Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Birthday Safari

My magical mystery tour for my birthday turned out to be a trip to the West Midlands Safari Park. Considering Mr Bogert was worried about being able to take us out somewhere for the day, I think he did a fantastic job! I LOVE the safari park! (and you get a free return visit within a certain period, which we will most definitely be using).

I got cards and a cup of tea in bed. My Mum visited to bring my card and present which was a lovely maxi dress. We herded the Small People into the car, and off we went. I had no idea where we were going until we started to see the brown signs.

Once we were in the park, it took us two hours to get around the safari part of the park. My absolute favourite bit was seeing the rhinos. Zack just thought it was all wonderful, and there was plenty of waving and roaring from his little self. He even had a go at feeding a deer through the car window. I had him sitting up front with me for most of the time so that he had a good view. The Small Person thought that was great because it gave her the freedom of the entire back seat.

Both the kids got fed up with feeding the animals after a little while. I think they were a bit grossed out by the animal spit! Alexandra kept saying "I'll have to wash my hands again" and Zack kept showing me his hands saying "Mama, Messy hands". My cute if overly-hygiene-aware littlies :)

The spaceship was not fond of the stopping and starting and towards the end it got very hot and the car started to smell quite unhealthy. The other cars next us rolled their wndows up. Ooops. We really should have thought about stopping and letting the car cool down half way around, but by the time we realised it was gtting hot, we were litterally at the safari exit, so we just headed for the car park.

I had visions of the bonnet being lifted and smoke billowing out everywhere, but it was fine, just stinky. We packed up the pushchair and headed into the main park.

First of all we were going to catch the park train to the other end of the park, but the train had technical difficulties, so we had to disembark and go back the way we had come. We found a shady spot on the grass by some trees and had a yummy Bogert-prepared picnic. We had chicken salad, cheese salad and chicken bakes with plenty of juice cartons.


After the picnic, we wandered through the amusements and rides. They are really pricey, like ridiculously so. We decided that when we come for the free return visit, we'll buy ride wristbands and make the most of them because we'll have already seen most of the other parts on this visit.

We parked the Smaller Person's wheels and wandered into the Lemur wood. Zack was convinced the lemurs were cats to begin with, but after we kept telling him they were lemurs, he alternated between calling them lemurs and monkeys (we'll get there!). You walk along a trail and the lemurs are free to roam as they please, so they are all around you.

From there, it's a few short steps into the goat trail, where you can wander around and feed the goats with food pellets available to buy in the gift shops (it's the same stuff that you buy to take into the safari, so if you have any left over like we did, you can use that). The Smaller Person has a bit of a rough and angry streak which we're working on, and while we were in there, he was trying to stroke a goat but it kept wandering off, he got annoyed, so he kicked the poor thing. He got told off and removed from the area. He hadn't kicked hard, but the poor thing, and I was so disappointed that he would do that. Luckily, that was the only bad bit of the day.

As we came out of that area, a couple of the staff were showing off some Madagascan cockroaches. Ewww! I am not a bug lover and these things looked huge. The Small Person was totally unfazed and had one placed on her hand. She said is kind of felt soft and silky. I assume that was the legs.

We stopped for ice cream, and the man running the stand let the Small Person pull the lever down to fill the cone. I think it may have been a bit hard for her! So, with two very sticky and drippy children we carried on.

We went into the bat cave where the bats are free flying around your head. I think the Smaller Person was a bit worried she wouldn't like it, but once she got in there, she thought the bats were pretty cool. When they weren't flying around, you could see them hanging from trees and things.

Next it was the bugs and fish. As I said, I am not a bug fan, but I can walk through these things knowing that they are safely behind glass. The tarantulas actually don't bother me, neither do things like leaf cutter ants (actually, they're really interesting), but I get totally creeped out by the stick insects and cockroaches and grasshoppers etc. It's not like I think they can hurt me, I just irrationally do not want them to touch me! Fish are fine though, and we had a good look at the moray eel and stone fish.

We had a few minutes left to make a quick stop into a Tingatinga art exhibtion. Really lovely art, fantastic patterns and lines. I think I can feel an art project coming on...

At home I changed into my lovely new dress and took the Small People around to my Nan and Grandad's house. Mr Bogert did my cake there - he'd bought a huge tiramisu from Costco and stuck candles in the top. I knew there was a reason I love this guy! (Ok, there several reasons, but this one ranks up there with the others).

Mr Bogert's Mum came to watch the Small People and we headed off for some grown up time. Part way down the road, Mr Bogert realised we were sans children an exclaimed "No kids! We can swear!" He reeled off a few tame words he's obviously been bottling up.

We bought tickets to see "The Dark Knight Rises" and went off for a 'grown up' drink which was instantly bought back down to child level when our friend Anthony (Godfather to our kiddies and best man at our wedding) showed up with a card and some choccies for me. Awww, isn't he sweet. I'm sure his better half Charlotte is actually behind it :)

The Dark Knight Rises was brilliant. I loved it. Mr Bogert said he thought that was the last, I'm kinda hoping it's not, but I guess we'll see. I wish we had more spare time and spare cash to occassionaly visit the cinema. There are just certain movies that are worth the trip.

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