Friday, May 17, 2013

Second Grade Field Trip

I took the day off work and became a chaperone for Elena's second grade field trip.  It started at the Safari Park (I had never been, but I asked about the terrain in advance), which was about 90 minute's drive from school.

The school rented a charter bus (with a bathroom--essential, and TV screens--this kids loved them) while the parents carpooled.  Elena had a special support for her feet so they didn't dangle while she sat in the bus seat.  She said she loved the bus.

I brought her wheelchair b/c the Safari park huge.  There is a paved animal area, where there were creatures of all types in good sized pens.  Monkeys, tortoises, farm animals, tigers, cheetahs, flamingos, servals, kangaroos--just all sorts of animals!  Elena decided to go on foot.  She wasn't as fast as the rest of her classmates, but kids were all over the place (in groups) and everyone was enjoying themselves.

E and Mom are Llamas

The second part of the Safari park was on a tractor ride.  Each person got a bucket of feed, and we could feed animals that approached us.  They were all pretty easy going (still dangerous due to size/teeth/horns/antlers) and we all loved it!  We are absolutely coming back so Jason and Vivian can have this experience!

E feeds a friendly Bison

Ostrich eggs are HUGE!

After the ride we all ate lunch and headed to our next destination--Natural Bridge.

E points out the attraction


Elena took a shuttle bus to the bottom of the Natural Bridge, meeting her classmates that had descended a lot of rocky steps.  Everyone then walked up to the Monacan Indian village display* and we had a fascinating discussion featuring Monacan Indians, and natural resources.  During the discussion, I offered my knee as a place for Elena to rest--she was very very tired, and looked like she might fall over (it was also pretty warm all day).  She wanted to walk the way back herself, but we were far behind and she looked unstable.  I gave her a piggyback for part of the way back--I thought she was going to fall asleep on me!

When we got back to the Natural Bridge, she walked again--the rest of the way to the shuttle bus.

Natural Wonders

I'm so proud of E.  She had lots of energy, her stamina was great, and she didn't have any bad falls.  Overall she stayed close to her group of peers, lagging just a teeny bit behind.  Her class is pretty awesome.  I got a great picture of them under the bridge--a great group of kids, all of them.

*One of the tour guides stopped me as I was leaving the village display to tell me "he had crutches just like Elena" when he was young.  He is 42, and has arthritis.

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