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A Surprise Zoo Visit

Hello Tuesday night. I was looking at the calendar and somewhere just after October 2nd I think I hiccuped and wound up  at the last week before NOVEMBER and all the crazy that comes along with the end of the year.

Ben and I took a long weekend off from work (Friday/Monday) to reap the benefit of two shorter work weeks. I needed a break to recharge and just get some fresh air. We wanted to get away and do something that would be fun but not horribly expensive and decided on a little road trip and exploration while working on some more of our geo-caching game.

Our first stop was to work on the Chippewa Falls banner. First things first, Ben wanted to visit the Leinenkugel brewery. It was a trip down memory lane because Ben and I visited the factory and went on a brewery tour when we were dating all the way back in 2011.

Then (2011):

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Now:

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Isn’t that one of the joys of having pictures – to be able to look back in time and see yourself years earlier? We appear to change so little from day to day but it happens! I think it’s called getting older…

After we emptied our piggybank on new beer clothes for Ben we were off to finish the geo-mission. What I love most about playing Ingress is that the missions take you into all these fun areas of cities that you would never know existed if you were just a casual visitor. we get all around town exploring fun places – like a beautiful park on our warm Fall afternoon.

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There was a small wedding taking place in a nearby pavilion so we quickly moved past and were instead able to get out and walk around some of the trails. It was a fun resting spot to stretch our legs and take in the colors.

The park was so nicely maintained and it was large for the size of the city. There were lots of play areas for the kids, walking trails, cooking areas and people out enjoying themselves.

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I don’t think we could have picked a better weekend to have ventured out. Plus we got really lucky with the colors being at or close to peak.

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Happy explorers:

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As we packed up and moved on to hit some other park locations, I jumped out of the car to hit a plaque on the side of a long building. I couldn’t reach it from the sidewalk and had to find an entrance in the fence, but I was so concentrated in what I was doing that I didn’t really pay attention to WHERE I was…

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That is, until I looked up and saw a porcupine staring back at me:

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As it turns out, Chippewa Falls had a really cute mini zoo open and free to the community. In Green Bay we have to pay to go to our local zoo but here it was wide open and people were free to wander by the cages and check out the small display of animals.

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I motioned for Ben to park the car and we detoured to walk down the path and see the animals. It was a quick viewing because some were hiding mid-day, so we got back in the car, drove about 20 feet when Ben said “was that a bear?”. And we stopped the car again.

Yes Ben, it was a bear.

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And a tiger too! (or two)

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We saw hyenas and a small group of buffalo – including an albino buffalo! It was amazing and so uncrowded. I loved that they offered something like this in the city and we found a collection box to make a donation. I wish more places had something like this. It was such a cool and welcome surprise on our way out of the park!

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We ended up spending our first night in Eau Claire, about 20 minutes from Chippewa Falls. I was able to meet up with my friend Jeff and we enjoyed a nice dinner together before hitting the hay. You wouldn’t think sitting in a car all day would tucker you out, but maybe that comes from being old too. Ha Ha

More to come from our mini adventure, stay tuned!

 

 

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