Yesterday we took the girls for their second trip to the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro, NC. We first went a year ago on Mother's Day, and I said then the next time we went, we'd go during the week and before it got too hot for the summer.
May has been pretty rainy, so with work committments, the timing finally worked out to be the last day of the month. It also coincided with the 4 year-old class trip from EPLC, so we ran into lots of other kids and parents the girls knew from the day care.
My plan was to leave a little after 8, grab some breakfast, and get to the zoo a little after they opened at 9. An extra-long breakfast at Chick-fil-A meant that we didn't even leave Cary until 9:05, and despite driving 75 mph down US 64, it took us until after 10 to get to the zoo. I don't know why I think that it only takes 40 minutes every time.
We went through Africa first because that's where the other kids from EPLC were headed. We saw the giraffes, lions, chimpanzees, and elephants first. Unlike last year, the girls did not want to ride in the stroller at all, so the jogger was more if a hindrance than a helper in the beginning. The rhinoceros was too far off in the reserve for us to see.
From there we took the shuttle bus to the Junction Station and had lunch. It was almost 12 by this point, and the girls were starting to freak out. Eric got in the huge line for food, and I gave the girls juice in the shade while we waited. They had a few french fries and milk, and that was about it. Then we headed off to the North American side of the zoo. The tram is such a pain with the stroller, so we just walked it.
We went to the polar bear first. I don't know if Lily remembers last year or just the pictures, but she kept asking where the other polar bear was since there was just one sunning himself. He died last summer, and I didn't want to be explaining death at this point. They liked the puffins and the sea lions, since they were active and swimming.
The Kid Zone was great. The girls saw tortises and played with the chalk wall until a bunch of big kids with squirt bottles got really annoying. The play area was nice too. After seeing the fish and otters, we walked back to Africa. By this time it's 2 pm, and the girls are 2 hours past naptime. They were in the stroller in full recline mode, but didn't fall asleep. They wanted ice cream before we left, but the only cafe open in Africa didn't have any.
We left the parking lot at 2:45, and Lily was asleep before we hit the exit. Madeleine followed not too far after. They slept almost all the way home.
Going during the week was definitely a smart move, and also going before June 1 was a good idea since today it's already *too* humid out.