Squeezed the life outta that weekend. Part 1.

Ours was an on-the-go weekend.


we got up close and personal with a few giraffes at the Binder Park Zoo.

And their sweet babies, who were a little too short to get the attention (and lettuce treats) of excited zoo-goers.

Sophie traveled in style-in her new Ergo!

Kangaroos, a kookaburra, zebras, ostriches, wolves, emus, wallabies, Mongolian wild horses, vultures, a cheetah, and a bald eagle were the other highlights. What a great morning!

After lunch at Chili’s (one of our favorite spots), we decided to go all out. We decided to continue on to Lake Michigan, which incidently was the purpose of our whole trip, not the zoo. The zoo ended up being a side trip. A wonderful, little somethin extra.

So we also enjoyed the beach! See, here is one of my favorite places. The fresh water was the warmest I have ever felt it.

Sophie had a blast in the sand.

And boy, did itΒ  feel heavenly on my toes!

The water felt heavenly on Sophie’s toes too.

Here’s Sophie’s shout out to our favorite radio station πŸ˜›

If Friday were a lemon, we juiced it, iced it, sugared it, shook the hell out of it, slammed it down, and held up our empty glasses with eager anticipation of more.

Wistful Wednesday: Hawaii

I’ve been wanting to do a weekly theme for awhile now, but was having trouble coming up with a name. Soooo introducing “Wistful Wednesdays”! Each Wednesday (hopefully I remember each week) I’ll give you all an insightful glance into my mind. So, with Steph’s trip as my inspiration, this first Wistful Wednesday is…


My dad emailed me this picture today, along with the note, “Remember this kind of view?!” and it really got me thinking about the importance of taking vacations (well, to be honest, I think about this nearly every day). Vacations are not only an escape from the day-to-day, but also give you a great opportunity to learn something new, see some amazing new sights, bask in the glory of God’s creation, meet new people, experience another culture, see life through another point of view. Even the briefest or “boring” of vacations can leave you with a renewed sense of purpose, infused with tranquility, or just give you a “happy place” to go in your mind when, upon returning to the stresses of daily life, you find the need to escape once more.

When I think about all the allegedly wonderful places that planet has to offer (I say “allegedly” because I’ve never been there myself, only heard of their glory!)I get a little overwhelmed. Because there simply are so many and I’m already 24. Approximately a quarter of my life has passed. Now I’d say I’ve traveled a lot compared to many of my peers (especially within the USA)but still-there is SO MUCH of this world that I haven’t seen. SO MANY places and people and wildlife and ecosystems and cities and buildings and experiences that are left on my “To Do/To See” list that it worries me that I won’t be able to do it all. Anyway, I guess I just got a little sidetracked. Consider all this to be a further introduction to the Wistful Wednesdays. Back to Hawaii. Here’s another view-to put you in the mood :

Hawaii is one of my favorite places on earth. I may venture to say it is my favorite place…yep. OK, it’s my favorite place. It’s not just the gorgeous sandy beaches and tantalizing crystal clear ocean that draws me in. It’s the overall sense of peace that washes over me when I’m there. I have been lucky enough to be there twice, once on a family vacation when I was 10 or so, and the other in college with soccer. To be honest, Hawaii is never far from my mind. I am not exaggerating when I say that I think about it every day. I’ve never been a lay on the beach kind of person, but I want to be. I love the feeling of the salt from the ocean on my skin and in my hair. I love reading on the beach, catching the rays and the waves. I’d love to learn how to sail (or just go along for the ride!) I enjoy watching people surf (I don’t really have the inclination to try it out for myself, but it’s fun to watch). I keep thinking about that one day, Di, that one day when we went to Starbucks, then the beach to read, played in the water, laid on the beach some more, talked, laughed, read, took pictures, etc. Remember that day? Steph’s there now…I’m “palm-frond green” with envy. But I said that yesterday, didn’t I? πŸ˜›