This is definitely one of those posts that you are going to need to get comfy for, one day I might learn to edit the number of pictures I put in a post, but today is not that day! So grab yourself a big hot chocolate, some of those left over Christmas chocolates and climb under a big fluffy blanket and follow me to the zoo.
Me and my papa bear spend so much time at the zoo it’s ridiculous but it’s something we have done since I was small enough to be carried around on his shoulders. My daddy is very poorly now and I worry about how many zoo days we have left, I never want them to end so when he’s feeling well enough we head on to Chester zoo and spend the day chatting away and no matter how cold it is we eat far too much ice cream, I can blame my dad for my ice cream addiction.
Over Christmas Chester zoo do a evening lantern walk and although I have never done one, they look incredible, even in the day light. New life goals, create giant animal lanterns for garden. Get a garden big enough to have a zoo in it.
Me and my papa bear wandered around the zoo for almost two hours just chatting away before we realised we were actually in a zoo, and we were so busy chatting that we hadn’t even seen an animal.
I found Nemo!
I have a little space in my heart for fat bellied seahorses ( their actual name ) they are just too cute even with their fat bellies.
For as long as I can remember elephants have been my favourite animal, but giraffes have now overtaken them and I can spend hours watching them, my absolute dream is to see one in the wild. For now I am saving up to be a zoo keeper for the day so I can experience them up close.
Looking like I have been super imposed onto a jungle background!
The sun as it goes down is the prettiest part of winter, I really struggle in the cold and spend most of winter indoors because my skin literally goes blue, although this year I’m trying iron tablets to see if that helps a bit because as I’m getting older it’s getting worse. And I don’t want to have to miss these beautiful sunsets or when the world turns a beautiful shade of orange during winters low sun.
I’m sure it’s not just me but whenever I’m near the orangutans the entire jungle book story pops into my head, songs and all.
This guy reminds me of king Louie….
Now I’m the king of the swingers, the jungle V.I.P.
I reached the top and had to stop
And that’s what bothering me
I want to be a man, man-cub, and stroll right into town
And be just like those other men
I’m tired of monkeying around
Ooh-bitchdoo, I wan’na be like you
I want to walk like you, talk like you, too
You see it’s true, an ape like me
Can learn to be like you, too
As we left the zoo, full of ice cream, our faces hurting from smiling too much and a ridiculously large bag of pick n mix for the car ride home, my daddy surprised me with tickets for me and Jamie to come back the next evening to see the lanterns. My dad is the best dad in the whole world, there isn’t a single thing I won’t share with him or ring for his advice on and although he drives me totally nuts at times I wouldn’t change him for anyone else.
Oh look it’s Jamie! It’s been so long since Jamie was on my blog, I bet you thought we broke up! Jamie’s been away so much recently that any little time we have had together I’ve wanted to cherish and keep it between us but fingers crossed he will be on a few more blog posts this year because I bloody love this face. Now I’m not saying that I love food but I will try to incorporate stopping for dinner out into everyday, this last month I have turned into such a diva that the thought of washing up is enough to send me to the nearest restaurant. When I suggested we leave a bit early to avoid rush hour traffic and that we could just grab something to eat on the way, I thought Jamie would see through my evil plans to eat out again for the tenth night in a row, but luckily he was just happy to miss traffic. We stopped at a country pub for dinner and of course dessert, dessert was apple and raspberry crumble with custard, obviously I only ordered pudding to warm my inside up ready for an evening outside.
Bellies full and me wearing enough layers to clothe a medium-sized village we drove the last ten minutes to Chester zoo, where I left my 32-year-old self at the gates and reverted back to being six years old again. The second I stepped through the gates and landed in the middle of a patch of neon lit flowers as tall as a giant, every Christmas memory, smile and wish come flooding back to me and the grin I had across my face would have made the Cheshire cat envious.
Within the first ten minutes of feeling like Alice in wonderland I ran around each flower about eight times letting out the loudest oohs and aahs, desperately trying to get high enough to smell each flower ( I know, I know, they wouldn’t smell like flowers but for those ten minutes I lost all sense and was a whole lot of crazy ) naturally Jamie stood back laughing at me and I’m pretty sure pretending not to know the crazy lady. Eventually I came to my senses remembering there was more to see other than the entrance, so we grabbed a hot chocolate while I calmed myself down and composed myself.
Each party had a lantern between them to guide them on a magical walk throughout the zoo, and being a little cheeky we got one each. Me and Jamie actually did the walk twice, once with a lantern and then again without, and as much as I loved my big pink lantern and now want some for our garden, it was a lot easier without one. As you can imagine the zoo was packed with people all confined to certain areas all moving in one direction at different speeds so if you are looking and walking at the same time you would walk into someone’s lantern or at the very least have your legs taken out by a child carrying one. You most definitely needed your wits about you to get through the jungle of lanterns, but least if you were to be taken out, it was going to be by something pretty.
All ready for our night-time adventure……………………..
During the day before with my daddy I thought I had seen all the lanterns in the day light and wasn’t expecting a big walk or that many lanterns but turns out there was a secret path of them closed off during the day and many more that wouldn’t come out til night-time and although I have taken a lot of pictures I would say these are only about a quarter of them and although the lanterns are finished now, I highly, highly recommend visiting them in December because they are truly magical.
Some of the lanterns had people inside of them which allowed them to interact with children and Emmas ( although I really hope the.person inside had sunglasses on ) I waited among the sea of children to have my turn at playing with the giraffe, I swear for a second I forgot it was a lantern and managed to convince myself I was stroking a real giraffe, much to the amusement of onlookers.
All the lanterns were so beautiful and mesmerizing, although I did love the people dressed up as lanterns, I was tickled by a spider, Jamie was followed by a bat and we were both attacked by two stunningly beautiful kingfishers ( I’m pretty sure they were kingfishers ) but my absolute personal favourite were the reindeer I must have stroked them for about 20 minutes, I so wanted to take them home and have them sat next to me on the sofa for the whole of Christmas, but Jamie reminded me that kidnapping is frowned upon.
The only animals that were along the walk were the lions and they didn’t sound too happy at being kept awake, the zoo echoed with their roars. So as you can imagine their home was surrounded by people getting to watch them in the dark, myself, Jamie and about thirty kids included. Just as what felt like every child in the world was watching them, they decided to do the nasty which made the dad’s roar with laughter the kids get upset because the mean man lion was hurting mummy lion and the mums quickly moving the children away. I laughed uncontrollably, I’m telling you I’m such a big kid and giggle at all things rude. Although the keeper did tell us lions mate 40 times a day, each time lasting only eight seconds. Which left me wondering surely eight times a day for 40 seconds would be better and true to form after eight seconds the male lion rolled over and went sleep.
As we walked around I could see a train driving along towards me with a jolly man sat in it being followed by elves, now I know Santa is too busy to be making appearances but I also know he has Santa helpers who fill in for him ( I swear this is the first Christmas in about 25 years that I have managed to convince myself that Santa is real ) so as Santa went past me on his train filled with presents I become glued to my spot, did a crazy lady wave and yelled Santa, for a second even I thought my mind had snapped and I was insane.
I honestly can’t tell you enough just how magical this evening was, it will definitely become one of our new Christmas traditions, and although I’m extremely sad that Christmas is over I am now on count down for next Christmas and packing the whole of December with lots of magical days out and definitely revisited the lanterns at Chester zoo and maybe even taking my new nephew or niece along for the ride.