Thursday, December 30, 2010

Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo

On the Friday of our holidays we left Flint, Michigan around noon and headed back to Canada. With no issues getting back into Canada we carried on to our next destination which was Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo. This was another stop the kids had very much been looking forward to. When the girls were little and we lived in the area we had gone for a day trip to this zoo and they had very fond memories of it and have often talked about this place, many time begging to go back there sometime. Of course they don't remember much about the animals there, it was the fun park that they remembered the most. They will admit that they were a bit disappointed that the park did not meet the expectation of their memories. I had to remind them that they were much younger at the time, I'm guessing Marietta was four and Rebecca was two or somewhere in that general area. A park of this size, when they had never been to an amusement park or zoo or anything of that assort before that would have been quite something for them ... and now at the ages of 10 and 8, when they are getting close to the end of their playground years this isn't quite so big and special anymore. But needless to say it was still fun and they still had a very good time ... I think it was just the disappointment that it wasn't quite what they had hyped it up to be in their heads.

Since we had been in the van for a bit we decided to have a late lunch/snack and let the kids run off some energy before we headed off to see the animals. The mistake we had made the last time we went was that we first went to see the animals and told the kids they could play afterwards. They were not as focused on the animal then since they only wanted to get back to that big huge playground. So the kids (and I) went to check everything out after we ate ... while Rob had a nap (again) ... packing up the hotel room had taken a bit out of him because he couldn't handle turning around within a small room, he had a nap before we left and I made a trip to the store to get him some Gravol (motion sickness medication - seeing as it's not called Gravol in the States) ... which didn't really help ... so another nap was needed.

I wandered around with the camera, following Matthew as he zoomed from one area to the next, trying to see and try everything so he could decide what he liked best. It really is a nice park with so much to do.

This was new since our last visit

There was disappointment for the girls as they remembered the balls being much bigger. I had to remind them that they were much bigger now and to look at how big the balls were in comparison to Matthew

I remember Marietta spending a fair amount of time on the hop balls the last time we went since they were the newest and latest rave at the time. Since then we've had our own at home, so it isn't so thrilling anymore.

Here was another disappointment. The last time we were there they had the balls in a much deeper pit, so when you jumped in you could actually jump in and get buried in the balls. With todays sanitary and safety concerns regarding ball pits I guess they decided to go wider with only a thin layer.

Matthew still did some jumping

and tried to bury himself

A manual treadmill, who needs all that fancy equipment when you can just build yourself something like this

Saucer Swing ... Matthew wasn't so sure of this as it moves and he doesn't have control, so he jumped off as soon as the picture was taken and let the girls do the swinging part.

There were several trampolines with a half-decent bounce ... better then the average homestyle trampoline

The zoo part also carries a large variety of animals, although it did have many duplicate cages along the way ... but if you want to see your basic variety of animals, from lions, to bears, to zebras, to ostriches, to bison, to lemurs, to monkeys, to alligators, lizards, to deer, to goats etc ... you'll find it here. The difference between here and other more commonly known places was mostly the fact that it's a self guided walking tour (I'm not sure if they do anything more special for schools), there are no special shows. The other thing we were disappointed with was the fact that there was no information about the animals ... unless someone forgot to give us a sheet that explained them seeing as there seemed to be a number system to follow.

Albino Racoon

We were there at feeding time. We couldn't believe how many tomatoes and applies they threw in for the handful of tortoises in the pen. Here it would have been nice if they provided some info on the difference between a turtle and tortoise, we sort of guessed the answer that turtles live more in the water and tortoise on land, but it's nice to know because once you leave you forget to look it up ... unless you blog :)

Petting the goats

The girls fed the deer ... thankfully it was on the last nibbles that one of the deer decided to take a small chunk out of Marietta's finger

Elephant Ride

There is a miniture village there also

It was too chilly of a day to use the splash pad, much to Matthew's disappointment, but he found another highlight that kept him very busy - the zip-line . Thankfully Matthew didn't go near it until closer to the end of our stay because once he went on one time there was no getting him to go anywhere else.

The cable was in definite need of some tightening, but the kids figured out how to make a go at it without hitting pebble-bottom. Matthew was still small enough that it was mostly okay if he just bent his knees. The girls had to curl up upside down in order to get past the lowest part ... a bit of a safety hazard I suppose, but they had it figured out and had sooooooo much fun!! Rob found himself full-time employed for quite some time helping Matthew up and down.

We left around 8pm when the park closed and went out for supper before heading off to London to spend a couple days at Ted and Lynda's. We went from scorching hot weather to cool, pants and long sleeve weather that was damp and yukky and not so inviting for park or beach hanging out. So we just hung out at home, the kids played, the adults visited. Sunday we did a bit more visiting with Jason and Carol and Mom and Menno and then headed home to our own beds so that the next day the kids could "recuperate" somewhat before heading back to a new school year. And there ended another summer holidays ... they fly by so fast ... but then, so do the school years!!

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