__________ August 28, 2016 ___________

A Day at the Zoo

Ho.Mi. GOODNESS!!!  This past week was one of the craziest of our entire summer.  I swear, I didn’t know if I was coming or going, half the time!  What craziness.  I can’t complain too much – it was a lot of fun, too.  And I have a lot of picture posts to put together, as a result!  Yes, usually on Sundays I do a recap, but it looks like I’m going to have to do a whole series of posts on our adventures from last week, over the course of this week!

Last Monday, I took the kids to the local (Grand Rapids) zoo.  We have a membership, but haven’t managed to get there once yet, this year.  With the membership expiring in September, I thought we should get there at least one time before our free admission period is over.  (NoTe:  We have used the membership to go to Indianapolis zoo and Fort Wayne zoo, but the zoos closer to home we haven’t made the rounds of, this year.)

There just isn’t time to wait for Brian to go – we get too busy on the weekends.  Besides, he’s been to John Ball Zoo, before.  But he heard they had a new African porcupine, a tentacled snake (!!), and… something else.  Anyhow, I talked the kids into going with me, to see the new critters.  And we pulled up the Zoology badge, and worked on a few things, with that!

IMG_6092 (300x444)The day started out with a beautiful moon overhead!

IMG_6094 (444x289)… and odd construction vehicles on the train tracks?!

IMG_6098 (333x444)John Ball Park Zoo has lovely grounds.

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I’ve been reading the blog of a woman who unschools, and lets her children *BE*.  I… manage my children a lot.  So this trip was an experiment in letting them have more time to *BE* as we adventured.  The goal was to go a lot slower and be a lot more relaxed.  No deadlines, no worries, just fun.  For this once, anyhow!

IMG_6130 (444x333)New additions to the local zoo include overhead ‘tube tunnels’
for animals to run through.  Nicer for them!

IMG_6128 (444x430)And a ‘tube tunnel’ for the kids, too!

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By the ropes course was a new rope challenge for the kids.
Isaac gave Owen a hand getting thru it.

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Some idiot dyed the waterfall fluorescent teal.
WTHeck?!  Could you get any tackier?

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The animals were oblivious to us, being so used to visitors.

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The new skywalk trail gave us views of the animal houses
we never had before.  What a lovely roof!

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We spent an especially long time at the nature play area.
The boys cooked and camped and had a great time.

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Treehouse Outpost was busier, and we spent
less time here, because of it.

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We like laying low… like this gator.

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We got lost on the way home, and found the Basilica
of St. Adalbert (<< ?!?!).  I loved the architecture of it.

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We’d never been down around Stocking, before.  It had some character.

Anyhow, Monday was a wonderful day.  We were definitely tuckered out by the time that we were done, but we’d had a great day out, and letting the kids just hang out and spend a little more time playing was a good thing for us.  I’m going to try to ‘linger’ in more places.  It’s a hard thing for me, because I was raised by a person with no patience who just wanted to get to the next thing, and it kind of ends up being my default.  Oh, I’m definitely slower and more low-key than I was raised, but I still have those moments – especially where people are – that just have to be managed.  And it went better, letting go of that.

A very nice day, indeed!

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