Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day Of The Holiday - I Was Wrong

Some of you will know from my comments on other blogs or from meeting me in the street, I was dreading the summer holidays. Even though DD's nursery only broke up yesterday and her new nursery starts in less than three weeks (19 days to be precise), I was dreading filling the time in this hot weather, with no car and limited funds. I think I may still be traumatised from two years ago, despite the pleasant surprise of last year that prompted this post: What a Difference. (Btw, I just reread this post. What an idiot I am, I should have reread it weeks ago.)


Reading the map
Anyway, I was dreading it and I was wrong. It started last night when I wasn't so anxious for her to fall asleep as I knew I could let her sleep in today. This morning she woke up at 8.30 and joined me in my bed for another 20 minutes - no rushing against the clock, no fighting over getting dressed.... We had a leisurely breakfast in which we discovered that DD loves wholegrain honey covered cornflakes without milk (you remember I had to ask the nursery teacher) but digs out the almond and pecan pieces for me. So that's breakfast sorted.

So I wrote on our local mothers' fb group that we were off to the zoo and would love to meet up for a picnic lunch and left my mobile number. No one called but it turned out to be an amazing day just the two of us. I've only ever managed 2 1/2 hours at the zoo tops because we get too hot and exhausted usually and then we've had enough. Today we were there for 5 1/2 hours and we enjoyed every minute of it. Here's what we did differently:

1. We didn't have the buggy with us (first time at the zoo) and it actually freed us up a lot, especially in terms of short-cuts over the grass or up stairs. I was more willing to explore something involving steps, I didn't have to keep an eye on it and keep going back for it. And with one small backpack, I found the whole thing much less exhausting.

We were frequent flyers on the train
2. I let DD go at her own pace. We had the whole day ahead of us with no one else to worry about, no one to keep up with, wonder if they are getting bored with our slow pace, meet for the picnic at a certain time or place. We hopped on and off the train, we stopped to play on the grass for half an hour, we ate our picnic in increments - one item at a time sitting in the shade and chatting. I let DD go exploring wherever she fancied so there were no conflicts of interest. We were totally relaxed all day. We even went round the aquarium about four times. Eventually we did find Nemo (and Dory) so it was worth it.

Nemo and Dory are alive and well in the Jerusalem Zoo


Water-vapour fans kept us cool


3. It wasn't as hot or crowded as I had feared. Maybe the lack of buggy, my recent weight loss and no set plans made me more laid back and less tired, which rubbed off on DD? Who knows but we were both in great moods. We loved the fans with water vapour along the route to keep people cool. Cool!

4. I discovered things I've never seen before and we went to places we don't usually have time for. For example, there's an area with a big poster of animal footprints and all the prints are set in the concrete on the floor. You can find the prints on the ground and identify the different animals.

All the footprints on the poster are also on the ground


Cecil and Susie look nothing like this
5. We left the Zoo just in time for our weekly visit to Cecil and Susie for tea. By the time we walked home from them at 6pm it was all I could do to get some supper down DD before she fell asleep. Result!

6. I renewed our yearly subscription to the zoo and next week I will be buying a month's pass to a local swimming pool. To have two major outings on tap and paid for is a huge weight off my mind and well worth the cost (which isn't exorbitant).



You know the annoying expression - cheer up it may never happen. That.

There are also meerkats in this enclosure, not just DDs

Uh oh, the DD is escaping!

22 comments:

  1. Sounds like so much fun!
    Once we ventured out too ZooMiami on a hot summer's day. They had $5 admission tickets available for all the fools like me who forget that the heat and humidity down at the tip of Florida is oppressive. We parked ourselves in front of those misters and ignored the animals most of the time! The kids said they had fun, and I promised I would never go back there...

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    1. I don't think it was so hot today - that probably helped also.

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  2. Tomorrow is last day in Tzharon for Talia - my problem is finding activities that suit all 3 of the kids - child 1 & 3 fight a lot... I also have to work some days... I will do the bare minimum - just get orders out and no strategizing or putting up new products... 4 days we are going camping and I am going to go cold turkey and not check email in this time, and devote myself to my children (and a good paperback or two).... we have a swimming pool subscription... so that will take up some time - I tend to do one day in Yokneam, and 1 day further afield - but with the price of petrol not prepared to go too far afield....

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    1. It's a real operation isn't it? And we are lucky that we don't have jobs where we have to go in every day.

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    2. Glad to hear it's going well. Each year they get a little more grown up and it gets easier. Until they get to 12 and it's all attitude...sigh! Is it nearly time for school again?!!

      xx Jazzy

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    3. I think I may have seen abit of attitude already.

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  3. Such an added bonus when it turns out much better than you expected. We have had a couple of outings recently when my expectation has been all wrong. Glad I'm not alone

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    1. Enjoy the rest of the holiday. Shame we don't live near and could do outings together.

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  4. Really lovely to hear that the holiday is turning our better than you had anticipated. Sounds like you had such a great time together, and it must be so nice to be more relaxed about bedtimes, and go with the flow a little more.

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    1. I was very anxious about having no schedule as I can be a bit too laid back and then it all falls apart. But so far we've done stuff and I still feel in control. (LOL - we've has 2 days so far!)

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  5. I think the point about going at DD's pace and following her interests is a real winner. My now 11 year old loves museums .Whenever we are in New York we go to the Met. he sets the pace and we go wherever he wants! So we spend ALOT Of time in the Ancient Egypt section and military and armor sections! but he also loves sculptures he tells me!! letting him be in charge of what where and when once we are at the museum has made all the difference. So glad you had such a wonderful day, I hope the next 19 are just as much fun.
    Gilly

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    1. I'm hoping to send her out on her own before she's 23 but I know what you mean. Thanks.

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  6. Being stroller-free (buggy-free I guess) is incredibly liberating. My youngest was able to walk long distances at a younger age than some of my other kids, and it made such a difference.

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    1. It was a big surprise as I thought having somewhere for her to sit when she's tired was the liberating thing - turns out it's not.

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  7. Yey, we both have bear pics! It sounds (and looks) like a great day out. I too love days by ourselves with no-one else to worry about, just us! Enjoy the holidays, we only have a week and a bit left :(

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    1. Enjoy the rest of it! I added another thing to to do to our list today. we got the tires on DD's bike pumped up and the staberlisers raised so now she loves taking it to the park.

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  8. Ohhh, how delicious. Time. To spend. Alone. Together. That's priceless.

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    1. I'm discovering that it is - who knew? :)

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  9. I am so happy for you that you are enjoying the holidays together. I still feel the same mix of joy and fear with every school holiday, then as they progress I realize the freedom of time and lack of homework and clubs is liberating for me and them! The zoo looks like a huge success and I am sure the local pool will be too. I think being that little bit older this year helps for you too. Thank you for linking up with me on Country Kids, I feel more adventured may be to come over your holidays together!

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    1. I agree with you, as she gets older everything becomes easier and actually more fun for me.

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  10. It sounds as though you had a lovely time. Lay ins and relaxing is what the holidays are all about - love it. Life is a lot easier when you don't need a Pam too x

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    1. I know, and it's less tiring (for me) when she had to walk rather than me pushing her up and down the hills.

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