Once upon a time, my mom and I went on a mother-daughter trip to New Mexico. I have a whole a lot of fond memories of that trip, including -I’m ashamed to say- me acting like a butt. I remember missing my boyfriend at the time most miserably and pouting; and to be fair, I also had a cold.
Texas was long. It always is when you’re driving through it. But I remember getting to New Mexico and those pastel- colored hills. I remember this awesome little inn we stayed at in the middle of nowhere. It was a little adobe colored hotel. Each room was an individual cabin, quite small but so so cute. The food was awesome. I remember having this amazing soup in a bread bowl. Most importantly, I remember the way the air felt. It felt crisp, clear, and kind of like freedom. I want my kids to have memories like that.
With some of Stella’s issues, we’ve had to be a bit conservative with family activities. I think we’re still all a bit shell-shocked from our beach trip in September and how traumatic that was. I’ve been desperately wanting to get my kids up to see my grandfather in Mississippi, but I’ve been terrified to attempt a 4 hour drive with them (not to mention unfamiliar accommodations, missing school, etc..).
So flash back to Saturday morning. We were trying to decide what we wanted to do as an outing that day since the weather was supposed to be cooperative. We went through the normal list of stuff we do, many of which is somewhat complicated by Mardi gras activities. We don’t really do Mardi gras, so we kind of “forget” it’s happening. Out of the blue, Will suggested the zoo – the New Orleans Zoo.
I’d never been and my initial reaction was no way – too far, too new, too expensive, too much without a “plan.” We went anyway. Do you know what? It was an awesome day. Truly awesome. There was not one screaming outburst in the car either coming or going. Felix is always a trooper. That dude just loves to be out and about. Stella had a couple of minor tantrums, but they were quick and she redirected easily. And after all: 3 year olds just act like jerks sometimes.
The zoo was really nice. I’d actually never been in all the years I’ve been here. They had 4 mountain gorillas and a komodo dragon, for crying out loud. Stella got to ride a carousel for the first time ever. (THE major tantrum of the day came when she couldn’t climb right on and had to wait for the ride to start, the other kids to disembark, and she and her father to climb on and claim the lion she had chosen to ride.)
Long story short, this trip gave me hope – that we really are improving and will be able to do more stuff like this – even farther away and more exotic. In the meantime, however, I shall bask in these awesome memories and photos.