Saturday, October 18, 2014

To the Toledo Zoo!

 Hi all!  Yesterday afternoon, we - oh, wait a minute.  I need to update you all first.
 Last Wednesday, we flew to Michigan!  Our cousins, the Brooks, came in on Thursday.  It's kind of cozy in our grandparents house with all of us here, but it's fun staying with our cousins.
We are here because of my parent's work, and since my sisters and I are all home-schooled, we got to come along.  Our grandparents live pretty close to the Michigan/Ohio border, so this afternoon they drove Elizabeth, Georgia, McKenna, and I down to the Toledo Zoo! (Kit and Victoria didn't want to.)  Our first stop was "Arctic Encounter".
"I'm afraid these polar bears are not very polite." Elizabeth commented.
"What? Why?" I asked, confused.
She smiled.
 "Because that one is sticking it's tongue out at you." she replied, gesturing to the bear.
McKenna, Georgia and I both giggled.
"Silly bear."
 After that, we walked over to the gray wolf area.
"Are these really gray wolves?" I asked, peering at them.  "They really look more white."
"They do have some gray on them." Georgia commented.
"Perhaps it is the lighting." Elizabeth offered.
"Or maybe it's a disguise!" McKenna suggested with a laugh.
After watching the wild wolves wander, we moved on to "Africa!".
It was kind of funny seeing the fall leaves and colors mixed with the zebras and wildebeests, among other animals.
"Look!" Elizabeth pointed to the far corner. "Giraffes!"
"O-o" Georgia and I said in unison.
"There's like, five of them!" Georgia said excitedly.
"Wow." McKenna added.
From there, you had to walk over a bridge to get to the other half of the zoo.
So, we started heading in that direction, ...
... and enjoying the fall colors (which could not be seen in Florida, that's for sure!).
From there, we wandered over to the Reptile House.
It's one of three remaining buildings from the zoo was first built, and I think it looks like something out of a movie. Do you think so?
I think this is one of my favorite pictures from our visit, besides the otters.  The way this green snake hung was so strange!  They also had this huge gator (it was like, 16 feet long or something!).  But it stayed under the water, so unfortunately we couldn't take a good picture.
We exited the hot Reptile House, and walked over to the otter/hippopotamus area.
"Come over here!" Georgia called. "These otters are adorable!"
"Oh, they are so cute!" I smiled.
"If you put your hand right by the glass," Elizabeth said, "they will swim right up by it."
Just then, McKenna's cell phone rang. "Excuse me."
I could only here traces of the conversation (I wan't snooping, honest), but what I did hear was very interesting.
"... yes, we were just looking at the otters, - no, I will not get you one as a pet!  They belong to the zoo... I have not ridden any hippos and do not plan on it ... I know you would ..."
After we had oh-ed and ah-ed over the otters, our grandparents called us over to the hippo.
"Girls, it just yawned!" Grandma said. "It has some large teeth."
"Chomp, chomp, chomp!" said our grandpa, make us laugh.  At this point the hippo turned it's back on us, and my sisters and I agreed that it was not a nice picture.  He-he.  McKenna hung up, and walked over to us, looking thoroughly shocked.
"Even though she's my sister, she always is surprising me."
From there, we moved on to the elephant trail.
One of the elephants, a semi-baby, was very playful.  He (or she, I don't know which) was fun to watch.  As we were heading to another section, the zoo made an announcement on the loudspeaker.
"The Toledo Zoo is closing in 30 minutes. I repeat: the zoo is closing in 30 minutes.  Please make your way to the exit gates."
So, we turned around and walked towards the bridge.
"Georgia, please stop flipping your hair in my face!" I said, brushing her dark curls out of my face.
"It's not me - it's the wind!" Georgia told me. "There isn't much I can do about it."
"This was very fun, Grandma and Grandpa.  Thank you!" Elizabeth said.
"Yea, thank you!" I echoed.
"Thanks!" Georgia added.
"Thank you!" McKenna said.
"You are welcome, girls." Grandma said, giving all of us hugs.
"We're so glad you are here with us." Grandpa said.
I had such a fun time with my sisters, cousin and grandparents!
Have you ever visited a zoo?
October 20th update: McKenna did a post about her trip with us!  Here's the url:

Monday, October 13, 2014

At Hilton Head!

 Hello, lovely readers!  We spent our fall break in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  We drove there on Friday (it took about four hours), and meet up with our friend Kanani Thorpe and her parents.  One of our cousins, Victoria Brooks, came with us, because Kit and McKenna were flying to a gymnastics competition, and my parents agreed to let her come with us.  Here's what we did on Saturday:
Chrissa shared a bed with Kanani, while Georgia, Victoria, and I slept on the other two beds.  
 After we got up (at 10:00 am!) and made the beds, we opened the blinds, ...
 ... and I stepped outside to view the sunrise.  Mother and Mrs. Thorpe made breakfast, and it was quite good.  We pulled on our swimsuits, and headed out to the beach for the rest of the morning until lunch.  Then we came back in, ate, dried off a little, and relaxed in the beach house.
When evening came, we pulled on our semi-wet swimsuits and headed back out.

