Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthday on an elephant!

So Hayden's birthday was on Sunday the 24th, and I finally got the pictures downloaded to share. Since we are in a sparcely furnished apartment, away from our neighborhood friends, I wanted to find a special outing we could take Hayden on for his birthday. Something low key, but highly memorable.
While talking with a local girl at church, she mentioned that the Santa Ana Zoo has elephant rides on the weekends. That sound like a once in a lifetime sorta thing to do, so I packed a lunch and we headed to the zoo on his birthday.
It's a small zoo, which Dino appreciated as he didn't want to spend his one day off walking even more. We headed straight for the elephant ride to make sure we'd get a chance, since there's limited hours.

We showed up just as Dixie was entering the ring. She was a sweet, Asian elephant, about 40 yrs. old. She saddled right up to the ramp and let the kids on. The girls asked her trainer a flurry of questions, and he was impressed with how much they knew about elephants in general. (that's Hannah for you!)
The trainer was so nice, he even has Dixie pause and pose for a minute so overly- enthusiastic moms like me can snap a dozen shots of our kids.

The kids were wild with excitement as they rode around around the ring. Hayden shouted out, "This is the best birthday ever!" It was definitely worth the $5 a ride to see the smiles on their faces.
Then when their turn was over, the trainer told Hayden to stay on and he gave him an extra ride for free because it was his birthday. He also took a picture of him and printed it out and put it in a card that says "I rode an elephant!". He normally charges $20 for the picture, but he included it because he took such a liking to the kids.

We toured the zoo for a bit, and then watched the animal interaction show. The kids got to hold silkworms, and touch a centipede, lizards,etc. They were in heaven.

At home we had some cupcakes to share with the other APX guys and a tiny cake so Hayden could blow out the candles.
It was definitely the low maintenance birthday I had wanted, but was memorable for sure.
Happy 9th birthday Hayden, we love you buddy!


  1. Your blog is so awesome mom, you rock!
    your daughter,

  2. cute! how fun to have ridden on an elephant! that's very memorable!

  3. Thats my home town!! We used to go to the zoo all the time when I was a kid. It lost its coolness once we went to the san diego zoo, but it was just down the street from my house! I am so jealous you are there!!