Thursday, June 16, 2005

Parc de Thoiry

My daughter had her end of the year sortie/field trip on Tuesday. I was one of three mothers invited to go along with the class to the Parc de Thoiry.

Parc de Thoiry is basically split into two parts. In one section, there is a game reserve safari where you drive your car (or bus in our case) through an area where the animals are not caged. Potentially, the friendlier ones, like zebras, could come right up to your window.

The elephants were kind enough to pee when our bus passed. The boys thought that was just wonderful entertainment!

Side story... The last time I was at Thoiry our family went with another family. The daughter of that family had brought carrot pieces to give to the animals to ensure they came up to the family car. Well one of those "friendly" zebras ended up taking a bite at the little girl's stomach. We had to rush her to the hospital. She was fine, but she was the talk of the emergency room. It's not everyday the Paris children's hospital gets a kid come in complaining of being bitten by a zebra. Needless to say, I stay away from zebras now.

We started with the game reserve and despite the heat (the air conditioner on the bus wasn't working well) the kids had a great time. They loved looking at the giraffes, the ostriches, the hippos, the bison and all the rest. There is also a special area of the drive that is gated to house the lions. There were four lazy lions laying out in the sun. My daughter told me that night that the lions were the best part of the trip.

After driving the bus through the game reserve we stopped for a picnic lunch and then proceeded to the other part of Parc de Thoiry....the Chateau Thoiry... behind which is a traditional botanical and zoological garden.

Chateau Thoiry

We walked through the zoo area looking at birds, wolves, and ducks among other animals. We then let the kids play around in the jungle gym area before looking at some antelope. Then it was time to take the petit train to the chateau toward the exit. The kids played catch on the grass, had some drinks and snacks and then we left to go back to school.

My daughter asked when we could go back again as a family. She thought it was a wonderful field trip and was telling her father all about it when we got home.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
3:21 PM



You get to experience the most wonderful day trips! Do boys ever outgrow the desire to laugh at things that girls would not find funny? Like peeing elephants, for example?

# posted by Michele : 5:37 PM  

When I was little and was growing up on Long Island, we always went to either the Long Island Game Farm or Animal Farm (my mom stopped getting up close and personal with the animals after one time a goat in the petting zoo that she was feeding went a little wild with the bottle and then proceded to stomp on her foot)

We have the Lowry Park Zoo here... it's the only real zoo I've ever been to, and even that really pales in comparison to huge zoos. Well unless you consider Busch Gardens or Disney's Animal Kingdom a zoo... then those are the biggest I've been to!

# posted by Joe : 6:18 PM  

I do so enjoy your travelogues/history lessons. Thanks for making us all brighter!

# posted by kenju : 12:27 AM  

Thanks for the information on the Parc de Thoiry! My son's class went there last week, but we were away visiting with family in Canada (Ontario) and Milwaukee. Although my daughter is more of an animal fan, my son would have enjoyed the trip.

# posted by Oz : 12:27 AM  

That's sounds like a perfect day to me! Thanks for sharing it with me.

# posted by Raehan : 1:55 AM  

Bitten by a zebra? I can only imagine the liability laws in the US ...

# posted by Mike in DC : 3:06 AM  

Hi Auntie !

The Parc de Thoiry is a great place for kids. (smile) The chatelaine, Annabelle, is American and organizes a huge and wonderful Easter Egg hunt in the park every year. Thousands of eggs are hidden on the grounds for children (snd parents ?) to find. It's a tradition that she began some years ago.

Annabelle's husband, le Vicomte Paul de la Panouse (they are the owners of Thoiry), recently threw his weight behind the successful efforts to kill a proposed "wind farm" out near Thoiry. This awful farm, with its many noisy wind generators, would have defaced the entire countryside in the Mantois region, which is visible from Thoiry. Fortunately the project was stopped, thanks to the huge public outcry.

Thoiry also made the front pages last season when a visiting family with children stole several young marmosets (ouistitis). The public was requested to be on the lookout for them (both the thieving family and the animals) but they were never found. Unfortunately the baby marmosets were too young to be separated from their mother and probably died. You might have seen some new security cameras at Thoiry -- that's the reason. (smile)


# posted by L'Amerloque : 9:06 AM  

That sure beats my school's yearly field trip to the Alamo.

# posted by Sammy : 9:54 AM  

Michele, So interesting... It amazes me that my son finds humor in things I just don't think are funny at all. For instance, he loves physical humor. I'm waiting till we are back in the US to buy some Three Stoges movies... I hated them, but know he will love the humor.
Joe, I spent so much time on Long Island, but have never heard of the Game Farm. I'll have to look it up.
Kenju, Thanks. I learn a lot too.
Oz, We've missed you here. I hope you had a good time in the US.
Raehan, Actually, it was nice to spend time with my daughter surrounded by her friends, but field trips are so frustrating. So much of the time you are just waiting. I think we spent 45 minutes waiting for all the kids to go to the toilet!
Mike, There are so many things that are allowed in France that you can't imagine happening anymore in the US because of the fear of a lawsuit.
L'A, That is so interesting. The Easter Egg hunt sounds great.. there is such a huge green area behind the Chateau, the kids must have a great time finding eggs.
Sammy, I loved visiting the Alamo! I think that would be a great school trip. We went to the Hepworth farm to watch cider being made.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 12:32 PM  

My husband loves trains. If we were standing in front of that train in the picture, he would jump on that thing so fast!

# posted by mrsmogul : 4:53 PM  

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