In and Out of the Car Was the Hard Part!

The retired man I live with suggested with great enthusiasm, “Let’s go to the Zoo!” to our daughter, her kids and me.

The NC Zoo, 30 minutes down the highway from us, houses animals from Africa and North America on over 600 acres of “natural habitat.”

I was the only one who hesitated.  The website  says to plan on 2-3 hours to see the Africa section.  That’s a whole lot of walking for me.  There’s a tram, but you can’t see the animals while riding it.

“What the hell,” I thought.  “I am not missing Adaline’s first visit to the big zoo.”   If I couldn’t walk the whole way, I’d figure out what to do next, even if I had to say “I can’t” and ask for help.

The retired man I live with drove the Camry.  I rode shotgun.  The other three got in the back–on one side the forward-facing car seat for the 2-3/4-year-old granddaughter, on the other side the backward-facing car seat and its base for the 6-month-old grandson.  Their mom, who was a zookeeper before children and very excited, perched in the middle after she climbed over the baby car seat base.

We had snacks for Adaline and water for all of us.  The high-end double stroller I found in a consignment store (best deal ever!) fit in the trunk, barely.  And we were off.

We parked far away from other cars.  We needed a lot of space to unload.  First out of the back was the baby, in his car seat, then his mom had to climb past the car seat base and almost planted her face in the asphalt beside the car.  Grandpa got Adaline out of her car-seat and her mother grabbed her hand before she could dart away.  My hands don’t work well enough to help so I stood guard by the baby car seat in an empty parking space.  A bee got caught between two of my finger and stung me while Grandpa wrestled the double stroller out of the trunk.  (Nothing was stopping us by then.)

Her mother put Adaline in the front seat of the stroller and lifted Atticus from his car seat to the back seat of the stroller.  Grandpa put Atticus’s empty car seat in the car.  We gathered purses, diaper bag, and camera bag, stuffed the diaper bag and a purse in the pullout basket under the stroller seats and hung the camera case and another purse over the stroller handle.  We headed to the entrance.

We saw giraffes with a baby, lions, chimpanzees, 2 mama gorillas with babies (!!) and ate pizza for lunch.  Adaline and her mom rode a carousel, we saw rhinos and ended at the elephant habitat where a big, dusty elephant with saggy wrinkled skin slowly strolled past the spectators as if on a red carpet in front of paparazzi.

I walked the whole way, with stops on benches by the animals.  I think maybe it took us more than 3 hours.  Then it was time to reload.

The retired man I live with got the car while the rest of us waited by the entrance.  Reloading began.  At one point, Adaline and her mom were in the car, Atticus was in his car seat on the ground beside the car and I was helping Grandpa remember how to collapse the stroller and wedge it into the trunk.  He headed for the driver’s seat and our daughter and I yelled “Get Atticus in!”  He did.

It was a beautiful day in every possible way.  Except for leaving the camera behind.  We might need more practice.

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Published in: on October 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Comments (11)  
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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent recap, Amma. We love you!

    • Thanks, Steph! It would have been more perfect if you had been able to bring Maggie.

  2. Practice makes perfect….

    • Hopefully! Mike was pissed about his camera.

      • You didn’t get it back?

  3. Awesome. My mother loves the zoo and even though she suffers from bad arthritis we always have a great time! Seeing all the animals must have been great fun for you and yours!

    • It was! I’m glad I could help you see things from her side a little bit.
      Thanks for reading.

  4. Happy you had a great day!

    • Thanks, it was a blast!

  5. Great!


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