Tuesday, July 26, 2016

12:34 July 26

Very proud of my crew. We were careful in the heat--took breaks, drank lots of water--but they still trekked about 6 miles...w/only a little complaining.

Back in April, I won the bid on a year-long membership to the NC Zoo at a silent auction fundraiser for the kids' school. I was thrilled to get the membership at a good price, while supporting our PTA. The zoo is an hour-and-a-half drive from us, so planning a trip means we need to block off the whole day. We talked casually with the kids about going to the zoo this summer, and Lauren latched on to the idea very enthusiastically. In fact, nearly every day we were away in Georgia and Louisiana, she would predict, "When we go back home to North Carolina, we're going to the ZOO!"

When we did get home, we needed a week or so to unpack, relax and regroup. Nearly every morning, Lauren would suggest, "Today would be a great day to go to the zoo!" This week rolled around and we thought it would be a great time to take a day trip, but the heat got really bad. We decided to brave it anyway, remembering that the zoo had lots of natural shade and plenty of indoor exhibits. We headed out this morning with about 2 gallons of water and a cooler full of food for a picnic lunch. It had been a couple years since we'd been, so Matt and I even took the time to map out our route through the exhibits, so that we could hopefully see everything but also not double-back and increase our walking distance.

It all went really well. We are now at a point in our family life that we can pack pretty lightly: no stroller and just one backpack with our water. I haven't been to a lot of zoos, but the NC Zoo is probably my favorite. It's really nice: great shaded walking trails and really pretty exhibits. We saw nearly everything, covered about six miles in the process, and even got away with not spending a dime because our membership got us in free and we ate sandwiches back at our van for lunch. The kids really only complained a little, and were characteristically delighted and delightful, enjoying all the animals.

I'm grateful for very special day with my family.

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