"Kanani and I want to go down to the sandbar and find some shells." Chrissa announced.
"Yes," Kanani agreed, "there are loads of them down there."
"Do any of you want to come?" Chrissa asked.
"No thank you." Victoria said.
"I think I'd rather stay here." Georgia agreed.
"I'll stay here as well." I said. "Have fun!"
The water was at low tide, and a sandbar had formed.
Kanani and Chrissa talked while they walked.  I couldn't hear what they were saying, but they were both clearly enjoying themselves.
Kanani did her own hair!  Isn't it lovely?  She's quite good at doing her hair, which considering the amount of hair she's grown should not be too surprising.
"Look - they're coming back." Victoria commented a little while later.
Chrissa kicked off her sandy flip-flops. "We found lots of shells!"
Kanani showed us all the shells they found. "We even found parts of a sand dollar!"
"I bet there are living sand dollars out in the ocean, if you go out far enough." Georgia said. "There were loads last year."
"I would love to go see, but I think we need to head back." Kanani said, pointing at the setting sun.
We cleaned up all our towels and chairs, and walked back past the sand dunes.
"Ouch!" Chrissa gasped.  Several ants had attacked her!
After washing the sand off, we stopped to dip our feet in the pool.  The water was lovely and warm!
Also, we spotted a deer!  It was just nibbling at the grass, but when it heard us, it vanished into the brush.  It was so fun having one last beach trip!
What's your favorite thing to do while on a break?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

At the Park!

 Hi all!  Yesterday evening, Elizabeth, Georgia and I walked to the neighborhood park.
 "I've got my towel - and the camera." I said to my sisters, who were waiting by the door.
"Great!" Georgia replied. "Let's go to the park!"
"Wait - we need to tell Mother that we're going." Elizabeth wisely injected. "I'll meet you on the sidewalk."
We agreed, and Mom told us to be back in half an hour.
 Once we arrived at the park, we laid down our towels on the rough grass.  The sun rested its golden rays on us as it set.
"This is lovely." Elizabeth sighed as she carefully sat down on her towel. "I only wish it would cool down."
 "Yea." I agreed, laying down and closing my eyes. "I wish Florida weather would at lest pretend to be fall.  I mean, it was seriously like 85 degrees or something earlier!"
Changing the subject, Georgia asked, "So - what are you planning to wear for Halloween?"
"I don't know if I'm going to go trick-or-treating this year." Elizabeth said.
"What?! Why?" I asked, shocked. "Do you think you're to old for it or something?"
"I don't know." she thoughtfully replied.
"You shouldn't let the culture tell you who you can or can't do." Georgia said. "If you don't want to, that's one thing, but just because you're in high school doesn't mean you can't trick-or-treat."
"Definitely!" I agreed. "I say if you want to, why not?"
"Well, none of my friends are going, and I wouldn't want to bother either of you." Elizabeth started.
"What the lime peels, Elizabeth!" I interrupted. "You wouldn't be bothering us!"
"We would love to have you with us." Georgia added.
"Thank you, you both are wonderful." Elizabeth smiled. "I just want to think it through a little more."
"Hey - doesn't that look like a rocket trail?" I asked, pointing to the sky.
Elizabeth and Georgia craned their necks up at the sky.
"Just lay down already." I said. "You know you want to."
They did.
"You're right, Chrissa - this is nice." Georgia closed her eyes, forgetting about the rocket trail.  After we three laid down for a minute, we all slowly sat back up and kept talking.
"Well," said Elizabeth, "do either of you have any ideas for your costumes?"
"Whatever I do, I want to wear a trench coat." I said.  My sisters started laughing.  I smiled, but still asked "What?"
"In Florida?" Georgia asked. "You know how hot it gets.  Besides, were would you get a trench coat?"
"That doesn't matter!"
"Err, it kind of does." Elizabeth said, still laughing.  I joined in, and soon we all were laughing so hard that we were gasping for breath.  And what I said wasn't even that funny!
I guess that's one of the fun things about sisters.  You can laugh with each other, not at each other.
"Well, I'd like to go as a fashion designer, or maybe some kind of princess." Georgia commented while twirling a strand of her hair after we had recovered our breath.
We all talked for awhile longer, and then Elizabeth suggested that we walk around the park a little.  Georgia and I agreed.
I took some pictures of the grass by the fence.
This spot made me think of a tiny riverbed.
"What the lime peels!  Isn't this way cool?" I asked my sisters, pointing to leaves that almost looked transparent because of the sun.
"Fascinating." Georgia said, reaching out one finger to touch it. "This gives me a design idea ..."
"I'm afraid we need to go home now." Elizabeth sighed.
We grabbed our towels, and headed home for dinner.
How do you like to spend time in the outdoors?
P.S. What do you all think of Elizabeth's whole trick-or-treating situation?  I know some of you don't celebrate it, and that's fine.  I'd like everyone's opinion.