first time adventure | day trip to the nc zoo

I've been to my hometown zoo plenty of times growing up but going to a different zoo was a breath of fresh air especially when it was a first timer for both Z and me.

We took a day trip to the North Carolina Zoo during Z's spring break several weeks ago based on the recommendation of her media specialist at school. I did not tell Z where we were going except that we would be doing a mini road trip to get to our special destination. The weather was perfect compared to the day before (which I originally planned for our visit until the forecast called for cloudy/misty weather). The weather was cool initially but warmed up nicely over the course of the day. We had our lunch and snacks packed, water bottles filled, walking shoes tied tight, and our game faces on in anticipation of some good ol' girl time together.


We arrived at the zoo around 10:00am and stayed at the zoo until 4 when it closed. Talk about walking! I felt like we walked a good 5 miles around the zoo. Z was a champ though! She didn't complain about the amount of distance we had the cover although I picked up from her body language within the last two hours that she was getting weary and was ready to get back to the car. I think running around in the playground contributed to some of her tiredness because she was all over the place! :-)

There's so much at this zoo, and they are currently in the process of building a few exhibits (thus enabling another visit in the future hopefully with hubby next time). Here are some snapshots I captured throughout our trip...


They had statues galore...


Amazing animals...


Z loved the flamingos the most, and I always considered it a great disservice if I don't get to see the African elephants at some point of my visit (which we were able to catch near the very end). I think the cutest moment was when a chimpanzee came and sat near Z on the other side of the glass. She looked back at me and smiled. The most disgusting moment was when the seals swam pass the observation glass and released their waste for all of us to see. There was a big choral "EWWWW!" from both the kids and us adults alike. The entire viewing area was green and gritty (I am sparing little for the imagination...lol...sorry!). I don't ever want to see that again despite how "natural" that process is. I am bummed I did not get to see the giraffes (up close), gorillas (renovating exhibit), and roadrunners (never seen before but they were renovating the exhibit).


The botanical garden was beautiful...


Of course, the restroom selfie. Kudos to the staff for very clean restrooms. This was near the end of the day before heading back on the road (because I had no plans on making a restroom stop on the way).


Pollen did catch up with us near the end with lots of runny noses and tissue, but it did not stop us from enjoying our visit to the NC Zoo. Now that we pretty much explored the entire campus, our next visit shouldn't be as pressed to cover every ground. We definitely have a list of things to see the second time around and do (hint, trying the ice cream at the very popular stand we did not have the patience to wait for at this visit...the line was soooooo long).

Within 5 minutes on the road, Z was knocked. out. cold. #success :-)

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