Clara and I made it to Florida yesterday after a wonderful visit in Quincy and a day at the zoo with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Alan. Earlier that week, on Christmas Eve, the cousins posed prettily for the requisite cousin picture. Poor Owen was getting a little toasty next to the fire.
Clara adores her older cousins. She thinks they’re hilarious and know lots of tricks that involve animal impersonations and round objects.
Christmas Eve is not complete without caroling. Clara insisted on accompanying since “jingle” still isn’t part of her vocabulary.
Here’s the audio version. Who can resist the sound of little girls singing?
Little sweet thing sitting in front of all the unopened presents Christmas morning.
We went to St. Louis a day early to go to the city’s awesome free zoo with Grandma and Grandpa. Clara was enthralled with all sorts of creatures that don’t make it up to the Arctic, including katydids and butterflies.
There was this bronzed gorilla and a real gorilla, too, and the real one beat his chest mightily for us. Primates really are a sight. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Fox News at my parent’s house, but this guy below looks awfully presidential to me. I’d vote for him.
Then there was this weird camel. I don’t remember camels having hairy chests when I was a kid. Or bowed legs, but he posed graciously for lots of pictures. Clara was in awe of every animal at the zoo, especially the zebras and donkeys.
Our happy grandparents! Go Cardinals!
The monkey house was a big hit, too.
After a day at the zoo, Aaron and I said our farewells and ate our free hot dog and baked potato dinner at the Drury Inn. Aaron drank his free beers. Then, Clara pranced around the hotel room from midnight until four a.m., fell asleep for an hour, and then wailed for two hours after I exacerbated her sleep deprivation by insisting she catch the flight to Houston with me. Houston was foggy mess yesterday—so foggy the airport closed itself down for a few hours and routed us all to Austin and College Station. Clara and I sat in a commuter-sized plane for two hours on the Austin runway. Have you ever tried to sit on a non-moving plane with a two-year-old for two hours? If so, then you know that, more than anything, she wants to play with the flight attendant’s coffee pots and the guy in 15A’s Kindle. She also wouldn’t mind a tour of the cockpit. This is what I know about 0 percent visibility in Houston, TX: when in confined spaces, we want what we cannot have.
Because of the flight mess, our luggage didn’t make it to the house until this afternoon. While we waited for our clothes, Clara and I enjoyed wearing all of Grandma’s spare t-shirts, toga-style.
We finally got dressed and had a hearty bowl of split-pea soup for dinner. We’re feeling good. We’re riding tricycles in 75 degree sunshine. We’re snuggling with Grandma and reading our favorite books. We’re bringing in the new year with joy in our hearts.