To say Benjamin is crazy about zoos would be an understatement, Benjamin is WILD about zoos. Sometime after his first birthday, Grandma and Grandpa introduced Ben to the wonderful world of the zoo. From the first moment, he stepped into the Bergen County Zoo (or better known as Van Saun Park) he fell in love. I believe, actually I know, that many of the words he knows today are due to his visits to the zoo. He learned that cows moo and lambs baa and monkeys go oh oh ah ah. And of course, his favorite the duck, "quack, quack, quack!!"
Grandma and Grandpa saw how much he loved the zoo that they bought a season pass and have enjoyed it for countless afternoons and mornings throughout the summer. According to Grandma and Grandpa, as soon as they make the right hand turn to enter the zoo, he gets very excited in his car seat and knows he is moments from his favorite place in the world -- the zoo. He knows where everything is and what he wants to visit first. He also knows where the gift shop is (with grandparents like John and Sue how could he not) and has bought lots of treasured gifts there including his flash cards and some sort of strange animal that we still don't know what it is but he wanted it and enjoys playing with it.
During our visit to Hershey, it was very important to me to bring Ben to Zoo America. Like Van Saun, it isn't the San Diego Zoo or The Bronx Zoo but if there are animals there he will love it. And I was so right, from the moment we stepped into the first exhibit he wanted out of his carriage so he could get up close and personal with the animals. He went crazy for the alligators and crocodiles. Letting me know what each of the animals were. He was able to see an owl, bobcats, wolves, fish, ducks, elk and bear. He loved the bear! "Bah, bah bear bear bear!" Yes, Ben there is a bear but the biggest thrill was when, without hesitation, he petted a snake. If he was allowed to hold the snake and take it home, he would have (God help me). While the park was fun, I know the zoo was his favorite just by the bright smile on his face.
Bah, bah bought him a bear figurine to remember his day spent at the zoo. Wally and I promised that we would bring him to the Bronx Zoo this fall for him to discover more animals. So perhaps my animal loving explorer will do something with animals when he grows up. Either that or a dentist because the boy loves to brush his teeth.