We Gonna Party Like It's Mom's Birthday

My mom loves zoos, so the natural thing to do on her birthday is go to the zoo. This was also an excellent excuse to check out the Cincinnati Zoo, the second oldest zoo in the nation.  It originally opened in 1875, just 14 months after the Philadelphia Zoo. The Cincinnati Reptile Building is the oldest zoo building in the US. 

After a quick stop at Kroger for discounted tickets, we headed over to the zoo - which is literally like a block from where Francisco works. We found parking on the street and headed on in one of the pedestrian entrances...and were greeted by this adorable sloth just hanging out inside this discovery center.
Headed outside, the first animals we encountered were the elephants. Which is perfect - because my mom's favorite animals are elephants.
Now whose brilliant idea was it to give her a magic wand for her birthday? Oh, yeah, that would be me. She carried that wand around the entire zoo with her. At least it came in handy for warding off the rain!

 The animals were really active, so that was nice to see them up and moving around.
We weren't exactly sure what was going on with this white leopard. He had stretched up on the fence then he just sat there with his paw in his mouth.  For like a really long time. It was adorable but still very curious behavior. 

Looking back after we'd moved past him, he was still just sitting there like that.
Then some more adorableness as we came across this baby gorilla who was so desperately trying to climb this vine. 

Someone had to come over and give the little guy a hand.

 We encountered bamboo thickets throughout the zoo. I love bamboo!
There was sooo much to see here; we were all exhausted by the time we finished walking - and surprised that it had ended up being so huge!  It's in the middle of the city, basically around the block from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and it's 65 acres of wildlife!
As we headed out of the zoo, we saw a group of employees walking with a handful of flamingos. How neat is that!
After dinner at Buffalo Wings and Rings, we sampled some of my homemade fruity Sangria. (I realized I didn't have a pitcher, so we made it in a big bowl to serve up punch-style.)

Hey, someone had to make sure nothing went to waste!
 Then we surprised my mom with an ice cream sundae bar for her birthday. She had requested the biggest, best sundae when I had asked her what she wanted, so we tried to deliver on that! 
Francisco served up the ice cream while everyone selected their preferred toppings.  
Mom even used her magic on the kitties to make sure they were having fun at her birthday celebration.
 It was a beautiful night, so we played Phase 10 on the deck until the mosquitos got the best of us. 


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