My First Trip to the Oakland Zoo – An Unforgettable Giraffe Encounter!

Visiting any zoo at all has been on my bucket list for years, being from Newfoundland I never really got the chance to visit one. On Friday my family and I finally decided to make the trip to the Oakland Zoo.

One animal I had been eagerly waiting to see was the giraffe. Get this – I had scrolled past countless photos of giraffes on social media for years, because I wanted to experience their majestic height in person. As we approached the giraffe exhibit, I literally gasped and pointed to them and immediately demanded a photo with them hah.

They were even taller than I had imagined, and watching them gracefully move around was such a sight, whooowee. Reading to my boys each night have me naming off so many facts about animals I had never even heard of before, so I mean, I know a few things about giraffes (any so much more information than I truly care about to name off about dinosaurs). Just let me pat myself on the back there for a momento.

My youngest son kept cowering into the stroller saying he was a bit scared of some of the animals, which was understandable considering their size and wild nature. I mean, never know what you’re gonna get with my second boy since he’s not scared of launching off the couches or climbing up on unstable places to reach for things. But with gentle reassurance and explanations about their behavior, he soon became more comfortable and started enjoying the experience. He laughed at the baboons with me! He’s a character. We will get to the baboons in a sec…

One highlight of our trip was the gondola ride, which offered an excellent view of the zoo from above and a secondary area of the zoo itself, which included the grizzly (yikes), jaguar, condor, and some wolves. Oh and fun playground for kids too! We could see the sprawling landscape and a great view of San Francisco at a few different vantage points and the different animal habitats from a unique perspective. It was truly breathtaking.

I’d say the most thrilling moment for me was when we came face to face with a grizzly bear. We first saw it from a distance, but as we entered the glass viewing area, the bear walked down the makeshift river, and we could see its face jiggling and swaying as it walked across the water. It was both mesmerizing and terrifying at the same time!

We spent about 4-5 hours at the zoo, and the weather was quite hot (I think it was about 25*C or so). We found shade in a picnic area to enjoy our lunch and made sure to refill our water bottles frequently to stay hydrated.

One of the most entertaining exhibits was the baboons. Their playful antics and the vibrant red colour of their behinds made my oldest son and I laugh like immature kids.  It was a moment of pure joy watching them interact and play around.

Our trip to the Oakland Zoo was definitely a great experience. Seeing the giraffes in person, witnessing the grizzly bear up close, and enjoying the gondola ride were all highlights of the day. It was a perfect family outing, and I highly recommend visiting the zoo around this time of year to make the most of the pleasant weather before it gets too scorchin’.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance as they only allow a 30 minute window for entry. So time your visit accordingly or buy the tickets on your phone before you enter the parking lot. For reference, it cost our fam $100 for parking and four tickets. You can stay as long as you want, which is what we clearly did! We arrived at noon and stayed til closing.

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1 Sephora purchase: Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi

Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi was the only thing on my buy-list when the recent Sephora sale happened at the end of April. I’m at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to their point system, so I got 10% off my total purchase. Which was fine, because I wanted to have my freebie birthday gift mailed to me, since all stores are still closed (presumably) due to COVID.

It’s no surprise I love to self-tan and I’ve been doing so since 2011. I am pretty regular about it, minus a few months during the winter months. I like the way my skin looks when it has a sunkissed look to it.

Before purchasing anything, I always go ham and read every review under the sun about it. I was a bit hesitant at first when I heard someone recommend it, because although I’ve only tried one thing from Drunk Elephant in the past (last year’s Sephora birthday gift) it gave me a weird reaction and I haven’t used it since. So I was wondering what this D-Bronzi stuff was like, and why it received such high reviews on Sephora’s site: 4.5 out of 5!

Well folks, those reviews came through. I bought it, and it’s a game changer after only one use. I had already done my self-tan routine for my 40th birthday, but the tanner never seems to stick on my lower legs the last couple of years. Weird hey? My legs are just immune to the DHA now or what? Who knows. Either way, I applied my SPF50 sunscreen all over my legs, added a generous 5-6 pumps to each of my legs mixed with the sunscreen and holy boom did it ever look good. And you know what? It dried down to feel like my regular skin. No sticky feeling, no tacky, and it didn’t rub off on my clothes or fingers when I tried to see if it would lift. It also gave an unreal glow, making the legs look gooooooood. This is in the mid-day sun without a filter.

Look how dark it is! Keep in mind I do have self-tanner on my legs. I’m that dark because I have some self-tanner on my legs, with the Drunk Elephant D Bronzi layered over top for an extra amount of colour and glow.

Here’s a more subtle everyday approach, and what I’ll probably be doing the majority of the time. Applying a single pump to my facial moisturizer to give my skin an even glowy-sunkissed look.

BEFORE. All I have on in the before photo is eyebrow pencil, concealer, and I curled my eyelashes.

How much product I’m using.

Spreading it all around.

Directly after application. Still a little dewy but it does dry down.



Thoughts?? Have you tried it before?

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I haven’t been feeling well the last week or so. I think it’s due to the weather shift. One minute it’s 12 degrees and misty outside, the next it’s 32 and a scorcher of a day. Anyway, I can’t wait to get rid of this aggressive cough – otherwise I feel grand and dandy – minus the two random days where I actually got sick sick. That’s never fun.

But what’s fun is more OOTDs. Yay. Hope you’re enjoying them like I used to post way back in the day. These pics were from a few weeks ago, but that’s what happens when I’m a tired mama. I don’t get time to post as regularly as I’d like. I’d rather shut everything down (ie: my body lol) when I put bebs down for the night. Anyway too many excuses! Let’s get onto the post:

Alfie will be TEN YEARS OLD in a few days. Can you believe it?

You’re not gonna believe where this sweater is from. I’ll tell you below in the details. I LOVE it. It comes in many colours, but make sure if/when you buy it you have a coupon.

Here Alfie’s in mid-bark because he sees my husband and bebs coming home from a run with the jogging stroller.

The foolish side of me then comes out. Trying to make bebs laugh ;)

Outfit details:
Sunnies: Rayban
Sweater: Old Navy
Belt: American Eagle (circa 2004 or so lol)
Jeans: Articles of Society (one of my faves, find them at Nordstrom!)
Shoes: Lucky Brand (but bought them at TJMaxx!)

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