We started off by going to the Twycross Zoo with our friends the Seppanens. Now, I like zoos but I've largely been avoiding them for two reasons:
1) they are expensive (£48 family ticket in this case)
2) they aren't particularly British
We have zoos back in the States obviously so why use our time here for that? Well, because the kids want to and I (finally) realized its not fair to make them go 3 years without one so off we went.
Twycross is about 45 minutes away pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We drove down via Burton-on-Trent (hated that route) and chose the speedier (but farther) multi-lane route on the way back.
Twycross is a smaller zoo (wiki link) with a pretty sizable primate center (self proclaimed largest collection of monkey and apes "in the world"). We took about 2+ hrs to stroll around and see everything. It wouldn't compare to a larger, snazzier zoo but it was a nice day out. Follow me around the zoo . . .
meerkats -- really cool
you lookin' at me?
interesting to find the penguins outdoors -- nice exhibit though
Most American guys my age will think of Miami Vice from the flamingo shot
large pelican looking bird
large bird theme continues
stork -- where's the baby?
Kirk's dik-dik -- I bet my buddy Kirk didn't know he had one
baby in the monkey family (fighting the glare here -- sorry)
Confucius Monkey (at least that's what I'd call it)
they were feeding the elephants banana bits -- peel and all
chimp and a water bottle (hadn't seen that before)
tough day for the gorilla
pile o' lemurs
I've seen dogs on their back like that, but not a hyena
capybara and a tapir -- we always remember the cabybara for the trivia value (largest rodent)
always entertaining prairie hogs
a colorful pair
not everything was exotic, but the guinea pigs are always cute
back to the exotic -- miniature kangaroos, er wallabies
All and all a nice day out. Glad we could share it with the Seppanens.
Wonderful British cuisine (as you can tell by our clean plates) of roast beef, potatoes and veg and followed up by a bread & butter pudding. Outstanding. Thanks guys!
Sunday -- bonus walk to Birchen Edge
Since the zoo didn't take all day, I was able to get my weekly chores (shopping, etc.) done. Sunday was looking like another nice day so I thought I'd go for a walk. The girls had homework so it was just the boys on this one. The starting point was the Robin Hood Inn outside of Baslow, about 45 minute away. [Once again I tried a different way back as I really don't like driving up the A6].
early on walking through the bracken fields
more bracken and some rocks in the background
we had some shady forest bits with some areas completely covered by moss (no slugs today though)
good eatin' around these parts evidentally
rewarding views at the top (this is at the western point of our route between 2 & 3)
another hairy cow with some more space to maneuver this time
would hate to leave out the sheep
Another rock-climbing spot. There seem to be quite a few of those around.
In a few hours I will be heading over to Jay's to watch the Colts vs. Packers. Jay has a sweet setup where we can watch his Indianapolis area TV feed via a Sling Box. Comes in handy for football!
I'm not expecting a Colts victory but it will still be a good time. Reminds me of one of my football highlights 4 years ago when I made the pilgrimage to Lambeau to see the Colts play there with my buddy Chris. (they lost and that team was much better than the current version, but what a great place to experience football)
UPDATE: Amazingly, the Colts came back from 21-3 down and won 30-27. Woo-hoo!
Have a good week everyone.