We made it the zoo in time to go potty before the gates officially opened at 9:00. I plastered the kids with sunscreen as they took turns using the toilet in the family bathroom. I dressed them all in matching orange outfits so that I could easily keep track of them. Since we fly solo without the choo choo wagon or stroller it is important for me to visually be able to see where they are at all times.
I schlepped Charlotte's pink car along to use as a vehicle for my purse and the snack bag, thus avoiding being a pack mule. Being weighted down with gear is a bad high.
A friend recently asked me, "How long are you going to dress them alike?" I answered honestly, I said, "Until they tell me otherwise." What most moms do not realize, is that by dressing them alike, I can easily spot our group and it makes it simple to see them, even without my glasses.
Imagine my big FAIL when we got inside the gates of the zoo, and I noticed that an entire preschool of kids were wearing
orange as part of their field trip. FML. So much for that visual peace of mind. Gahhhhh!
I told the kids that the Polar Bear Exhibit is brand new and that we have to go straight there once the zoo opens. I knew that it would be a mad house if we waited until later in our visit. I kept shooing them along, hurry up, let's go, we don't want to be late, blah blah blah all the way to the exhibit.
We followed the big Polar Bear paw prints on the cement and arrived at the North America section at about 4 minutes after the turnstyles had opened- with four kids and one Mommie that was damn good people. We had ring side viewing of the sisters.
They put on a great show for us. The exhibit is built with an underground, underwater section so that it feels like you are swimming with the animals.
The kids were simply in awe. We stayed in the Polar Bear area for 20 minutes and by the time we left, there was huge stream of guests headed that direction. Note to readers: Arrive early. Plan accordingly. Go to the Polar Bears first and back track from there. It is worth it.
We stopped and visited our other favorite animal friends too,
and we took time to eat a snack before playing at the Stings and Wings playground structure.
Here is what I learned today- you can learn from my infinite wisdom.
Latte on the way to the zoo: Crucial to early arrival
Sunscreen and Potty before gates open: URGENT
Orange shirts: a big no no
Polar Bears: must see first thing
Snacks: Pack from home or spend $$$
Schlepping device: MUST HAVE
Cooler with drinks*** in the van: YES! (Motivation to get kids to willingly and eagerly walk to through the parking lot upon exit.)
***Remember to pack Pepsi Crack with the juice pouches to avoid maternal meltdown
Now that I have my list, we will be headed back to the zoo as often as possible. With zoo membership and free parking, this is one of the best field trips around. See you there!