New Year, New Outing

We try to do something as a family when the New Year starts.

I don’t remember exactly when we started doing this…5 years ago?

We tend to travel to St. Louis to do this family fun-fest because it offers a plethora of activities to choose from and it’s only two hours south from the farm.

Chicago is three + hours away (the + includes all of the ridiculous traffic that occurs) and since it’s in the northern land, the weather can be dramatically colder in winter than St. Louis.

And parking is way cheaper in St. Louis than it is in Chicago.

So, the New Year happened a week ago and the kids go back to school tomorrow for the second semester.  We hadn’t done our New Year adventure yet, so we headed to the zoo yesterday.

We do need to do a weather check before we head out for a New Year outing.  It is winter and you never know what’s going to be happening with the temps and the winds and the precipitation.

If it’s to be super cold or windy, we will go to a museum.

If it’s seasonally cold, yet the sun is out, we may go to the outdoor ice rink.

Yesterday was a warm day for winter (the temps were in the mid 50’s), the wind wasn’t blowing, and the sun was out at times.

The zoo won!

We hadn’t been in a while (we were members a few years ago and went quite often as it provided us with free parking and free sea lion shows and stuff like that) and the Grizzly Bear area was being revamped for a few seasons and it was finally completed in 2018.

The St. Louis zoo is a free zoo and it has a lot of hills on the eastern side of the park.  You will certainly get your steps in at the this huge animal park and you’ll work you glutes and calves!

I believe my step counter on my phone logged close to 12,000 steps yesterday.  Yes!

Since it was a warm winter’s day, the animals were very active.  We heard the Lions roaring, we saw the Cheetah Cubs (they have 8 one year old Cheetah cubs) chasing each other and wrestling and making squeaking cat sounds when they were rough-housing with one another, the four African Wild Dogs (who are usually sleeping when we are visiting) were having a game of chase, the Grizzly Bears were out near the pool, we saw the Chimpanzees walking around outside (one even came up to the window and took a poo right in front of the gawking humans), an Orangutan ran down the hill right in front of us and did a rolling somersault (adorable!).






The only disappointment we had was that Kali the Polar Bear was missing.  He’s usually always outside, but he was no where to be seen…sad.

We got to the zoo at noon, ate lunch and walked around for a bit.

After a recharge from Starbucks a few hours later, we headed up the hills and I think we saw everything except the monkey house and the lizard house.  We were staring to get pooped, so we missed those two areas.  People in the group were complaining of sore feet so we headed home 3 1/2 hours after we arrived.


Another fun start to the New Year for us.

The kids spent a week of their holiday break in Houston visiting their cousins with Grandma and Grandpa.




I did manage to go North for a few days right at the end of 2018 to visit a few gal pals…Man-Farmer had to stay home because he had to feed the crew in the barn.  If my dad (Grandpa) is out of town, we can’t really go out of town.  He is our second in charge if we are out of town.  If he’s out of town, we don’t go anywhere.



I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2019.   I do not try to make any concrete resolutions in a New Year, but I do like to give myself some things to “work on”…this year my things to “work on” are…

-get in some regular exercise

-be nicer to people

Two things should be manageable, right?








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