Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer Travels, Part 1--Omaha Zoo and Newton Hills State Park

Here in Idaho we have awesome mountains and just vastly different land formations than the Midwest.  I do love the mountains and the rugged beauty of the West, but I also miss the farm and field landscape of Iowa.

The first stop on our trip was the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.  Seth had informed me last summer while we were strolling the animal barns at the fair in Boise that he had never seen a pig other than in books and insisted he had never been to a zoo.  Actually, he had been to the Henry Doorly Zoo and to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, but he was just too young to remember either of those.  I did sign him up this past year for the home school zoo days once a month which he loved, but he still was begging to go to the zoo "the older kids always talk about".  It was a hot, humid day, but we still had a great time.

 We were walking from the parking lot to the zoo entrance and Seth announced that he needed his inhaler.  "I just can't breathe," he explained.  In this high humidity we can't either, Buddy!  Nonetheless, we let him ride the tram to the far end of the zoo.  Caleb and Lydia were happy to join him.

A token animal picture

They even color coordinated for me!
The next destination (after a quick stop at Grandpa and Grandma Bleeker's house for towels and bedding) was Newton Hills State Park for the Herman gathering.  We stayed in two cabins like the one below for three nights and during the day played cards, board games, volleyball/Nukem, soccer, and bean bag toss.  One afternoon we enjoyed a cool dip in Lake Lakota.

Posing by our faithful Honda Odyssey

I thought this little barn swallow was so cute flying in and out of her nest at the picnic shelter.  She didn't seem at all afraid of humans in her "space".

The next generation.  She does look more like an Eriksen than a Herman, though.

A cousin and his wife from Russ' mother's side of the family was able to join us for an afternoon.

Grandma Beth with her little one.

Grandpa and Anna made a pretty stellar team.  I don't think they lost a game.

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