IAHP Trip- Free Day #2- Maryland Zoo with Friends

Maryland Zoo with Friends

This post has been sitting incomplete in my draft box for over a year. I debated back and forth whether or not I should post it. Yes it is over a year old, but other families heading the the IAHP, might be interested in what other families do on their down days while in Philly. There are so many sights and sounds within day trip driving distance. So for that reason and the fact I want to write all about this trip to share with Zakari when he is older, I have chosen to share it.

Why Do Kids Sleep in on Days You Need to Get Moving?

Of course because we had plans to get to the Maryland Zoo nearly 2 hours away, Little Z decides this is the day he is going to sleep in. As much as I wanted to just lay down and go back to sleep, we were meeting my good friend and her kids. I just could not miss this.

Open Diary

Back in 2004 when I got pregnant with Wesley, I was part of an online diary website called Open Diary. Years later in 2014 they went offline. Recently they relaunched the site. However now it is a pay for use site. As a young and pregnant 19 year old, I didn’t have many people who I could relate with.

This is where Open Diary was so important to me. I was able to write about my experiences through pregnancy, childbirth and raising my son. Eventually I wrote about my separation and becoming a single mom. Other people could comment on my post. I created Friends list of people I followed. I would read their posts and comment as well. Eventually when Facebook became a thing, I was able to connect with these people outside the Open Diary format.

Summer from Maryland aka mommy2aiden was someone I connected with on Open Diary. Years later we are still friends. We met in person for the first time in 2016 when I went to Philadelphia to take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. At that visit I got to meet her oldest son. This time we were meeting her two littles.

Exploring Two New States

I took advantage of the fact Zakari was still sleeping and packed up all we needed. We got ourselves ready and loaded up the car. Finally after a little convincing I was able to get Z out of bed. After a trip to the potty and getting dressed, Mr Z was buckled in his car seat and snacking on his breakfast.

Driving there we were able to check off two more states that with had visited. Leaving Pennsylvania we entered the state of Delaware. Our next state was the state of Maryland.

Thanks to Google Maps we were easily able to find the Maryland Zoo. We had brought the umbrella stroller we had picked up the day before at Walmart, but we decided to leave it in the car and rent a stroller at the zoo. I’m so glad we did. Zakari was way more comfortable, and he could not drag his feet.

Exploring the Zoo With Friends


We were really lucky, this landed up being an very inexpensive trip. Summer has a membership which allows her to get 4 kids and 2 adults in the Zoo. So we just had to pay for Travis’s ticket and the stroller rental.

It was awesome to be able to see many animals that we don’t have at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, like the giraffes, rhinos, penguins and elephants. We also saw some not very shy tortoises, doing the wild thing. I must say I could have done without ever seeing that. I will save you from watching the video my husband took of it… Men…

Lifestyle Differences Between Canada & the USA

While the kids looked at all the different animals and snack on popcorn, the adults chatted. It was fun to compare living in Canada to living in the USA. You really don’t think there are that many differences, but there really is.

We talked about the difference in our health care, politics and education. It was so interesting to hear the differences and share how we do things in Canada.

Playing at the Park till Closed



Once we had seen all that the park had to offer we took the long walk to front gate and stopped at the park so the kids could play and we could all chat some more. Z had spent most of the zoo visit riding in the stroller, so he loved having a space to run and play. I wanted him to really stretch his legs before we started on the long drive back to the hotel.

Then the zoo announced they would be closing soon. So we returned the stroller and headed out to the parking lot to find our cars. We thanked them for showing us around their zoo and said good bye. Summer invited us to join them at a buffet. But since I wasn’t sure if there was anything Zakari could eat there, and we had to be up early the next morning for our appointment we had to decline.

Whole Foods

Before leaving Baltimore I needed to find a Whole Foods. I had gone to one the first time I visited Philadelphia and I needed to go back. Especially with my foodie husband. There were no locations close to our hotel, so we found one on our way home.

It was a smaller location then I had been to the year before, but still it offered a lot of great produces. Especially for Zakari who is on a dairy free, gluten free diet. Travis also liked the options of fresh and ready to eat food. I had no trouble getting back into another store closer to the IAHP during the week.

Drive Home

After grabbing some health snacks and drinks for the road, we hit the highway. Driving back to the hotel. The sun started to set as we pulled into Philadelphia. Such a beautiful sight with the city line in the background.

Buffalo Wild Wings

As I rode shotgun on the way back to the hotel, I looked through the Buffalo Wild menu. I was able to put in our order and it was ready for us when we got to the hotel. We grabbed our order on the way home and headed back to the hotel.

After a yummy dinner, Little Z had a bath and we snuggled until he finally fell asleep. The next day was going to be an exciting one. We had to be up for 7:15 am to be out the door, grab breakfast and head to our appointment at the IAHP.

Check out my other post about our visits to the IAHP

2017 Visit

IAHP Visit: Travel Day

IAHP Trip- Free Day #1- New York City

Some 2016 Visit Post


Monday- IAHP What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Tuesday