Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day in the City

A few weeks ago, I had the exciting opportunity to run the Chicago Half Marathon with my sister-in-law Domi as she completed her first half marathon. She says she is not a runner, but she trained all summer by herself and I was thrilled that she wanted me to run it with her. We got up early and made it to the race just in time before it started. She did awesome and finished without walking (her goal) in a good time. I was very impressed and so proud of her! Now, I have run a lot of road races in the past few years, but I am still learning new things and I learned something by racing with Domi. She does something that I have never been able to through the water stations. This is a major weakness of mine - I just can't run and drink water so I have to stop, walk and then drink. I watched her do it though and I learned from her. When I did my 20 miles, I used her technique and was very happy with my improvement. I hope I can do it during the marathon too. So, you never know when or from whom you will learn something. So, thank you and Congratulations on a great race Domi - I am so proud of you!!

Unfortunately, Paul and the kids could not come down to watch us because Paul was teaching Sunday school in the morning and then Ben had soccer pictures. But after the pictures, they came down and met up with me as we went to see our good friend Nick, who lives in the city. We had a nice cookout for lunch at his place and then walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo.   This was the view on our short walk from his place to the Zoo...


Just a great shot of the beautiful city of Chicago on a gorgeous fall day.

We have never been to the Lincoln Park Zoo and it was great.  First of all, it is free.  Secondly, it is in the middle of Lincoln Park so you can just walk in and see these great animals in their beautiful exhibits with the backdrop of the city behind you.  The weather was perfect and we just really enjoyed the day.  We saw a lot of gorillas and apes, which are always interesting to watch.  We also saw a Chimpanzee poop, step aside, pick it up and then eat it.  It was disgusting, but the kids thought it was hilarious.  Juliette especially found it funny and she continues to mention it on an almost daily basis.  "Mom, remember when we saw that guy eat his poop?"  We have to remind her it was not in fact a guy, but an animal.  Yeah, fun conversations after that...

Look what other exotic animal we found at the zoo...

Mr. Nick helping Juliette see the jaguar.

Then we went on the merry go round.  Juliette will only go on these if she can sit in a "sled".  Abbey was a bit nervous at first too, so I sat on the sled with the girls while Nick stood by Ben.

Abbey quickly decided (after it started going of course) that she wanted to sit on an animal as long as I held her hand, so I moved between her and Ben and Nick sat with Juliette (who did not want to sit alone).

It's hard to see in this picture, but Ben gives this a big thumbs up!

Juliette was very interested in this little snake.

And we got to see a black bear up close - right on the other side of that glass from the kids!

It was a really great day.  I wish it hadn't taken us all summer to get down to the city to do this, but I am sure we will go back again.  Thanks for inviting us Nick!!
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