Our family vacation this year was a very short one. Since we took 6 weeks at the end of 2013 to go spend time with my husband’s family in the states, he did not have much vacation time left over this year. So all through summer, we made the most of our week-ends : I little hiking day here, a trip to Montreal to see my sister there… But this week-end was special. In a continuing effort to simplify our daily lives, we opted for an “experience” kind of birthday present for our daughter this year.
4 years old is a magical age for many reasons, my favorite being that this is around the time children start really remembering things, events and places. I know that some of my first very vivid memories are from that age and we had promised ourselves that when we would get there, we would start visiting new places, experiencing new things as a family.
And this time, it wasn’t just new for them, but for us as well. For a girl who has traveled the world, I sure have some work to do when it comes to discovering my own province. So after a day of slowly traveling North, going through the Laurentian Natural Reserve and taking a long leisurely drive around Lac-St-Jean, we settled at the hotel for an evening of relaxation and preparation for a full day at St-Felicien’s Zoo Sauvage. We were there at the opening (at 5’C / 41’F weather) ready for action. We got to see all the animal feedings and took a train ride around the wild safari part of the park. This zoo is amazing because they have practically no indoor exhibits. Being opened 12 months out of the year, all animals there are either domestic or from areas of the world with similar climates like mountainous regions of the world or the plains and steppes of China and Mongolia. All enclosures are vast and natural. A few, like the polar bears and seals, are a bit more man-made to provide them with deep enough pools for swimming, but other than that, the entire site is one HUGE natural reserve and it,s sometimes hard to say where enclosures end and start. Aviaries are open and you can step inside with bald eagles and snowy owls. It was just wonderful.
My daughter kept gushing, insisting every animal was her FAVORITE and left saying she wanted to work at a zoo one day. That melts a mama’s heart.
So after 4 hours of straight driving last night, we came home and within an hour the kiddos were passed out. Not long after that, mama and papa were dead to the world as well.
In 2 days, my daughter’s 4th turn around the sun will come to an end. It’s a big week of celebration and growing up. Before my eyes, she’s becoming a young lady. I’m both thrilled and a little nostalgic. But I love watching her walk this path of life.
Hope everyone had a lovely week-end!