Last weekend, Nurse Rachel came to stay, as she'd only been here for a few hours at J-cub's family party and wanted to spend some more time with him. We hadn't really wanted to do anything other than relax all weekend, but talk somehow turned to zoo animals and before long we were googling our local zoo options. They turned out to be twofold: Anna Ryder Richardson's wildlife park (near Tenby), and Folly Farm (near, um, Tenby). It seems the two zoos in Wales (there may be more, I'm overgeneralising) are 5.8 miles apart. Not really the best business plan that.
After comparing websites and restaurants and baby facilities and number and type of animals, we elected to go to Folly Farm. I had been there several years ago, on a school trip, when I was caught up with trying to encourage the teachers that we were there to look at the animals, not to sit on benches while the children played on the adventure playgrounds. Since then, they have got themselves some giraffes, which got J-cub very excited at going.
It was a lovely day, all sunny and fresh and springlike, and after a relatively easy drive (only marred by some bizarre procession of walkers and policepeople which we got stuck behind for 15 minutes before they inexplicably vanished) we arrived bright and early (which seemed even earlier, as the clocks went forward overnight).
(Let's just have an aside about the clocks. The clocks went FORWARD. I thought, then, that when J-cub thought it was between 6 and 7, and therefore time to wake up, we would be delighted to see it say between 7 and 8 on our clock. Did that happen? Of course not. When J-cub woke for the day at 10 to 5 ... his body clock KNEW it was really 10 to 4. Did that stop him? No. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he was happy wandering around downstairs and went down for his nap at 8am. He does it just to keep us on our toes, I'm sure).
Anyway, he was all alert and happy when we got there, and was happy poking around at the sheep, goats, pigs, ponies and donkeys in the farm bit and the iguanas, guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoises, birds, chipmunks and chicks in the pet bit. We had lunch, and a bottle and a nap in the buggy for J-cub, while I pushed him around and Jamie and Rachel played on the arcade game things. When he woke up we went down to see the giraffes, who were a-ma-zing. I mean, I know they're tall. But when you're confronted with one standing in front of you, and you're thinking "Crikey, that really is TALL...", and then another one walks up and you realise the one you were looking at is a youngster and his friend is towering above him, it screws with your perspective and makes you feel like falling over. Or maybe that's just me.
J-cub loved them, although his 'love' of giraffes is entirely inflicted by me, as I craved giraffes in the same way some women crave bananas and sardines when they're pregnant. I was convinced the baby would like giraffes, and bought giraffes left, right and centre. Luckily, he seems to echo this affinity, and drags Jemaine the giraffe with him wherever he goes.
After the giraffes, and a quick change of clothes as somebody had forgotten to change somebody else's nappy since they arrived (I'm not naming names), we looked round the rest of the zoo animals, most notable being the shaggy camels and the cute little meerkats. Who doesn't love a meerkat?
We had a big play in the massive indoor play centre/vintage funfair, then bought some
crap souvenirs and drove home. Bearing in mind that it's March, I managed to get my face all sunburned, and walked around looking like a tomato for the rest of the evening.
J-cub further delighted us by waking up at 2.30am and screaming for hours, but that's another story.