A breath of fresh air.

Sometimes we just need some fresh air.  There is something about spending time with nature that is soothing, and helps you find peace with whatever you are struggling with.  We really wanted to go camping (secluded style, not in a massive field full of tents), and although it is a cheap thing to do, we just couldn’t afford it.  I was really upset, annoyed, etc. but tried my best to stay positive and come up with an alternative.  We decided to take a walk at Castlewood State Park, and then a drive through Lone Elk Park instead.  Our walk was very beautiful, and the air was very crisp- just the way we like it.  There was a bench on one of the bluffs, so we sat down and just enjoyed the view for a bit.  We breathed in that beautiful fresh air and just talked, and although I still want to go camping, I didn’t seem to mind as much anymore.  It was very calming.  Afterwards, we drove through Lone Elk Park, and briefly got to seek some elk and even a bison in the distance!

I often find myself craving to spend time outside or be with nature in some way, which I take as a sign that I am carrying around too much stress and need to take care of myself.  So, take care of myself I did.

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A Classic “Emily and Artist Adventure”

The plan for Saturday was to go to and check out a local hot spot, World’s Fair Donuts.  And then, proceed to the Botanical Gardens which happens to be right near by.  Saturday mornings before noon, residents of the county or city get free admission, so we thought it would be a nice accompaniment.  The Artist has been craving doughnuts, and was looking forward to coffee and doughnuts “on the outside”.  As we were approaching, I noticed it was 11:30am and thought that maybe we should take the doughnuts to go so we didn’t miss the free admission.  But as we pulled in, we saw a huge sign in the window saying they were on vacation this week.  There was no way the Artist could spend the afternoon at the Botanical Gardens without coffee, or breakfast, and no way I could either (minus the coffee, I don’t drink it), and we didn’t have time to stop somewhere else or we would miss the free admission.  The artist has his mind set on take-out coffee so he suggested McDonald’s, for their $1 coffees, and I suggested we go to the zoo instead, as the zoo here in St. Louis has free admission, all day every day.  We got to McDonalds, and I thought…

Me- There won’t be any doughnuts or anything here to go with your coffee though.

The Artist- I will get a coffee and a burger instead.

Me- Hmm, are you getting lunch?  If you are, maybe I will too.

The Artist- Ok, you get a fries and drink combo.

Me- (we usually share the drink and fries, just to save the extra couple bucks, or sometimes get no combo at all, just sandwiches)  Ok, you know how I feel about fries though, especially McDonald’s fries.  I have the inability to share and I eat them like an animal.  But if you need a drink other than coffee, you can share mine?

The Artist- Oh I am going to get a combo too, I’m starving.  Oh!  Maybe I can ask them to substitute a coffee in the combo instead of a pop?!

Me- (laughing so hard I was crying and making a scene)

The Artist- People are staring.

And we place our orders.  And yes, the Artist got a burger and fries with a coffee.  And then we were off to the zoo.  The zoo is located in Forest Park, and the traffic in the park was horrible.  We were at a stand still so many times, there was no parking, cars were parked on the grass, up on curbs, it was a zoo in itself.  And before we knew it, the road began to leave the park.  We decided that it was just the time of day, since it was a little after noon.  Since we were close to home, we went home to print off some coupons for Dippin Dots ice cream, and grab a blanket so if nothing else, we could lay on the grass and have a mini picnic or something.  Then we headed back out a little while later.

Nothing had changed.  In fact, it was worse.  We took the first parking spot we saw and just walked all the way to the zoo.  Right inside the entrance was a funnel cake stand- obviously that had to be our first stop, especially since we didn’t get our long awaited doughnuts.  But that was about the highlight of it all.  The zoo was packed.  It took 10 minutes just to walk a few feet, and there were line ups to get even a little bit close to see the animals.  And we couldn’t find our way to anything, because the crowd was so intense.  I even went to 2 different Dippin Dots locations and neither would accept my coupon.  Ugh.  And to top it all off, I forgot my water bottle in the car, and was dying of thirst.

We made it back to the car and saw some trails in nearby, so we took a gander.  This was more like it.  Quiet and peaceful, just my artist and I walking and talking, and actually able to hear one another speak.  It would be nice to go back there for a mini hike and wear appropriate shoes and clothes, and not a skirt and these horrible flip flops that I should have thrown out years ago.  We had a nice time exploring together.  The artist amazed me once again with his curiosity, looking at all the different trees and leaves, and knowing all the names of them.  He has been learning about plants and gardening a lot lately, all stemming from our original first visit to the Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago.  I love listening to him talk and tell me about interesting topics, and I learn so much from it.  All the while, I am admiring his keen interests with a smile.  I know the Artist likes to play BolaBall, so I suggested we find a nice place to set it up and play, perhaps tomorrow, and bring a picnic, and enjoy the scenery.  Perhaps the zoo again on a weekday.  Crowds are not our thing, but they are especially not the Artist’s thing, and I thought he might like picnic and BolaBall idea better.  It was a winner.

We make such a great team.

As title says, this was a “Classic Emily and Artist Adventure”.  We seem to have these a lot.  But it also makes for great stories and humour, which we love.  Our day did not go as planned, but we sure had a great time.  For tonight: chicken and vegetable wraps for dinner (since it is only 5:30pm, obviously we will be eating a “second dinner”, perhaps an episode of Criminal Minds (I think I would make THE best profiler for the BAU), and the best company- each other.

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A classic move the Artist does...takes secret photos of me while I lag behind because I have sore feet, and walk slow.  And here, trying to keep my skirt from blowing open in the wind.

A classic move the Artist does…takes secret photos of me while I lag behind because I have sore feet, and walk slow. And here, trying to keep my skirt from blowing open in the wind.

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Telling me about the various plants around us.

Telling me about the various plants around us.

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Admiring the leaves of this plant.

Admiring the leaves of this plant.

"Must get more plants for the apartment!"

“Must get more plants for the apartment!”

A classic Artist thing to seek out and admire.

A classic Artist thing to seek out and admire.

Running up the hill to find the car and head home.

Running up the hill to find the car and head home.

And when we got home, the Artist of course gets straight back into his groove, and makes some art.



My most favourite sight to see. The Artist making art puts me in such a good mood. Seeing him engaged in something he is so talented with and passionate about, is moving. xoxo