Thursday, February 26, 2015

Twice at the Shanghai Zoo

Ryan went back to work yesterday, so life is returning to somewhat of a normal routine. The break was SO good for all of us, though. We're now sold on the idea of "stay-cations" - so relaxing and refreshing and great for family time!

Hadassah did wake up with a stomach bug today, so it's been a day of snuggles and a lot of sleep on her part, which let me finally sort through these pictures. It's so hard seeing her sick though, not wanting to play or eat, though thankfully she has kept drinking. She couldn't keep her eyes open even after a 4 hour nap, so it was early to bed...

But, back to the zoo. We first went as a family on Thursday, the Chinese New Year's day. Due to everyone staying up 'til Midnight due to fireworks, there was hardly anyone out when we left at 7:15 AM. So weird in CHINA to see almost NO ONE around! But it was all the better for us! The day was beautiful, the air was clear, the sky was blue, and we were a family.

And we were such a happy family, though Hadassah's "why are you taking a picture?" face doesn't quite reflect that. ;) Ryan and I felt like children as we sometimes skipped for the sheer joy of being out on such a beautiful day, showing our daughter the wonders of creation. Such a blessing!

 There was a small aquarium, which Hadassah loved. Fish that she could almost touch as she put her hand right up to their mouth against the glass.

 Then we went the opposite way most people went, and walked the long way around to start at the monkey exhibits. Hadassah's face of wonder was so much fun to see. Most things she loses interest in after a minute or two, but each new animal she would just look at for minutes on end... She loves animals!

 Some animals weren't out  yet since we were there pretty early in the day, but the baboons were out and active, as another visitor was throwing food at them. Not something we condone or would encourage, but we did reap the benefit of seeing the baboons swing and around and make sound, which thrilled Hadassah to no end!

 There was also a petting zoo area set up for sheep. It's the year of the Sheep according to the Chinese calendar, so they were the special animal! Again, we reaped the benefit of being the only foreigners around and having a cute blue-eyed little miss. Some people gave us vegetables (which I think we would have had to purchase otherwise) and Hadassah was so delighted to help feed them!

 Mommy had to finish up, though, as I was afraid the sheep would snap off her little fingers!

 We made it to the gorilla, being almost the only visitors in his exhibit. He looked kind of annoyed to be disturbed, though. Hadassah offered him her puffs and did some of the chest pounding and "oo oo oo" we've taught her is the sound for him.

 This happy panda bear was one of our favorite animals. You could see him smiling, as he had a belly full of bamboo, reclined and somewhat sprawled out, chewing it enthusiastically. :)

Hadassah is not one to pose for pictures anymore, always trying to squirm away when she sees the camera!

 But we did get one smile out of her to capture the beauty of this amazing, refreshing, blue sky day at the zoo.

The next visit, on Saturday, couldn't have been more different. We told our neighbors how nice the zoo was, and they wanted to come with us, so we made plans. It was raining lightly, but we went anyway... You hardly have a break like this after all!

It got progressively colder, was overcast, and drizzling most of the time. We felt so bad that this was their first introduction to the Shanghai zoo, which had been so beautiful a few days prior! But, they said later their son kept talking about the animals they saw, so I think it was still worth it. :)

Most of the monkeys were in their inside houses, but there was glass we could see them through, and they were active and cute!

 Hadassah was still intrigued, but not quite as much, having seen them all 3 days prior. Next time we'll know to stagger our zoo visits a little farther apart. ;) We laughed, because this time she was more interested in watching the man who was in an empty cage spraying it with water to clean it than she was in watching the monkeys!

She did like the elephant, though, which we hadn't seen the day before. She especially liked it when it, um, relieved itself. She kept saying "uh oh" at the flood of water that made a mess. It sure did stink inside their exhibit though!

All-in-all, the Shanghai zoo is a great place for families. The paths wind a lot and it's hard to find the animals sometimes, but we definitely will be back. Just hoping it's on another beautiful day like the first time!


  1. Thank you for sharing your family adventures. It is a joy watching Hadassah grow up. Your posts are always a blessing!

  2. Thank you for sharing your family adventures. It is a joy watching Hadassah grow up. Your posts are always a blessing!

  3. Love the pictures! I'm so glad you guys are having so many great family experiences while in China. Your skirt in this post is very cute! I love wearing long skirts too. Can you tell us a little about Chinese fashions? Do women dress very differently than men? Do you see many women in skirts and dresses? Maybe email would be a better way to ask, but I know answering those can be time-consuming! Hope you are all feeling healthy and happy soon!