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Making it up to our zoo

It wouldn’t have felt right to go to visit the animals in Toledo this weekend but not go say hello and “hey, we’re back in town” to our favorite critters at the Detroit Zoo.  whiterhino.jpgBesides, the capybara, prairie dogs and polar bear would miss us!  And the distance is about the same, so we plan to visit Toledo again, but the animals in Detroit are really our favorites (yes, we are aware that playing favorites is a big no-no, but what are you going to do?).  Besides, we keep figuring that the more times we visit, the more likely we are to actually see the Aardvark do something! (still waiting…)
But there is always something new going on there.  This time we got to see the anteaters attacking a log with their huge claws.  And we finally got to see one of the new white rhinos!  They arrived a few weeks ago and have been taking some time to get used to their surroundings before coming out to say hello.  We can’t wait to go back next weekend in hopes that the other one will be out, too! (and maybe the Aardvark.  Still waiting…)


Cheating on our zoo

Yesterday we abandoned our Detroit Zoo furries and accompanied some friends from church to the Toledo Zoo where they are members.  We loved the hippos, who have a large pool where we got to see them swim and play from a viewing area half under the water.  Did you know that hippos actually play when they have room? elephantnurse.jpg  We also got to see the baby elephant nurse which is a treat not often stumbled upon (again, this is why we visit so often... something new every time).  They also have cheetahs (one of our new favorites, since the babies in D.C,)!  Our favorite part, though, was probably the African Savannah, which is a very large field with multiple species co-existing (giraffes, antelope, guinea fowl, etc.).  We ate in the African village nearby and went on a safari (train ride) that went all the way around it for better views.  It brought back fond memories of the San Diego Wild Animal Park (by the way - if you’re ever in southern Cal, we highly recommend it).


Wedding #2

Woo hoo!  Another day without being lost!  wedding3fam.jpgWe got up early this morning and made it home by about noon thirty, which was good because then we got to take a nap before heading out for the second wedding of the weekend:  Kate and Alerk’s.  Once again, a fabulous wedding!  Alerk’s family is Indian and many of them wore traditional clothing and his cousins did a traditional dance after dinner.  Both ceremony and reception were held at the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, which is a wonderful house steeped in history.  It felt a little like The Great Gatsby; dancing in the ballroom and spilling out onto the terrace and towards the bar.  The only real difference?  The Indian techno music!


Wedding #1

Today was perfect for a wedding.  wedding2.jpgThe sun was shining, the clouds were scarce and the wedding itself went off without a hitch, except for that of the bride and groom of course.  The most stand-out part of the wedding was the music.  Because both Nathan and Diane are UofM music school alumni, they had both a brass and a string quartet set up on either side of the nave.  The groups took turns playing, collaborating on a couple of the pieces in a way that echoed throughout the church.  It was fabulous.  After Cortney took her history exam online in the hotel room, we went back to town for the evening picnic celebration, complete with fried chicken and square dancing!  The best part about the day?  We weren’t lost once!


Lost and Found

How many times can you get lost in a single day? We found out quite a few. We got out of D.C., no thanks to Mapquest’s poor directions and the heavy downpour. On the way to Harpers Ferry, we got nervous and, thinking we had missed our turn, went back the other way. Fortunately, we realized our mistake shortly and turned around again. At least crossing the Potomac River was very beautiful multiple times. harpersferry.jpgAt Harpers Ferry, we circled the park twice before finding parking because all the signs pointed in the wrong direction. The quaint buildings were enjoyable, and we even saw a fox casually cross the road.
We also made it to the site of the Battle of Antietam, one of the Civil War’s important battlegrounds. Some of the farmhouse outbuildings were the original structures, and it was interesting to imagine thousands of troops marching across the cornfields and down a cobbled ditch. antietam.jpgJon couldn’t figure out the map at the end of the driving tour, though, causing us another trip back and forth in the wrong direction.
Amazingly enough, we got to Wheeling, West Virginia with minutes to spare before Nathan and Diane’s wedding rehearsal. It was great to reconnect with a slew of old friends, many from the music school. The rehearsal dinner was at the First Capitol Building, which was the original seat of the government of West Virginia. Several bills of national importance were signed there, including the 14th Amendment. We can’t wait to celebrate with Nathan and Diane tomorrow. We wish them all the best!