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Our zoo missed us!

Now that we have been reunited, we decided to take some time off of work to spend together.  We thought we would add to our myriad of summer events (trips and weddings galore) by doing something wild and different, so what did we do?  We went to the zoo… on a Wednesday evening (they stay open late)!  As we have said before, and we still hold to be true – every trip to the zoo is different.  Tonight it wasn’t the tigers, the rhino or even the polar bear.  No, tonight’s craziness started with the hippo who, without fail, heads to his enclosure door nightly at 5pm, which is the usual closing time.  Jock the hippo has not figured out that Wednesday nights are longer during the summer, and after a disgruntled wait he returns to his pool and circles impatiently before trying the door again.  Perhaps some day he will catch on, but that will probably be the time when they return to the regular winter schedule.
Peazilla.jpgAlso special tonight was Peazilla’s visit to the prairie dog enclosure.  We have seen peacocks roam all over the zoo, but these were very different surroundings for Mr. Big Tail.  The prairie dogs thought so, too, and whenever he came close they went scurrying or dove into their holes.  There were plenty of warning cries as well.
And we had not yet experienced “enrichment” in the buffalo enclosure, Enrichment.jpgbut that was a serious highlight this evening.  That is, if you consider a large cardboard box filled with hay to be an item of enrichment.  Who said children were the only ones who appreciated a large refrigerator box?
Lastly, have you ever played “how many binturongs are in the tree?”  It’s a delightful game, and one that is not nearly as frustrating as waiting for the darn aardvark to move.  binturongsinatree.jpgWe are beginning to lose hope.  Actually, after tonight we are fairly certain that the animal does not move.  Tonight we waited for 20 minutes for a keeper to come open his door so that we could see him at least stand up to go inside.  But wouldn’t you know it… we walked away when closing time came but when, in a moment of weakness, we rushed back for a final look, he was gone!  We have decided that he spends all day sleeping on a specially rigged rock that is quietly lowered into his subterranean dwelling each night, and back up the next morning.  Ah well, there is always next time.


Wine country in Oregon...

For one final full day we are a country apart.  Jon played the piano at church this morning then went to work for several hours before going home to clean because he's such a wonderful husband.  winetasting.jpgCortney got up and had brunch with relatives before touring a couple of vineyards, and wineries for tastings.  Oregon is known for their Pinot Noir, a vibrant red that we both like a lot.  Though she didn't bring back any wine, she did bring back a pair of Reidel Burgundy glasses, which of course means we will have to find a good burgundy to try them out with.  Good thing we are going to a tasting here in Ann Arbor next week!  Mom H also got Jon a fantastic T-shirt, so that he wouldn't be left out.  It is a "wineocerous" shirt, sporting a rhinocerous enjoying the finer wines of life.  Something we would think he should wear to that tasting next week, if it wasn't a white shirt.  Ah well, maybe to the zoo instead!  Speaking of which, we haven't been to the zoo in several weeks, which means that a visit is overdue as soon as Cortney returns.


Still apart...

Cortney went to her family reunion today, Jon went to work.  Not really fair, is it?  In Portland the weather was warm and sunny while 50 or so Slaytons were reunited, or were meeting for the first time.  Cortney and her mom photographed each family and catalogued names of people they had just learned and didn't want to forget later.  famreunion.jpgThere was a lot of good food, and there were lots of stories to share.  Family reunions, in general, are fantastic and intriguing.  It is difficult to wrap your mind around the idea that you are, if somewhat distantly, related to all of these people.  It's also neat to think about what actions your ancestors took that separated everyone - Cortney's great-grandmother moved her family from Wisconsin to Oregon when her grandmother was a teenager.  Lucky for us, her grandmother then moved back to Michigan to marry her grandfather, but much of the rest of the family remained on the west coast... and the rest is history.  If nothing else, our genealogy research has gotten a big kick this weekend!  And there's only two more days to go...


A country apart

Thank goodness for free cell-to-cell minutes from Sprint.  We have been in touch with each other every few hours today.  Yes, that means that we actually communicated more today than we do on any normal workday when we are both at home.  In our defense, there was more to talk about!  Jon had a long day at work, getting a number of things done.  IMG_5644.jpgCortney toured the Columbia River Gorge along the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH) and hiked a mile up a cliff to the top of a 620 foot waterfall (if you look closely you will see Cortney, in green, and her dad, in yellow, posing right in the middle of the bridge before heading up the trail).  She also saw a 10 foot sturgeon (wow) at the fish hatchery, and a pair of osprey fishing in the spillway of the Bonneville Dam.  Jon and Curtis worked late into the night on music that they are composing and recording for a friend's film (almost forgetting to eat dinner).  Tomorrow (Saturday) will be just as busy.  Cortney has the reunion to attend and Jon will be working all day (and Sunday afternoon... that way he will be able to take time off next week so we can spend some time together), and collaborating again with Curtis to get the music done in time.  Only three more days to go!


Parting: not so sweet sorrow

We are 3 hours apart.  Actually, we are an entire country apart (Cortney is in Portland for a family reunion, Jon is at home working), but what makes the separation so striking is the three-hour time difference.  We have always gone to bed together; gotten up together in the morning; called each other during lunch breaks to check in; eaten together; gone to bed together again.  Of course, with cell phones it's not like we are out of contact (even though Jon has been too busy these recent weeks to bother with email), but it is difficult to coordinate our phone calls in a timely fashion.  Jon used the flight tracker widget on the laptop to make sure Cortney's flight landed safely, but by that time it was after midnight.   And Cortney called to "tuck Jon in," but that was at 1AM his time and 10PM her time, an hour and half late/early depending on who you talk to!  But while we miss each other, we both have busy weekends ahead and the time will fly.  And hopefully Cortney will be flying on Monday, but with the Northwest mechanics' strike.... well let's just say that we are keeping our fingers crossed.