Yesterday our adoption group (about 8 families from our agency) got to go to the Safari Zoo. I want to clarify, since someone asked me about this, that Evie and I are NOT on vacation. Although the adoption is finalized we have more requirements to fulfill from the U.S side in order to receive her U.S. visa. This takes a few days to complete, and the Consulate will only take a few appointments each day. We don't have our Consulate Appointment until January 31, which means we will not be able to travel until Feb.1. In between appointments and paperwork, yes, there is a lot of downtime. Which is nice when you are trying to get your brand new child. But trust me, the minute I can be on a plane back to all the rest of my crew I will be ON it. I miss everybody terribly!
The Safari park was amazing. It was a better Safari than Animal Kingdom. Who would've thought? The white tigers in particular were very impressive. They were huge, and there were SO MANY of them. We started the safari ride with lil Evie sitting right next to me, but she kept scooting closer and closer until finally I put her up on my lap. She wasn't saying much but look pretty concerned.
Next there was a large "regular" zoo that you could walk through. It started with a "dinosaur walk" that was a path with a bunch of fake dinosaurs sticking out from the bushes. I have to say it was pretty realistic. Well, apparently Evie thought so too. I innocently pointed out the first one we came up to, and she just about jumped out of her stroller in terror. I thought it was pretty funny at first, thinking she had just been taken by surprise. Then I felt horrible because, no, the childm was truly terrified. She went into a panic for the rest of the day whenever we went by any large animals. She just wouldn't have any of it!!! Even the smaller things like the koalas, while they did not freak her out, she turned her nose up at them. I'm thinking she had never seen a live animal. So, in true mom mode, I distracted her with snacks. Ice cream, popcorn, you name it. She ended up having a pretty good day and I don't think she will be traumatized for life. We also eventually found some rides, and I already knew she loved those. Sadly, it was almost time to go by then so she only got to do the carousel. It brought a huge smile to her face!
Later that evening, after picking up some clean laundry that our guide arranged to have done for us, and getting a bit of rest, some of our families met to go to dinner. We went to this noodle restaurant that served HUGE portions and was super cheap. It was great to share a meal with all our new friends. Evie is pretty cute because although she really can't use the chopsticks (and often that's all they have) she really likes to feed herself. So,last night I wound have to load her chopsticks and then hand them to her to eat.
After dinner we went to Walmart to stock up on supplies. Evie was so stinkin' excited about all the little snacks and drinks she is used to having. And I got to get Great Value brand! Her eyes were growing big at all the stuff I was throwing in the basket. In true me fashion, I got separated from my group in the store and thought I was going to have to brave the walk back by myself. They were very sweet and waited (and searched) for me, though, which i was grateful for. At this point it was down to one other couple with their baby girl and one other mom traveling slone with her lil' guy. This poor husband was so great about helping lug our strollers up and down the bridge we had to cross. He made three trips up and down carrying strollers (with kids inside). I told him he might want to reconsidering venturing out with the "single" moms for the rest of the trip.
Here are a few pictures of our day: