The TV was silenced, the door thrown open and we escaped the confines of our little winter cave. The last few days have been filled with constant bickering, short tempers, and long temper tantrums. Due to other obligations we were unable to meet with friends this week or go on any adventures. Sure, we stretched our legs in the backyard, bounced on the trampoline and sunk our boots in the mud...but we need more.
We traveled the 7 miles to our favorite zoo today, pulled on our hats and set off on an expedition to renew our spirits. It is amazing how such a short drive can transport us to a magical place. Made even more magical in the winter as we are often the only family there, as we were today. Some animals truly look excited to see us, where as in the summer they rarely turn their glazed eyes our way. The monkeys were performing tricks, the lamas followed the kids back and forth along the fence, the mountain lions snarled a hello.
The kids ran, and ran, and ran. I followed behind at a slower pace breathing in the crisp air, watching and listening as my kids laughed and played with each other.
Something so simple, a place so close, no money spent - but it was a day that changed everything.