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Snow At The Santa Barbara Zoo

December 06, 2010 by Victoria Strong

We had an AWESOME day yesterday! Awesome! And we needed it. The Santa Barbara Zoo hosted their annual "Snow Leopard Festival" (you may remember we went last year). The Santa Barbara Zoo actually trucks in piles and piles of ice to create snow for a one day really special event. They build a sledding track, encourage snowball fights, give the animals snow to play with, and bring so much joy to so many beach-bound babies! The amazing staff at the zoo (and our friend Dean Noble) made sure we got to be there before the big crowds so that Gwendolyn would have a chance to truly experience this. (And it was a good thing because the line was around the corner!) We made our way to the sledding track with a lot of hopes, but were feeling unsure. We were a bit dubious because last year Gwendolyn was able to come off her BiPap and right now she just isn't up to it and we weren't sure sledding down a hill with a breathing machine was doable. But the wonderfully kind zoo staff found a large sled, encouraged us, didn't rush us, helped hold things while we got situated, and then, before we knew it, Gwendolyn was off down the hill!!! Our little dare devil was a bit stunned, but I could feel her little heart beating with excitement. And she gave a definite "Gah!" for a second turn. After round two of sledding, we decided to build a snowman together. He may have been a mini, mini snowman, but he was so cute! I think Gwendolyn's favorite part was throwing snow balls at Mommy and Daddy...she loved that last year, too!

Experiences like this truly mean the world to us. We talked a lot about the emotions of what an opportunity like this meant for us last year and while this is all still true, we found ourselves feeling less near tears and more of a rejoicing in the sheer joy. The joy of being in the snow. The joy of watching our child encounter newness. The joy of adventure. The joy of being a family and doing a family activity. And thanks to the thoughtfulness and hospitality of the Santa Barbara Zoo, we were able to have a magical very, very special experience! And we relished every second!!!

Talk About It

Oh good! I'm glad she enjoyed it! Nice work on the snowman, Strongs!
Posted by Jenny on 2010-12-06 09:14:07
So cute! Love all the winter gear. And that is the most adorable hand-held snowman!
Posted by Ronda Fallon on 2010-12-06 12:41:28
I love the minature snowman!!! What fun to have a snow day in Santa Barbara. --Mari
Posted by Mari aka "Thorney" on 2010-12-06 15:16:37
Yay! Snow in California is wonderful for Gwendolyn to experience!
Posted by Jessica on 2010-12-06 17:20:32
So great to see you all having a good time! : )
Posted by Kristen on 2010-12-06 20:05:30
I am thrilled that they do this, and even more thrilled that you guys got to go! LOVE this!!!!!
Posted by Devon on 2010-12-06 20:58:53
Ghirardelli is having SO many exciting experiences with his sweet Gwendolyn!! I know he is SO happy he is hers - and vice versa!! Good thing they both had on their warm, cuddly coats for their wonderful 'snow day'. On another note, I don't read Facebook, and never will, but nevertheless, I find it so incredibly sad that anyone could use a forum to attempt to create division and strife in a community that is so united and devoted to one goal - that a cure will be found that will allow all children to live happy, long, and healthy lives. I know, though, that negativity and cruelty cannot survive in the SMA culture and community of love, understanding, and strength. All good is challenged, and the challenge just strengthens the good.
Posted by Sheri on 2010-12-07 00:56:56
Way to go Strongs, you certainly know how to keep Miss G. happy.
Posted by Carol on 2010-12-07 21:59:57
AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! What a fantastic day! You guys are sooooooooooooo inspiring---you really make others think outside of the box. Miss G has the best parents ever!! Way to show everyone how to fun in Santa Barbara....I just love the fact that they brought snow in....too fun. I would gladly package some of ours up for you and send it your way! LOL smile Be well as always, Lisa smile
Posted by Lisa Prokopetz on 2010-12-09 18:54:34
This is so funny... I was just Googling "Snow in Santa Barbara" in images, and up pops my sweet Gwendolyn with a snowman! I may steal that photo for my blog.
Posted by Marina on 2011-02-25 15:20:10

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