I thought this was such a neat picture of the zebras, I just wish it came out more clearly.:
This zebras tail fascinated me because the markings on it made it look like it was braided.:
Gabriella making animal sounds! Most of the sounds were "ROARS"!
Lions, and tigers, ...
... and bears, OH MY!:
A playful bear!:
Gabriella's favorite attraction at the safari was the monkeys. When I was a child the monkeys were roaming free like most of the other animals, but this time they had the monkeys behind a fence, which was a disappointment. I remember monkeys sitting on our car mirrors when I went as a child but I am assuming the park experienced issues with the monkeys and so now they are fenced.
At the end of the Safari there is an "Exploration Station" with more animals, food, shops and restrooms. We spent a little time here as well.
Gabriella really surprised me today, in a very pleasant way! Gabriella was more than willing to get on a pony for a pony ride. She enjoyed it so much that she asked to go on again for another ride! The first ride we walked around with her, but the second time she went around by herself and did great! She was belted on very securely, so I felt confident letting her go around alone. I was such a giddy mother watching her going around by herself and enjoying it. I was cheering, and clapping, and calling her, and waving, and high fiving her! Thank goodness she is still too young for me to be her "embarassing mother!" This was my favorite part of the day! I guess I will be hiring a pony for her birthday party for pony rides!:
After the safari we went to dinner.
And then, as if we hadn't had enough fun already, we went to Sesame Place! Sesame Place is a lot smaller than I expected. It also is a majority of water attractions. Its size and attractions, though, are perfect for Gabriella's age and interests.
It was a lot of fun being on Sesame Street!:
Gabriella surprised me again for the second time today. She has never liked costumed characters and usually cries and tries to get as far away as possible. She wouldn't get out of her car to see Big Bird, but she did let us bring her close to him. Quite frankly, I think I would be petrified of the 10 foot Big Bird if I were only 2 feet and didn't know that he wasn't "real"!:
Gabriella DID get out of her car to see Elmo! She wouldn't walk to him on her own, but she did let Ken take her close to him. I was so proud of her!:
My third surprise of the day...! Only a few weeks ago, when we went to see Thomas the Train at Edavialle Railroad, Gabriella was not interested in riding a horse on the merry-go-round. This time she got on very willingly!:
She was also interested in going on this ride. She even let Ken press the button to raise it higher! She reminds me of me when I was little so much! All of the childhood photos of me on rides at Disney World and the like had me with the same serious face, never a smile. Gabriella is the same! I know she enjoyed the rides, she just wasn't expressing it through her facial expressions.:
Gabriella had a great time choosing souveniers at the Sesame Place store! At one point she was holding $80 worth of stuffed animals! She ended up "choosing" a Telly Monster!:
Enjoying an Elmo cupcake:
After enjoying the frosting, she proudly stabbed it with her thumb!
When we got back to the hotel room she THOROUGHLY enjoyed an apple! She made it look (and sound!) so appetizing that Ken and I had to have apples ourselves!:
She was being silly with Ken and Telly Monster before her bath and bedtime!:
Gabriella didn't get to bed until after 9:00 PM, WAY past her bedtime! We are VERY tired, but had a great day and looking forward to going back to Sesame Place again tomorrow.

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