Snow At The Santa Barbara ZooDecember 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!!!