Tuesday, June 14, 2011

South-East Tour Day 4 - Audubon Zoo

This morning begin with the hot moggy Lousiana air putting us all a little on edge.  Kim and I did what we could to get everything packed and loaded up, but I think to any bystanders we just like crazy people as we tried to get our grumpy kids and our grumpy selves ready for the day.  Once fully packed we hit the road headed for the Audubon Zoo.
On the way was a police trap checking to make sure everyone was buckled.  When we pulled up he looked in and said, "Is everyone buckled?  ... Ok, got on through."  I think he only noticed Kim sitting in the middle as we where pulling away.  I'm not sure what we would have done if he had seen her and started to ask questions.
At the zoo we met one of Kim's old coworkers at Fairview, Rhonda.  She was the star of the day.  She paid for all of us to go the zoo including lunch, snow cones, and gifts for the girls.  Aurora was really excited to see the elephants, while Athena was looking forward to the gorillas.  Our last stop was to see the giraffes, which Arianna had been asking about since we first mentioned we would go the zoo a few days ago.
Along the way we saw all sorts of cool looking monkeys, giant snakes, poisonous frogs, and some really stout rhinoceroses.  The rhinos where my favorite part.
The kids had a great time.  I started to catch a headache towards the end, which I tried to wash away with some Advil when we got back in the van.
We headed west on I-10, and then North on 55.  The last ten miles on the I-10 route was bridge, and stayed a bridge as we pulled onto 55 for another twenty miles.  We passed over beautiful lakes and swamps as we drove over the bridge.  It was too bad I was unable to enjoy it as my headache only got worse.  When we departed I pulled over at the first town so that Kim could drive.
I slept off and on most of the way to Natchez.  As we got closer the GPS took us through dirt roads and through some very country neighborhoods.  What we didn't pass by was any signs indicated that Natchez State Park was coming up.  When we finally reached our "destination" we where getting in kind of a panic as it was passed eight o'clock, and our destination was not where the GPS had taken us.  We went a little further, and then turned around.  While Kim did this I tried to figure out where to go passed on Google Maps and the instructions given on the Natchez Sate Park website.
By this time Kim and I where rather stressed out and I took over driving.  It turned out that the state park entrance was just a couple miles beyond where the GPS had told us to go.  There is a back entrance that is gated off, which is where Google Maps took us, and there is the main entrance a couple miles beyond that.
Once at our campsite Kim and I were in good spirits again.  She took the kids off to take showers while I prepped the van for sleeping.  When Kim came back I took a shower as Kim prepped the kids for sleeping.  After the kids climbed into the top, I told them a store where I retold the story of today, but I replaced us with a family of gorillas who visited the zoo to see the humans.  In my story, the youngest gorilla wanted to see the tall-people exhibit, the middle gorilla wanted to see strong-people exhibit, and the oldest gorilla wanted to see the tall-people exhibit.  The girls thought this was really funny, and they where in good spirits to go to sleep.
Then the girls got really hot.  I put the box fan in the top sleeping area blowing right on them, and I put Aurora's hair up.  Arianna went to sleep pretty easily, but Athena and Aurora had a pretty hard time getting to sleep in the heat.  Kim and I have to settle for the small fan that only plugs into the cigarette lighter.