My brother Daniel and his wife Brianna, who are in California for a few days visiting from New Hampshire, came over to my house with my mom on Friday, and we all went to the Santa Barbara Zoo (the three of them plus me and Siena). It was Siena’s first visit to the zoo, and unfortunately because my husband Bobby had to work, he wasn’t able to join us. He was bummed out that he was going to miss this semi milestone, but I informed him that Siena was probably too young (at 14 months) to really “get” it yet. Plus, it wasn’t like it was her first trip to Disneyland. I understood his feeling of being left out though. It was a first, and firsts are important.
However, I will fast-forward and say that he didn’t miss much in terms of her reactions. It wasn’t like she saw an elephant for the first time and smiled ear to ear or shrieked with joy and shouted “Elephant.”
Yes, this could have happened (maybe if she were a few months older) because she has seen elephants, gorillas, giraffes, and many other animals many times on her DVDs – such as Baby Genius Baby Animals and Your Baby Can Read – and she has toy animals of such varieties. Yet it didn’t happen on this visit.
Plus, she was not in the best of moods. She had had a few major meltdowns at home, and was in serious need of a nap (she only slept about 15 minutes in the car on the way to the zoo). As you will notice in the pictures, we couldn’t get a single smile out of her.
Still, it was nice for her to get out and about. Plus, while not ecstatic, Siena did show interest. She pointed here and there, and definitely watched the animals in motion (if they were still or sleeping, she wasn’t too impressed).
Siena actually enjoyed looking at birds most of all. Some of those birds were part of the zoo exhibits (i.e. macaws, flamingos, penguins, and ducks) and some were merely visitors (i.e. pigeons and crows that had landed temporarily). She would point at birds or ducks and say “buh” or “duh”. The first one she saw and got very interested in was this certain type of large pigeon with a fancy “hairdo.”
It was also cute to see Siena being held by her Uncle Dan (UD) as she watched the giraffes. After UD said “look at the giraffe” to her, she said “jurf.”
It really was a fun outing. It was nice to be with my family, to be walking around outdoors, especially in Santa Barbara, and at the zoo. We adults really loved seeing the animals, especially the monkeys, elephants, and giraffes. And, while Siena wasn’t ga-ga over the experience, I believe she enjoyed herself. Her first trip to the zoo fell somewhere between milestone and pleasant experience. I will call it a fun family outing with some interesting scenery. Siena will have many more visits to this and other zoos in the future, as well as Disneyland, and all kinds of amazing places.