Getting out of the rut, Day 3

18 10 2006

Something outdoors

hidden_sign.jpgIt is the middle of October, right? There are people in Buffalo who are still without power due to the gigundo amount of snow that fell overnight there last week. And yet here in F Bel, today it was 76 degrees and sunny. So Ethan and I packed a picnic lunch (well, Ethan really just stood on the other side of the baby gate and watched me, salivating, whining, looking pathetic, hoping I’d toss him a scrap) and headed out to Hidden Pond Park in Springfield.

I was a little nervous at first, since I’d never been to the park before and have a fear of getting lost and ending up on the Beltway, where I’ll inevidibly get attacked and eaten by the Wolverine claw. But we found it, no problem (after making a pitstop at Whole Foods for some Booty… because it isn’t a picnic without the Booty).

The first thing I saw when we got there: the playground (how is that different from a Tot Lot?). It was really big and fancy (gold-plated slides and everything) and had a lot of stuff to climb on, etc. And I’m positive that had it not been completely wet from the early morning rain (the ground was soggy… there were puddles at the bottom of the slides… DUH! I knew it had rained, what was I thinking?), Ethan would have had lots of fun burning some energy on it.

Instead, he got to get all excited and make his excited noise (his eyes get really big, his mouth becomes a perfect “O” shape and, while exhaling, he goes “OOH. OOH. OOH.” in a disturbingly manly voice) while I tried to explain to him that his mother isn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer or however that goes, and because it’s all wet we can’t play on it, but we CAN look at it. It’s pretty, isn’t it? See how it seems to shine and sparkle in the sunlight? Oh, that’s just the puddles reflecting…

But it was surrounded by plenty of picnic tables, perfect for picnic lunches (if you wait till they’ve dried), and there’s a tennis court a couple hundred feet away (if your baby knows how to hold a raquet). Mine doesn’t, so we were off to the nature center.

Along the way, we saw this sign:

hidden_warning.jpg

I quickly ran through all the stuff I’d left in the (locked) car: diaper bag, umbrella, container of Cheerio’s, baby toys, emergency package of Cheese-Its in the glove box (inspired by an episode of My Name is Earl when Randy and Earl are stranded in the car and have nothing to eat; I never want that to happen to me and I’ve taken steps to ensure that it doesn’t)… I figured we’d be okay since I had my phone, camera, wallet and keys with me- nothing of any real value left in the car. But if hooligans were lurking in the trees, waiting for me to get lost so they could break into my car, what was to stop them from just attacking me along the trail somewhere, since obviously (thanks to the Big Sign), I had all my valuables on my person?

The rest of the nature walk was spent in a state of paranoia. Every little sound I heard I was sure was a gang of hoodlums getting ready to jump out of the woods and attack. Little squirrels would scurry by and and I would lose it and throw acorns at them.

So I wasn’t too disappointed when we came upon a place in the trail that had stairs. Stairs? On a nature trail? Whatever. We turned around to head back (because even though he has a manly voice, Ethan doesn’t have manly strength, and therefore couldn’t push the big jogging stroller up the stairs… the STAIRS IN THE WOODS…) and along the way I noticed an abandoned Jeep. Just another victim of the hooligans, no doubt.

hidden_bridge.jpgEven though I didn’t have the greatest experience at Hidden Pond Park today, the park was beautiful and I feel like it has the potential to be really awesome. Plus, it really is hidden; set way back (in the middle of the hills (field?), is a funky little shack and I gotta get baaaack… glitter on the highwaaay… sorry) in some woods that I didn’t even know about, in the middle of busy Springfield. Its kind of cool to know that something so tranquil (tranquil when not being overrun with dirty rotten HOOLIGANS, that is) and beautiful exists in the city.


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