It's been a while, hasn't it? I feel immensely guilty for letting this blog lie dormant for so long but I had absolutely no willpower to make myself write anything and photos are so much easier to share via Twitter and Instagram. So, whoever is still hanging around this wasteland… hey there, brave souls. :)
Let me tell you about the time we took Lime to London Zoo. It should be 'the zoo', clearly but apparently London Zoo is a name so it doesn't have a 'the'.. but I digress...
The Ba loves Martys (see pic on left) and Monkeys and Lions ((rooooaaaaaar) so we thought: why not. The last time the Husband and I went to said zoo we said we're not coming back unless there's a child involved. We are no fans of zoos; animals in captivity don't really do it for either of us and leaving immensely sad every time I'm subjected to this kind of environment is not something I enjoy doing in my free time.
So, child in tow we marched through Regent's Park to the entrance of ZSL and it being May and cold and windy, I didn't have much hope to be quite frank.
|Ready, steady, TUBE|
We started off with the Gorillas because d'uh! (I need to point out that they are first on the route round the park...) Sure enough, one of the big guys sat outside, bored, and depressing looking but there you have it. Lime took a while to warm up to all of this so the first stop was underwhelming.
Just around the corner they had some Mangabeys and those guys just had a baby recently and of course that was a huge draw. I spent some time taking too many photos. Here's a blurry one. Mummy monkey was cleaning baby monkey.
|McLaren pit lane|
All together now.. d'awwwwww :D
And after that, off we went for lunch. There's a huge tent in the middle of the zoo and they sell warm food stuff (Pizza, Fish&Chips etc) as well as cold (sandwiches, salad..) and drinks. We had a quarter Pizza each with chips on the side. It was ok, nothing I'd pay £5/each for again. Oh, in case you want to go there with your kids: they want you to leave your buggy outside but a few parents had their very little ones inside the buggy, inside the tent. Nobody complained so you should be fine if you choose to do the same.
Afterwards we wandered over to Tiger Territory. They had just started their little 'Get to know the Tiger' show which means there's a zoo employee telling you all about the area and the animals in it while you gather around a small area and strain your necks in order to catch a glimpse of Mr or Mrs Tiger. We were lucky, as you can see.
We hung around a while and not just because Tigers are cool. Next to the big cat's little bedroom is a wall of information and opposite that is a little 'turn this wheel and hear animal sounds' thing… Guess who loved that a lot? That's right. The small green one.
Onwards with a quick look into the camels' house and then we were in the petting zoo/small animals bit. They had some bunnies there, some chickens, some pigs, lamas...
|'Who would leave a perfectly fine head lying around here...?'|
|'Bird is the word...'|
... and other assorted small stuff. The petting zoo part was filled with little goats (I think..ha!) who ran away the minute the Husband and Lime stepped inside to have a closer look. Great. Still, one was brave enough and here's a pic
Some sign announced Creepy Crawlys so I excused myself and wandered off, preferring to take some arty pics of the old Penguin pool and check out the Gift Shop. The former is awesome and it's a shame it's standing around unused and the latter was boring.
I stood around next to the Lion's Den for a while, waiting. When the rest of my crew came back, said den was next because: King of the Animal Kingdom Zoo, maaaan. The guy was rather the lazy sort and just lay around his elevated platform. We continued up to the viewing area from which we had a much better view. He didn't move much though. Pretty much the same as last time. Granted, there isn't much to do and I couldn't see any other lions in there so…boring.
After that came the real Creepy Crawley bit and yeah, no thanks. The Husband took the toddler inside though. There's just no way I voluntarily look at you know… ugh, I can't even write it. :s
Then, and sorry if you're bored, it's ok if you wanna skim over this and just check out our slightly blurry pics ;) … anyway, then we passed what was supposed to show off the Flamingos (empty) and the Pelicans (yep) and then we had a quick walk through the Butterfly tent which, if anything, served to warm us up. Man, it was cold that day.
Next came the penguins and one would think that Lime was eager to see those little guys being a huge Madagascar fan but nope. Totally ignored them. *sigh*… So I just stood there, watching them in there little water whilst she walked off...
|Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave...|
… and then we lost her to the playground, which I'm still wrecking my brain about. Isn't the zoo enough? Around the playground were dotted several £1 coin operated vehicles (the rocking back and forth kind) and yeah… give them a zoo with their favourite creatures and they zoom in on the damn money-grabbers and well, the playground. *sigh*
I ran off to the huge Gift Shop and damn, that was almost better than the zoo. Full of gorgeous african instruments, crockery, candles, toys, t-shirts (I was SO close to buy Lime a tiger stripes longsleeve…next time) and more.
When I came back, Lime had taken over camera duties and got a few good shots in. Evidence no 1
|Lime took this photo, cool ey?|
This was all still the playground, when we left, she ran straight into the damn '£1-car park' and proceeded to cry her eyes out in the jeep (the other kid inside had pressed the blue button and seriously, she wanted to do that!) and then gave me the most tired eyes I'd ever seen, from the bus.
|Look at that face :(|
We eventually managed to pry her away with promises of Martys and Melmans (yes, zebras and giraffes…) on the other side of the road which parts the zoo not quite in the middle.
That side of the zoo looks really forgotten and lonely. I don't know quite what it is but it has to do with there being barely any to no zoo workers or Gift Shop carts (they have themed ones next to a few of the big displays eg a penguin themed one next to the little guys' pool…). Anyway, that side holds some of the birds, meerkats (yes, I did say that damn line... who doesn't…), bats, giraffes and supposedly zebras who where noticeably absent that day. Well, fuck. That's the ONE animal we came here for. If nobody else had shown up MARTY was supposed to be there. Luckily, she was ok, no tears or screams for black&white horses, maybe that was thanks to the giraffes next door who look just so awesome close up.
Back we went to the main site and then we kinda just walked around, looked at the commodore dragons (*shrug*), the tortoises (Lime loved them and she took a few pics herself)...
|That's how we roll (and look at the tortoises)|
...and checked in on the snakes *shudder**yawn* (she fell asleep half way through). We might have gone to the monkeys again before all this, it's pretty much a blur and I'm going via the pics.. Well, once she was off in dream-land we decided to leave but of course she woke up in time for the Gift Shop through which one must pass before one is allowed to leave. How we managed to get out without tears and "I WANT!!!!' (FYI the Ba only really does the tears thing when she's tired which she was still at this point so…pheeeeew). I ended up buying her Tiger stripes badge which she proudly wears on her soon to be put into storage grey hoody.
We made our way back through Regent's Park when suddenly the Husband desired to go and find one or both of the cafes which meant an even longer track back (the things I do…) and the babe took more photos from her position in the stroller until the battery died.
|Another photo taken by the very talented Lime (whilst sitting in her stroller)|
All in all we had a lovely day despite it being cold, our favourite animals not being there at all or being almost comatose (lions, zebras, elephants…) and the incident at the Jeep. ;)
OMG I forgot to tell you the best bit!!!!!!!!!
We went back to Tiger Territory just as it was feeding time and we got a great position to see Jae Jae jump up this huge pole to grab the piece of meat the keeper hung up there and then proceed to devour it. It was awesome!!! He was so close and being behind glass walls it was almost as if we were in there with him. Around us where guys with big cameras (no, no euphemism ;p) being all arty and professional ;p whilst my phone battery was dead so sadly no pic from my pov..but here's a couple from the Husband's who was up in the viewing cabin.
|from left to right: earlier in the day, approaching lunch, cloooooser aaand chewing contentedly|
Thanks for reading :)
*Title from Elephant by Tame Impala