Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Field Trip to the Norfolk Zoo

The second day of our trip we ventured over to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. It was a zoo on the smallish side. We saw a variety of animals from hippos to red pandas, most of which were curled up asleep. We did get a chance however to see the Asiatic Bears horsing around and playing with each other, which was fascinating to Quirky. We were also lucky enough to be standing in the right spot when a giraffe walked right up and started eating just a few feet in front of us. Otherwise we saw a lot of curled up asleep animals, whether do to the heat or the noise, who knows.

Just statues by the way.

The zoo was extremely crowded, several bus loads of kids were waiting to get in when we arrived. This was a major contributing factor in our degree of enjoyment. Do you know the part in Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone where Dudley beats on the glass trying to wake up the snake.....well I don't think JK Rowling was exaggerating about how obnoxious children can be. Quirky got rather upset a couple of times, because she was worried that the animals would be scared from the kids yelling at them. I was appalled not so much at the kids but the "chaperones" who felt no need to stop them from badgering the animals or knock down other guests as they ran about. The later part I saw by the way...a big kid ran by knocked over a toddler and never stopped nor did the chaperones. The words that came to my mind at seeing that are far too foul to put here. The good news is that the child was ok. 

We had planned to stay and eat at their cafe, but by lunch time Quirky and I both were aggravated and ready to go. We ended up stopping at Denny's to eat. There it was wonderfully quiet with only a few guests other than us there. Quirky enjoyed a lunch of eggs, bacon, and hash browns, and I enjoyed eggs, bacon, and blueberry pancakes with fresh strawberrys on top. It was delicious and nice to just sit in the silence.

Overall I'd say the zoo was ok. In my lifetime I have been to several zoos, from four different states and one foreign country. This zoo felt too small for the variety animals, with animals in enclosures that seemed too small. I felt claustrophobic just looking at them. I'd have to say that, taking the wild kids aside, I still would not pay to go back. We were also disappointed to find that the splash fountain not working, yet was advertised on their website. So somewhat educational...but not exceptionally enjoyable day.