Those going to the Chester Zoo trip on the mini bus gathered in Brooks Lane at 9.15am and having found a lost member of the party (who was already on the bus!) left just after 9.30. Those that made it to the zoo under their own steam then teamed up with the mini bus crowd at the main entrance at 10.30. We are very pleased to report this was our biggest event tour group yet with the grand total of forty two going on the trip.
Once the MANN Council had checked in with reception everyone was given a map of the zoo, a free monorail pass and taken through the front gates. From here the group split into smaller groups of friends and/or families with a request to meet at Junes Food Court restaurant at 3.00 pm before we returned home.
The weather on the day turned out to be very kind. Not cold enough for coats and not so hot as to make all the walking unpleasant. There were many highlights during the day and the zoo staff looked after all our visitors beautifully. They even ‘fast passed’ the boat ride so we did not have to queue. The monorail was also a highlight for many of the children.
It goes without saying as we were at a zoo that animal watching was a must during the day, if only to take a little weight off our feet during the walk. Maps were constantly being referred to as there were so many wonderful animals and things to see during the day. Comments afterwards were many and often referred to the giant otters, the big cats, the smell of the bat forest, the lions, elephants and the Rhino and deer friendship. For some it was the first time seeing these types of animal in real life and the experience was amazing. It was a pleasure to watch the children experiencing something different from their usual home routines. Seeing the children learning about the world around them and yet giving an opportunity to play was play was gratifying. Some of our group even played a round of 9 hole mini golf… Somehow though, with a fair amount of cheating, the kids always seemed to win. Some of our group took packed lunches and there were plenty of places to purchase drinks, snacks and hot food so no one went hungry. Time was also spent by some hunting out various souvenirs and trinkets to remember the visit.
By 3 o’clock everyone was absolutely cream crackered, with some being just about able to stagger to the restaurant where MANN ordered and paid for 42 ice creams which were consumed with a passion by all… It was a lovely treat to round off our fabulous day.
We left the zoo at 4pm getting back at 5. There was much chatter about what we had all done and even a couple of group songs were sung, it should be said “Wheels on the bus” did start to try everyones patience after a while though. Everyone said it was our best trip yet and asked when can we do another one!