Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Spent the Night in the Zoo

And it's taken me a week to recover enough to write about it!
I bravely volunteered to accompany Josh on the annual Cub Scout "super trip," which involves spending the night in some unusual place. Last year, the pack spent the night on a battleship in Charleston, and this year we got the zoo. There are no pictures from the actual sleepover because once we entered the zoo they locked it down like a prison and I couldn't go back out to the car to get the camera.

After spending two hours at a nearby children's museum and then eating at a restaurant with about 50 kids and parents, we finally made it to the zoo around 7 p.m. Our group had grown to about 80 at that point, and we all slept in the zoo's education building. I strategically secured a sleeping spot in a hallway with two mom friends from my neighborhood, hoping that the snoring dads would be sleeping in the more popular auditorium.

We spent three hours touring and hiking the zoo that night, where Josh impressed the zookeepers with his non-stop commentary on the animals and eagerness to answer almost every question they asked. When we finally got back to our sleeping quarters at 11 p.m., the kids were exhausted and I was hopeful that we might actually get some sleep.

Then, my friend's son started coughing, as in he was about the cough up a lung, and he kept it up all night. I never fell asleep, although I think a few of our fellow hallway sleepers did. The next morning we found a bunch of cranky adults and kids that didn't want to get up -- until they remembered the zoo sleepover included spending as long as we wanted that day in the zoo.

Josh was especially eager to see the animals in the daylight, and I was especially eager to get home as soon as possible because I knew I'd be sleepy driving two hours home. I drug around the zoo after Josh for more than two hours, hoping that he'd run out of energy at some point! He finally quieted down in the car -- he was so out of it he hardly spoke on the drive back to Charlotte.

My favorite part was feeding the giraffes their breakfast -- this one was especially hungry.
Here's Josh and one of the kids in his Cub Scout den. 

Josh had a great time, and now he wants to wear his commemorative "I Survived a Night in the Zoo" t-shirt, which glows in the dark, every day. I should have bought myself one of those shirts! Next year, Chris is already penciled in to chaperone the Cub Scout "super trip."