HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! How did you celebrate? We stayed home (the only place we wanted to be anyway) because I’m recovering from a stomach bug and I’m sleep deprived, the Viper Pilot has a nasty cold, and Owen isn’t sick but is recovering from his 1 year shots (2 in one leg, 3 in the other, and a finger prick) which caused him to run a low-grade fever for a few days. We drank Prosecco and ate salty chips (best combo ever) while watching Grey’s Anatomy and were in bed by 10. We rang in the new year when the entire country erupted in fireworks for at least 20 minutes at midnight <– one of the things I’m going to miss most about living here.
But I’m here today to tell you about another new year celebration…the one where our Owen baby turned 1 year old!
Because Owen loves the zoo so much, we decided to take him to one of the most well-known zoos in all of Germany (maybe even in Europe, I’m not sure). The Leipzig Zoo is certainly one to write home about. I Googled and was certain this would be THE place to celebrate bubs’ birthday.
Our hotel was only a 5 minute walk from the zoo, so we ventured over after breakfast. We weren’t so sure at first, the weather was uncooperative (typical December in Germany) and the zoo was definitely in its off season. A lot of the animals were hibernating (must be nice) or moved to a warmer indoor location. Our first stop was the aquarium. It was a really nicely done fish tank, and Owen absolutely loved it.
The Gondwanaland is an indoor tropical experience the size of two football fields. If you’ve ever been to the Omaha zoo and seen their rain forest, then you’ll understand just how awesome the Leipzig one is when I say it was far more amazing than Omaha’s! It really was. It was a very natural habitat and climate. With rain forests of Asia, Africa, and South America, it is home to 500 different plant and animal species. There were even bananas and pineapples growing. I mean, how cool!
Owen missed part of it due to some much needed shut eye.
The coolest part was the treetop trail. Long, bouncing, swaying bridges take you across the treetops to a lookout in the center. The walk across was a bit nerve wracking, it is higher up than you might think, but the view was well worth the sweaty palms.
We walked around the rest of the indoor rain forest, soaking in the warmth, the sounds of the birds, and all the fascination that existed around us.
And, of course, a trip to the zoo would not be complete for Owen without a stop at the giraffe house. (Please pardon his hot mess appearance in the picture below. Hat, coat, mittens, socks, no shoes, high water pants…I don’t even know what’s going on here.)
He LOVES giraffes. He always has, since the first time we took him to the zoo at 4 months old.
Sorry for the focus issues, the 7100 isn’t known for its video capabilities.
He’s waving at them. 🙂
There is nothing better than the look of sheer joy and wonderment on your child’s face. We’re such suckers for it, we’ll do whatever it takes for him to experience this on a regular basis. It is one of the best parts of being parents, among many others.
So…I wonder how he’ll celebrate his 2nd birthday?
What a memorable year we’ve just completed. It was one of the best ones yet. How good was it? I can only explain it to you this way: in 2012 we took 8,364 photos, in 2013 we took 12,547, and in 2014…a whopping 20,082. It must have been good, right? Cheers to a blessed and prosperous 2015!