Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Break: Memphis Trip Day 2

Friday morning we went to eat breakfast at Arcade, a famous restaurant, where many well known people have eaten, including JFK.  Several movie scenes have been filmed there as well.  It's situated in what looks like was once a bustling part of the city, but now is a bit run down with old buildings full of character.  The diner began in 1919 but was renovated in the 50's and still has that nostalgic diner feel that serves a hearty breakfast and lunch fare.  We enjoyed our pancakes and omelettes.
Arcade Memphis

While we waited for our large table, the kids sat in the Kennedy's booth.  (Kinda cool, huh?)
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Arcade, Memphis

We left there and headed to the Memphis Zoo.  It started off brisk and breezy so we went straight to the sea lion show which was enclosed on the sides so it blocked the wind a bit.  "Callie" had many fun tricks that the kids enjoyed watching from balancing bottles on her nose to throwing frisbees to her trainer--she would dive and splashing on demand (or should I say, on click). The trainer emphasized how they use positive reinforcement with their animals by making clicking noises...I jokingly asked my friend, "wouldn't it be awesome if we could click our tongues at our children and with positive reinforcement, always get them to perform on demand?!"  Can I get an AMEN!
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We were a large crowd as we navigated the zoo with twenty kids and ten adults. We did a great job of keeping up with all the kiddos through the first part of our day but somewhere between the elephants and the panda exhibits we realized we didn't have Emerson.  The whole group pulled to the side and watched our other kids while Adam and I ran back toward the elephant area to look for him.  Adam spotted him first with big tears streaming down his face.  He was undone and grateful to finally see us.  It was only a few minutes that he wasn't with us, but I do believe that feeling won't soon be forgotten.  I think it was one of those moments when he got distracted by something and just didn't see the group moving...and Adam and I thought the other one had him...which made for a bad combination.  We were so grateful to see that little guy!
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I witnessed an animal I'd never heard of before, a Bongo.  It has brownish, orangey coloring with white stripes and antlers.  After we all Googled this animal to try and see what it was called, I learned that both male and female bongo's have antlers, which is a unique quality for sure.
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A lot of the animals at the zoo were alert and active which made the day really fun for everyone. When we got to the panda bears, they were munching on bamboo, walking around and looking oh so cute and cuddly.
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The grizzlies were by far the most fun to watch.  We went at feeding time and seeing them grab up the carrots or sweet potatoes and watching them scarf them down was pretty awesome.  We were standing right behind the glass and one of our kiddos was literally nose to nose with the bear!  Watching them rough house and "fight" was quite entertaining, both the parents and the kiddos enjoyed this exhibit!
Memphis Zoo Walk By

Memphis Zoo

The Memphis zoo is much larger then the Little Rock Zoo and was really such a treat to experience the animals active and alert because sometimes it seems like the animals in LR always seem to be sleeping or inside their exhibit where we can't see them!
Gorilla...

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We took a little break near the penguin exhibit, aren't they all such cuties!?
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The kids thoroughly enjoyed the Sting Ray's where we could feed and touch the fish, it was a first for a lot of us.  Ava Jane and Emerson were leaning over trying to feel their slimy, jelly-like bodies as they swam by and all of a sudden one of them flipped their little fin and splashed the fool out of them.  Emerson was in tears "cause I didn't want to get wet" and Ava Jane just rolled with the wetness.   Their reactions were totally different, she smiled a smirky wet grin while he decided to go pout near the sand for a bit.  I tried to warn him that wet clothes and sand wouldn't be a good combo but he didn't want to listen.  He fairly quickly changed his attitude, and smiled his sweet smile and went right back to petting the sting rays.
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And some how the clouds burned off, the sun began to shine and miraculously we took a group shot with almost every eye looking at the camera with a smile on their face!  How did that happen?  That has to be some kind of world record?!  Truly!  I love each one of these families and their sweet littles who are such good friends to my kids.  It was a great day spent together.  Spring Break ended on a high note and left us wishing for more days in our week off.
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