Since we all had off of work and school yesterday for Good Friday, the Herman and Dever clans decided to trek to Asheboro to take the girls to the NC Zoo for the first time (though Dale and Brooke both remember going on school field trips there as kids).
The drive is a bit long (~1.5 hours), at least by Ivie and Macie standards (who clearly aren't growing up in Owensville, Missouri, where you have to drive at least an hour to get anywhere!). So we popped Snow White in the DVD (which is used only on long trips, usually to Grandma's house) and off we went. All was well until we hit Asheboro around 9:45a and realized that everyone else in the state of North Carolina had our same idea... Traffic was slow-moving getting into the zoo, but our good spirits prevailed and, once we got inside, we headed immediately to catch the tram to the carousel and the 4-D Dora and Diego show at the "Junction" (the area of the park between "North America" and "Africa").
The girls were happy to be OUT of the car and in the midst of "lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!".
We then headed into "Africa", where we saw chimpanzees, lions, elephants, giraffes, ostriches, and a zebra (from afar), along with a few chimp sculptures made for climbing...
And I probably shouldn't include this next picture, but I don't want to forget how funny the scene was when we happened upon it. When Ivie peered through the fence and turned to ask me what the lions were doing, I told her they were "just playing!". Then we sat back and listened as many parents around us were coming up with other answers, as well. Although a couple just steered their older children in a different direction. We were glad that our young girls took "playing" for an answer and thought nothing else of it...
Following our quick (though it didn't seem quick, since it spanned almost 3 miles, the second half of which were all uphill) trip through Africa, we headed back to the Junction to eat lunch and make our way to North America. And that, my friends, is when our "plan" went awry.
It was noon, and everyone at the zoo was trying to dine at the various cafes in the Junction. We ultimately decided that it was in our best interest (mostly that of the three hungry and tired little girls we had on our hands) to pass on lunch followed by "North America". So we, instead, bought a couple of frozen strawberry lemonades to share, stood in a very long line for the tram, headed back to our cars, and grabbed lunch at the-first-fast-food-restaurant-with-chickey-nuggets-we-could-find (turned out to be Chick-fil-A) in Asheboro on our way back home.
So, while we had fun in our short 3-hour stint at the zoo, we certainly won't be returning on Good Friday in future years. And we might also try to pick a day that isn't going to be 88 degrees, since there's a lot of sunshine and a lot of walking. But we continue to live, learn, and have fun along the way!