Wines and Tigers and Pandas! Oh, my!

Do you come back from vacation needing a vacation to recover from your vacation? How about from the weekend needing another weekend to recover? Whew! What a weekend!

More accurately, whew! What a Sunday!

Our Austrian exchange student wanted to join us for church Sunday morning. He rolled up his sleeves with the EYC (Episcopal Youth in Community) to prepare a meal for the homeless shelter. Then came the service which was more formal and more musical and more populated than his small Lutheran church back home. He even managed to sing a few stanzas in the hymns but took Communion without touching the chalice. Our church is decidedly low-church on some things; we take the chalice from the server to drink.

We made plans with another exchange family in our parish to do a joint outing after lunch, something fun for everyone, kids and adults included. Some things are the same regardless of where you are. Take the zoo for instance. Wonder at the animals is universal. Off we went to the zoo all crammed in our gas-guzzler, one too many for the seatbelts. Thank goodness the father and son from the other family didn’t go with.

On the first really nice day of spring that just so happened to be a Sunday, everybody and their brother decided to go to the zoo. Parking was a bear. The premium of a $20 flat rate to park in the closest-in parking lot didn’t seem like an extravagance. If only they charged admission at the zoo! Maybe the number of bipeds and strollers and toddlers-on-leashes would have been lessened.

As it was, viewing the panda meant standing six deep and waiting for the batteries to run out on the front row’s digital cameras in order to move up to the rail. Oh the joys of living in a tourist mecca! But we made the pilgrimage. Good thing I can prop my feet up while I type this blog.


  1. Right on, as my hippie mother would have said, to preparing meals for the homeless.

  2. Sounds like all in all a very good day!

  3. Seems like an awesome day to me, crowds and all. (And I usually hate crowds!)

    Love the Easter background too!