Princess of the Ducks

A Day in the Life

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One day we decided to go to the zoo for our field trip, but Winter Hours foiled our plan. Usually we can only go to the zoo if some someone else comes to drive us. We tried to ride the bus there once, and it is technically possible, but it takes nearly three hours round trip so…. Anyway, our very sweet friend Rachel left us her car while she was on a trip so we tried to go to the zoo. And it was closed.
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Fortunately Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is sited within Point Defiance Park, which turns out to be the largest city park in the US, second only to New York’s Central Park. We love Point Defiance, and we don’t often get to play there, since if we’re able to make the trip we bee line to the zoo.
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Thirty degrees in January, but shoes were optional. We spent a long time at the duck pond which seems to have been completely taken over by some ornamental Asian variety. There were maybe a thousand of these lovely but invasive water fowl on the pond and the lawn all around, and it was better than bowling. We held hands and ran down hill into the midst of them, and they flew away in waves. The idea was to drive them all into the pond, and we more or less succeeded. The pictures of course don’t do it justice, but the pond was really something to see, just swarming with these unusual ducks.
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Eventually we moved along. Edie figured out the deer gate so we toured the barren rose gardens. She wanted to move into the gazebos permanently, but yet insisted that she was not any kind of fairy or sprite. I was a little confused. We found mounds of vibrant hellebore and the firstĀ  daffodil stems of the season, almost ready to open.
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Then of course we had to walk the Japanese garden around the restored Pagoda, which is easily the best of the gardens to visit in the winter. Here, the boots really became intolerable, because the Pagoda ponds are soooo beautiful. She had to stick her foot in it. We negotiated extensively, but it was apparent she was not ready to take me at my word. I told her it was her choice but I recommended shoes on. Edie is pretty tough about cold, and I am not, so she performed her experiment and proved she could tolerate cold wet feet in January… for about six minutes. We warmed back up with boots on in another gazebo with dancing to Who Loves Edie.

The ensuing nap was impressive.

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Jack and Jill

A Day in the Life

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One of the last days of summer, we set off for a run. Edie was really fast on the sidewalk and Gabe was really fast on the hill. We got up to the top of the hill next to the reservoir and looked out over our city and the mountain. It’s great when we can find playspaces mixed into the urban environment, because they tend to me more engaging than playfields or constructed spaces, and our imaginations get more exercise.

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Our bodies got lots of exercise too. Once we got around the reservoir, we discovered a great hill for rolling down. It had a lot of grass clippings and a bit of dew on it, but that just made it better for rolling down. We sang Jack and Jill over and over, and the little friends ran to the top to tumble down over and over too. Sometimes we were rolling sideways, and sometimes somersaulting. Always laughing.

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It was such good kid exercise and so much fun that we hardly minded taking a shower outside with all our clothes on and then changing into dry things in the entryway afterward.