Monday, September 14, 2009

A Wild Time

Our family enjoyed a relaxing weekend together after a busy week. I do love having Tim only work 4 days - the weekend seemed to come so much faster! We've been looking for someplace fun and different to take the kids. They like going for walks and playing at the park, but sometimes you just want to treat them to something a bit more special.

Tim suggested the Henson Robinson Zoo in nearby Springfield and we decided to give it a try. We'd heard mixed reviews because it's so small, but our family enjoyed a relaxing day in the sun. The zoo is very small and, as a result, extremely affordable. There are no large animals to see, but plenty for the toddler-set to enjoy. Ella especially loved the monkeys and the bears. I liked it when she would ask what the animals names were. Names are a current obsession of hers.

We brought a picnic lunch and tried to eat it in the picnic area, but the aggressive peacocks caused Ella to panic, so we found a bench in the shade by the water and watched the ducks and swans. Afterward, we walked the zoo at a leisurely pace, enjoyed the animals, and relaxed while Ella played in the play area awhile. While this zoo wouldn't offer too much excitement for older kids, it was a wonderful afternoon diversion.

Tim's also discovered "Man Vs. Wild" on Netflix Watch Instantly. This show features a host named "Bear" who travels to remote areas and demonstrates how someone would survive if stranded. I have to admit, Bear is a very engaging host and he's fascinating to watch. Ella sat down to watch with daddy post-zoo and she cracked me up. Bear was demonstrating how one could survive by eating a nasty looking bug and she said, "He's eating the bug." Then, "He's happy. He's full now." She was surprisingly non-plussed by his cutting the head off a lizard, then eating it raw, or skinning a dead camel and drinking fluids from its belly. Her comments during the show were priceless! This morning she asked me to eat a pretend bug at the breakfast table, then told me it was yucky. When we saw bugs outside today, she told me that we don't eat them. Good to know.

Ella loved that we had soda, a real treat for her, and kept saying, "Don't drink it all, Mommy." Thanks a lot. ;0) Here she is, enjoying it along the way.

Ella is such a people person. She's walking with us here, but started following families with kids when she could. In her mind, all kids are "friends" and she' d much rather be with them!

Easygoing Ezra chilled in the stroller and enjoyed playing with mom and dad as well.

After a busy afternoon in the sun, Ella was so exhausted, she even fell asleep mid-snack!

PS. Sometimes people ask and, yes, we bring cloth diapers (and, now, wipes) on a day like this. No, it's not a hassle. And, yes, we've dealt with #2 on the road.

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