Today was a great miserable day for a field trip to the zoo. Seriously. Miserable. For those of you who are not in wonderful NC, the forecast today called for possible light showers and high of 70. What they meant to say was heavy rain with a possible high of 60 for some 5 minute period sometime in the day.
It. was. miserable.
The ironic thing is that I was going on and on this morning about it being perfect weather for the zoo. In my experience, the animals are more active when it is cooler. The best trip I have ever taken to the zoo was actually a field trip when I was a preschool teacher when the weather was exactly like the forecast for today.
The ride to Asheboro included a few sprinkles. I don’t think Lindsay even had to turn on the wipers until the very end of the trip. We unloaded, did the bathroom thing, and got our tickets. We started out towards Cypress Swamp and that is about all we saw before the rain really got started.
Taking pictures is one of my absolute favorite things and we have a slide show as part of our graduation next week so I wanted to get as many pictures as possible. I tried putting on my anorak and keeping the camera inside the anorak as much as possible but that just didn’t work. I took off the anorak and wrapped it around my camera until I wanted to take a picture. That worked okay…except it really started to rain and I had to put the camera up completely. And by the time I could do that, my shirt was soaked through so the anorak was completely pointless. You could literally wring water out of my shirt.
When we realized the rain was there to stay, we decided to go ahead and go to Junction Cafe for lunch. Unfortunately, this meant a long wait in line for the bus from North American to Junction. Junction Cafe was packed but the other staff members managed to snag seats for the kids while Lindsay and I got the food. Lunch was thankfully uneventful (except for the shivering). There was no way we could enjoy walking around the zoo soaking wet and cold so we went right back to the tram/bus stop to catch the bus back to North America. We waited 45 minutes for the bus. Did I mention it was pouring down rain? (A very nice gentleman at the bus stop entertained our kids, gave one of them a poncho, held his umbrella over me, and advocated for our group to get on the bus ahead of others.)
Our next stop was to Advance Auto Parts for new windshield wiper blades because the ones on the van were useless. Don’t you wish you were with us?
Admission to the zoo: $8 (we only had to pay for one staff member and we got a discount b/c I am a zoo member. All other staff and the kids were free because we are a More at Four site).
Food for the children: ~$67 I think
Food for the adults: $53
Gas for the trip: I don’t even want to think about it
Getting soaking wet and bone cold: Miserable
Our kids, parents, and staff were real troopers. We laughed a lot because, really…that is about all you can do in that situation.
By the way, two years ago at the zoo, a child was running and fell and broke his nose (luckily his mom was with us). Last year it was 107 degrees, the van broke down about two miles from the center, a child threw up, the parents had to pick their kids up from the side of the road and Lindsay 🙂 one of the staff members had to catch a ride in a police cruiser back to the center. Imagine picking up your child from child care and seeing the Education Coordinator driving up in a police cruiser.
Maybe next year we will just go to San-Lee. I really think we saw more animals on our field trip there than we saw at the zoo today.
As soon as I published this post, I hit my “blog surfer” and saw that Lindsay also wrote about our trip. You have to go read it on her blog. I had completely forgotten that she got peed on today. The funniest part about it (sorry Lindsay) is that she didn’t even notice until she smelled it in the car on the way home. That tells you just how wet we were.