Our second day basically started at 2am when Munchkin1 woke up saying she was wet. Luckily we had been smart enough to remember to take disposable inco sheets with us to place on her bed, and there was a 3rd bed made up so we pinched the spare duvet and sheet from there. We gave her a rinse down in the shower, got her snuggled up back in bed and turned the lights off. Fast forward to 2 hours later when we were both at our wits end begging her to settle down and sleep. My angry mum voice even came out. I don’t like my angry mum voice, it’s like I turn into the Incredible Hulk and I even scare myself with it but at 4am it’s even worse with the added sleep deprivation. For some reason Munchkin1 had decided that she didn’t need any more sleep and kept whining in her over tired cry “I’m not tired”. I had already spent an hour in her bed cuddled up to her in an attempt to settle her, but then at 3am Munchkin2 woke up for his feed so she jumped up excitedly shouting “Baby brother awake!” She eventually fell back to sleep in the big bed with Daddy whilst Munchkin2 and I cuddled up in the spare bed out of the way and we managed to get another 3 hours sleep. Thank God for that!
We got out of bed, dressed and sat down for breakfast by 8.30am. I LOVE Premier Inn breakfasts! I know they’re not the cheapest but it’s a brilliant excuse for me to fill my face with loads of yumminess! Then it was back to the room and straight back out again for our trip to Chester Zoo.
We arrived a few minutes after 10am and left just after 5pm, and yet we could have still looked around for a little while longer! We booked our tickets online so we were straight in through the gate, although it wasn’t majorly busy as it was a school day. Both Munchkins were free so we paid £40 for 2 adult tickets, which is slightly cheaper than if bought at the gate. It was well worth the money though for how big it is!
We started off with the elephant enclosure, and what an enclosure it is! Even Daddy Munchkin said “If I was an elephant I would like to live in there!” From there we stomped like elephants (as suggested by one of the signs we saw) towards the butterflies and stick insects, seeing some rhinos and donkeys along our way. Butterflies are quite possibly my favourite so I was in my element here, and I have a phone full of photo’s to prove it! I would love to have my own butterfly house!
Munchkin1 was happy to see the stick insects, tarantula and chameleon. She loves all bugs and creepy crawlies.
This was one of the many areas where the temperature is set to how it would be in their natural environment so we certainly didn’t need any jumpers or coats on. Next, we said hello to the giraffes and an okapi, which was so fast I couldn’t get a decent picture. Then it was across to the Tropical Realm (again, very warm) which was full of birds and tortoises, etc, and then the jaguar’s.
We then went to the Realm Of The Red Ape, but they were all cosied up fast asleep at the back of their enclosures. We weren’t bothered about this though, after all they are living things and need their sleep just as much as us, and there is so much more to see if some animals aren’t around. We saw plenty of other types of monkeys too, including some chimpanzees.
We sat down in June’s Food Court for a bite to eat. It was a bit pricey but so is every other zoo, park, airport, for example, so we didn’t mind. There is always the option to pack yourself a picnic but as we were staying in a hotel that would have been a bit difficult. There’s plenty of places to sit and eat or purchase food, and there were many snack/drink/ice-cream huts dotted around, although not all of these were open with it being a weekday. There are also some fantastic play areas for the children; slides, climbing frames, sand pits and other activities to do, including a dry river bed that has water pumps and things to play with. In this area we also saw the lions having their lunch, as well as flamingos and lemurs (who were having a bit of a noisy domestic argument in the trees). Then we had a walk along the wooden bridge to see the cheetahs and across to the other side of the zoo.
The penguins area of the zoo was closed for redevelopment, so there’s already one reason we need to return next year! We all really liked seeing the bats, we walked through a very dark room with the bats flying around us and we found it fascinating. Once our eyes adjusted we could see them all flying around or hanging and crawling the ceilings and branches. Munchkin1 enjoyed it so much she asked to see them again later on, although at that point she was extremely tired and had fallen over hurting her knee so she kept saying “They’re getting my knee!” Next it was the zebras which Munchkin1 had been asking to see since breakfast. The dress she was wearing had a stripy skirt so she found it amusing when Daddy told her she looked like a zebra. It was this point that I suddenly realised that nearly every photo I took outside there were two magpies in the shot. Call me superstitious but I’m always saying the rhyme and saluting any lone magpies, so seeing “two for joy” everywhere I went I began to wonder if it was a sign. “Hopefully it means more sleep tonight!” I thought to myself.
Here’s some more hanging out with the camels.
From there we walked around the island, which has boats you can travel around on but we decided we didn’t have time, plus Munchkin2 was fast asleep in his pram. Here we saw the tigers, some pigs, cows and more species of birds, just to name a few things.
And then on to the monkeys. Munchkin1 spent ages watching them play together and loved seeing the mummy monkeys with their babies. I chuckled to myself that the orangutan families looked like they could be us with all their glorious gingerness.
Another favourite for Munchkin1 were the meerkats and the porcupine, who were all living nearby to the rhino families. Munchkin1 then fell in love with the rhinos so much that she chose cuddly toys of a mummy and a baby rhino to buy with her pocket money. She was a little upset and tired at this point because she had fallen and hurt her hand and knees by running with her hands in her pockets and tripping. Cue sitting in her buggy whining with her hand in mid air for about half an hour. But the rhinos certainly cheered her up! That and an ice-cream.
There was so much more that we saw and like I said, we could have spent a lot more time having a look around but sadly closing time was looming and we still needed to visit the gift shop. Munchkin1 chose her rhinos, Munchkin2 got a cuddly giraffe and I bought the book about the zoo written by June Mottershead, the daughter of the founder of Chester Zoo. She wrote the book to follow the series ‘Our Zoo’ that was aired a few years ago and was one of the things that made me want to visit so much. Right next to the shop is the inside enclosure where the elephants live so we went to say goodbye to them before we left, and once again Munchkin1 was excited to see the Mummy’s and their babies.
Munchkin1 was so tired by the time we left that we decided to get her something from the supermarket near the hotel for her tea, so we got her a pot of salad and a ham sandwich. This time she took 5-10 minutes to fall asleep in bed and start snoring her head off. We had decided to have a walk around Chester the next day before heading home.
If we got enough sleep this time!