Surreal moments, happen regularly at the moment. The things we hear, and how we interact, can sometimes catch up with you. I sometimes catch myself thinking maybe the pandemic is not happening, and I have imagined it somehow. And then, just like that, we went to the Zoo.
We love a zoo in my family! Love the animals, watching them, and having a chance to hang out together. We can be found in the zoo, wandering around, and enjoying a day out together. It is fun, we can enjoy together, an easy day out, and to be honest can cost a lot of money if you are not prepared. However, thanks to Jim, I wasn't going to be caught out this day!
Our little family were so excited to have tickets to Whipsnade Zoo >>>(click takes you to an external link). We virtual queued for ages, Glastonbury style - two different computers on the go. Disaster, one browser closed, and we were suddenly 20,000 in the queue. Another disaster, after waiting an hour in the queue, I needed a password for my account - obviously could not remember it, and was unable to reset it. I decided to try again later in the evening, as going to the zoo should not be this stressful.
Proper music festival roller coaster ticket experience. When we had confirmed the tickets, the jubilation from the little dots was honestly ear splitting! Who knew it was all going to be so thrilling.
I got up early to make the best picnic ever. Always driven by food, me! Wrapping the sandwiches was a bit difficult, as I gave up cling film in January 2019, and my resuable bags are stuck in a kitchen drawer which does not open. However, I am an ex-girl guide and I run a craft business, so managed to cobble some wrapping together.
As I was putting together the grub, I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling. I really felt like a proper mum. I am a good mum, and I am chaotic. Both of these statements are true. Putting all the food together felt calm, organised, and I was surprised at such a simple task brought on a big feeling like this. As silly as it sounds, I felt really proud, and I couldn't wait for them to eat it all.
When we arrived, we walked around and went to see the giraffes first. Such beautiful animals, graceful and gentle. Whipsnade Zoo have a few giraffes, all different ages. It is a beautiful setting at the zoo, set on a hillside in Bedfordshire, and we were really lucky to have a bright, sunny day.
We set up the picnic, near the giraffes, so we could see them roaming around in the paddock. Under a shady tree, I never sit in direct sunlight as I am so pale, and munched our way through the picnic. The eldest dot had made a ginger cake the day before (I supervised) we had sarnies, mini cooked cocktail sausages, crisps and juice. The little dot said: "Mum this is the best picnic, we have ever had! It is so amazing, and you even have sun-cream!"
The world is a different place, when you do not have to exit through the gift shop. No extra plastic, and no stress. The family connection can remain in tact for the journey home.
The rest of the day was spent, idling around, visiting the different animals, penguin infinity pool, the elephant family, driving through the deer park, all very slow and nice. The sea-lions put on a wonderful show for us at feeding time, with no big crowds you could really see they were having fun and enjoying themselves. It was pretty magical to be honest. Littles has wanted to be a sea-lion trainer since last year (after receiving some sea-lion themed PlayMobil), so she was so thrilled, and kept nodding at me. The kind of 'all knowing nod', a moment of validation!!
On the way back to the car, we visited the Otters (they are big favourites with the eldest dot), sadly they were not there. Maybe being moved to another enclosure. There was more outrage than I thought there would be. Mostly, because the one they left had not been cleaned for a bit. Never seen someone so affected by pond slime. I know it was really as the otters were not there, so it was sad for her.
With no gift shop open to exit through, the end of the day was super chilled. This day, the factor 50 won the hearts of children!!