We took the kids to Chester Zoo today. It was the second time we’d visited, the first being mid-April 2018, a couple of weeks after the amputation. It was our first trip out together last year and was considered so important that the school actually authorised the boys being taken out for the day. There was none of that old pony this time, it’s half-term and we decided to join the squillions of Scouse people who wander around the zoo spitting on everything as they attempt to say any word containing a vowel.
We’d been anxiously watching the weather ever since I’d booked the tickets. I did it blind and hadn’t bothered checking the forecast first [that was an error, Christine said so, a lot] and it was only after I’d booked that we discovered Chester don’t refund tickets, nor do they swap them, nor do they provide a ‘rainy day’ ticket so you can go back when it’s not honking and actually enjoy your day, that’s lovely of them eh?
The first thing I did when I woke up was check the forecast, no rain, wahoo!
We arrived at the Zoo shortly after it opened at 10am – it rained within ten minutes of us getting there – it was only a brief shower so we set off and went to stare at the various critters on offer.
TIP – Turn Right, and Ignore the Monkey House directly in front of you. Most people take a clockwise route in parks and zoos and going anti-clockwise means you have a much easier time with fewer people getting in the way.
Naturally, the rain started to get heavier and it was around that time that we realised we’d left coats and umbrella’s at home. It didn’t really matter for the boys & Chris as the showers were only lasting 10 minutes or so at a time but it’s a big deal to me as I was in my wheelchair and a wet seat is a wet seat. I didn’t fancy sitting with a wet batty for the rest of the day so had to keep hiding in covered areas until, finally, the rain buggered off and we could mooch about in relative dryness [we still had the spitting scousers to contend with] we stopped for lunch, Christine legging it back to the car to grab the world’s biggest pic-a-nic, and then set off for round two.
By 3pm or thereabouts we were ready to call it a day. It’s a big Zoo and we reckon we’d covered at least 5 miles since we arrived [Christine’s step-thingy had recorded 14,000 steps] we got the usual “awwww” from the boys when we announced that it was home-time but they soon perked up when we reminded them that they could go and spend their money at the Zoo shop which is by the exit.
The Zoo was knackering! It’s a bit hilly and in order to get from one side of the place to the other you have to cross a massive bridge. The first time we went, I needed a helping hand from Chris every five minutes, my arms and shoulders just didn’t have the power to get me from A-to-B, today, I didn’t need help from anyone, although it tired me out no end. It’s a mark of progress I think.
To cap a wonderful day, we drove smack-bang into a load of congestion on the motorway on the way home and a 2hr drive quickly turned into a 4-and-a-half hour drive, which was nice.
Chester is a cracking day out and is well worth the drive. They could be less shitty about tickets [they even encourage you to sign up in advance by offering a “discount” on tickets – which actually means they just put their prices up by 20% for walk-ins] but all of the staff we encountered were good and friendly. The Zoo is clean, the animals look happy and I recommend the place for a visit. Just don’t engage the locals in conversation, because they’ll spit on you.