Tag Archive: horse

Today we visited the Riverbank Zoo in Columbia, SC. The girls rode ponies and saw a hatchling flamingo.  They also sang with monkeys, fed goats, petted tortoises and heard a tiger MEOW.  (And I even had the opportunity to see several leopard sharks up close and personal).  The zoo is also somewhat self-sustainable with massive gardens full of veggies and herbs.  

This was our first visit in the daytime to the neighboring city to the south and I was impressed with how tropical it felt.  In only an hour and 45-minutes, we went from the mountains to a place that felt much like Florida with its native vegetation unlike anything I had seen before, as varied and bountiful as the tropics (there was a tree with leaves far larger around than the length of my hand).

The all-time cutest exhibits were the koala bear and meerkat habitats.   The koalas were napping and had curled themselves up comfy into the arms of tree-branches.  One meerkat took a fascination with me and I swear behaved as if we were doing a Vogue photo-shoot.  

When asked what the girls enjoyed most, for the older two it was the pony trail-ride (although milking the fake cow was right up there).

Our littlest giggled when the goats literally climbed the fence to eat out of her hand.  They were sweet-natured and beautiful goats with shaggy colorful coats.  And what personality!  

We crossed a bridge over the Saluda River (Columbia marks the convergence of the Broad and Saluda) and saw the old stone foundation of a bridge that was burned during the Civil War.  In the peace and shade on the other side, we rested (and remembered the automatic features of my camera).

Afterward, we visited the elephants, giraffes and the sea-lion a little boy emphatically suggested we see.  I was certain the elephants were Asian elephants for their size, but through the crowds, I read something about Africa on the signs.  We were on some kind of deck above the enclosure, so perhaps the elephants appeared smaller.  Regardless, they were gorgeous creatures caught red from bathing in the Carolina clay.  

And how difficult it must be for a giraffe to eat grass when it feels so inclined!  We saw first-hand how they do it.  

We concluded our day with a visit to Erick’s uncle’s 18th century stagecoach house where the girls enjoyed tractor rides around the property while we sat on the front porch sipping iced-tea.


The weather is finally meeting my expectations of what it is like living in a southern climate.  It’s frickin’ hot.  I maintain a teensy weensy pony-tail to keep my hair up off my neck and I have my first real sunburn of the year.  Ouch!  Really, I love the heat and enjoy getting up early and being able to walk outside in sandals.  I also love the deep green of every horizon; leaves thickening to soak up abundant sunlight.  And in the south, the sun is far more intense than up north – every time I walk outside, it feels like I’m walking into a dream.  Often, I’m heard mimicking a maguey, “Bright light!  Bright light!” 

The girls have gotten into self-portraits on the mac, so I often find little surprises like the following: 

Sunday, we all gathered down at Erick’s uncles for some outdoor fun.  We played horse-shoes, badminton full-contact hide-and-seek, and touch football.  Kennedy kept calling a “cuddle,” and couldn’t understand why we cried laughing each time she did it.  I’m still trying to picture a bunch of broad-faced footballers yelling “Cuddle!”  I think it would make the world a better place overnight.


Lucy sat out touch football most of the time, but kept score for us.  She and Celli would periodically appear in the game adding a new and exciting element to the game.  We quickly dubbed our new players, “trippy gremlins.”