Friday, March 18, 2011

Family "Hike"

Gorgeous, gorgeous day! It felt like spring, late spring even. We spent every possible minute outside, even moved the highchairs out for dinner. So nice.

I felt like I missed spring and summer last year. I was sick all spring with 1st trimester nastiness then my thermostat cranked up during the hottest summer of my life (3 weeks at triple digit temps) - awful. I didn't go outside unless I was walking straight into the pool.

This year, I'm making up for it. We're hanging out in our awesome backyard, taking walks, hanging out at the playground, swimming at the beach (eventually). Even the bunny and bird get to kick around outside  for a bit (in their cages, that is).

So to take advantage of the weather, we decided to go on a family hike in North Caroline in a Cyprus Swamp - neat, right? Well, we got distracted and by the time the girls woke up from naps, and we ate and felt like leaving, we didn't have time for NC, so we thought we'd try out one of the many state parks on the Peninsula. Sandy Bottoms Nature Preserve was new to us, so that's where we headed.

Great visitor's center - live reptiles, big fish tank, turtles, clean bathrooms

Cool wildlife rehab center

Nice big pond... with turtles

But the trail. How do I say this? Well, let me just show you.

Here's Tim "hiking"

Here's I-64

I stood in the exact same spot to take these two pictures, merely turned my head 90 degrees. Not exactly a Walt Whitman inspired walk in the woods.

Here's Tim looking rather deflated about the whole highway 10 feet away thing.

I'm not saying I'll never go back. But it's the kind of place I'll take the girls during the week, when I need a convenient walking trail and a little entertainment for them.

In a giant leap for me (not much of a step for mankind), the trail had signs about every 1/4 mile talking about the endangered rattlesnake that lives there. I read the sign calmly and walked along without my toes curled and butt clenched suspect of every rustle. That might sound extreme, but I'm not exaggerating in the least. I have a thing about snakes (that I'm working to get over - not something I want to pass on to the girls).

But the saddest thing we saw - another family out "hiking." I know that should be nice, but it wasn't. Each of them had earbuds listening to individual iPods, parents included. So much for family time. I don't want to step onto this soap box, so I'll just say that's what's wrong with us!!! For so many reasons, that's what's wrong with American families. Please, for the love of your family, leave the iPod in the car during family time. You won't miss it. I promise. Even if the interstate is only 10 feet away...

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