I find that the best days are those that happen spontaneously; no preparation, no real course. This is just what happened to us this week and though it started with something a little aggravating, we made it into a positive.
Let me take you on the journey of how we ended up in another State. Early one day, I sat down to get some work done, a light breeze blowing in through the nearby open window. A bright sun shone into the house, giving everything that gorgeous golden hue. Overall, it was a day that pointed toward wonderful weather; a pleasant warmth that would heat up as the day went on.
Around two hours into my work, of which I had a rather light load for the day, I’d noticed my husband sent me a message I hadn’t opened from the day before. Surprised, I noticed that it pertained to the raspberry picking event I had hoped to attend sometime early in July at one of our favorite “you pick” farms. They would open that day!
Of one thing I was certain: people would flock quick! So, taking off the rest of the day, I decided to take the husband and the kids all the way to the farm to grab some fresh raspberries since strawberry picking had been rather slim. As I prepared to leave, I could practically taste the raspberry jam that I would make when we came home.
That was not to be.
Imagine the disappointed that we felt together when 9 minutes before we arrived, and the drive is a little over an hour, the farms posts that they are out of raspberries! Now, I am not an expert, and though I’ve been on a farm, I clearly don’t own one, but you would think they’d have held off if there were not enough raspberries to even last a day. Heck, they didn’t even last three hours from the moment the post was made!
By then, we’d found ourselves a little over an hour away from home, with three kids who’d had expected raspberry picking, and at the very least to be able to get out of the car they’d been strapped into. Our youngest is still not such a fabulous traveler, so that made us all the more cranky.
Last minute I made a decision: we’d cross the border! With the next phase of reopening looming closer within our own State of Illinois, I figured we could make the small trip to a nearby zoo across the border. And I have to say, it was a great decision.
Not far away from the farm, we found a small zoo and theatre and though the theatre part was closed, we were able to take a look at all the animals. The boys loved feeding the small parakeets that flew around in one area! They even had a small petting zoo with goats and donkeys who were rather forceful. So forceful, in fact, that our middle boy practically climbed right up into my arms as high as he would go. He was clinging on to me so tight, I could have let him go and he’d hang there like a monkey!
Once out of the (scary; according to the middle) petting zoo, we took a walk around the zoo and were able to snap a couple of cute family pictures. We even found out where the parrot Echo from America’s Got Talent performed and most likely will again as soon as we are able to gather in larger crowds.
Though the drive home was longer than planned, the memories that we will share from a day like this are priceless. We found a small destination that was well maintained, with the friendliest staff you could find, that did everything in their power to maintain the safety of the animals and their visitors.
We came home spent and ready for the dinner date we’d had set up for that night, ravenous despite the snacks that I’d brought along for the trip. It’s impromptu days such as this that I always treasure and recommend others do as well. We have all been cooped up a little too long, and with the proper precautions in place, every family can have just as much fun.
Planned vacations are nice, but since a planned vacation is not in the cards for 2020, I hope that more days such as this happen.