I had more weekends off work than usual in May and we managed to make the most of the opportunity to squeeze in a few day trips. Edinburgh Zoo was the location for my birthday day trip and it was great! It's really easy to get o by public transport (the bus stops right at the front gate) and is absolutely massive so we were able to spend a whole day there quite happily. Dulcie was thoroughly entertained and seriously exhausted by the time we got back on the bus. Here she is giving her version of a thumbs-up with a stuffed panda.
The chimpanzees were quite interesting to watch, but I wouldn't have wanted to get this close to a real one. Monkeys and the like have always given me the heebie-jeebies.
Spot the difference? Dulcie's getting pretty expert at posing for photos nowadays.
I was quite sceptical about the pandas before we got there and thought it was a bit OTT that you had to book your ten-minute time slot to see them when you arrived at the zoo, but they definitely turned out to be a highlight. This is Dulcie's namesake Tian Tian (meaning sweet, you see) but Yang Guang the male was the most entertaining - munching bamboo constantly in a serious bulk-up attempt. Apparently he poops around 100 times a day and some of them weigh almost twice as much as Dulcie! Wowsers!
The penguins were good too, although the "world-famous penguin parade" was slightly disappointing. One penguin! One! Still, the crowd's unimpressed reactions were quite entertaining :)
The following weekend we took a train to Balloch to visit the aquarium, which was awesome. I can't believe we had such a good aquarium so close to home and never went before. Most of my photos didn't come out (the fish don't like flashes) so you'd be forgiven for thinking we spent all our time with our heads in this bubble. Actually, we were in there for quite a while!
Dulcie's favourite thing was the rock pools. She touched a crab and some starfish but especially loved the anemones and spent at least 20 minutes just poking them and shrieking. They were pretty cool though, their little tentacles would grab hold of your finger - a very odd sensation!
I loved the seahorses and the jellyfish and the giant turtle... I love aquariums!
Apparently you can have sleepovers in the giant glass tunnel, just £25 a head, although you need a minimum of 20 people. I'm desperately trying to think of a reason to host one! How much fun would that be?!
We finished the day off with a late-afternoon pub lunch. I had a very unvegetarian steak (no, really!) and it was so good. I washed it down with a pint (another rare treat for the fluid restricted!) which was amazing too. Yum yum.
The following weekend we had to combine day-tripping with
boring practical flat stuff, but Dulcie dressed for every possible day-trip eventuality. I don't think her attire was entirely inappropriate for our destination of Ikea, not once we put the hat and sunglasses in the bag anyway!
She enjoyed a wee lie-down while we tried out mattresses...
...and relaxed in a deckchair while we perused Bargain Corner. It was a long and not especially entertaining day for her (I, on the other hand, loved it!) but she was really very good and patient...
...so she finished the day off with an ice cream - always a big hit.
You might notice Dulcie is wearing one of the T-shirts I designed for Mimi and Will in these pictures. This was a sample not destined to be sold, slightly different in colour to the final design, so the girls behind Mimi and Will sent it to Dulcie. What a lovely gift :) I love seeing Dulcie in it and she got so many compliments on it on our way round Ikea! "Why, thank you, it's actually my own design..." Ha! The T-shirt's been thoroughly put through the quality-control wringer too - stained, washed, tumble dried, romped in... And I can confirm it has passed with flying colours - still looking as good as new and really high quality. It's quite roomy on Dulcie thus far, so I think she'll be getting many seasons' wear out of it yet. Hooray!