I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter N.
Today was an extremely nice day. Somewhere about mid-week, my hubs and I decided we wanted to make the hour long drive up to Winston, Oregon to Wildlife Safari. We've had a membership there the last 3 years and have fun every time we visit.
The last time we were at Wildlife Safari our youngest daughter was still too little to fully enjoy seeing the animals. At two years old, she's at that prime age where everything is exciting and as a parent you feel like you're seeing things for the first time again when you see it through your child's eyes. Our oldest daughter has always loved Wildlife Safari, so it was a given that she would have a blast.
When driving through the park, the speed limit is 10 MPH, so you are able to be unbuckled and kids are allowed to move around the vehicle in order to get a good view. We released our little Krakken from the confines of her carseat and handed our picture-hating teenager the camera so she could snap photos to her heart's content. (And trust me, she did!)
After our first drive through the park, we went on a special encounter where we got to get up close to a cheetah and have our picture taken with it. That is about when the toddler meltdowns started and they were pretty constant throughout the rest of the day. In spite of the dramatics, our spirits were high and we managed to see everything we wanted inside the village area, as well as make a second drive through the park.
It seems like days, weeks, and even months go by and in the hustle of daily life, our little family doesn't get together for a lot of quality time with just the 4 of us. Making trips like we did today go a long way toward bringing us back to our center and bridging the gap between us. No one is staring at a screen, everyone is present in the moment, and there are no shortage of smiles and laughter. For me, personally, I forget all the outside stresses that bog me down and soak up the happiness like a sponge. It renews me and tires me out, in a good way of course.
I'm too exhausted at this point to sift through the hundreds upon hundreds of pictures my oldest daughter took today and share those, so instead I'll share a few that I took on my phone. Consider it your little sneak peek into our beautiful, wonderful, very nice day.
|This was supposed to be an "ussie" of|
me and my girls, but Trinity's more of a
|The family nature photographer|
|Daddy and Presley waiting for the cheetah|
encounter to start (Trinity ditched us for
a nice shady seat on a bench nearby.)
|Trinity and Presley riding the camel|
|Presley giving her trademark "Dowell scowl"|
|The drive home|