Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
One day, my sister, my friend and I fed our addiction to local savings via Amazon, Reader Steals, Groupon and the like. Each of us equipped with a coupon--them electronically... and I, with my nostalgic piece of paper. We set off to go stand up paddleboarding.
My friend and I had never gone before. My sister, however, would be our best teacher. Basically, the instructions are stand up and paddle. We, the rookies, stood, mouth ajar facing a cute, blonde-haired teenage boy whose voice wouldn't carry louder than the winds and other nature dominating sounds. Still, we nodded pretending to not only hear but also grasp the concept. Only, the most important part of the lesson would be how to get on it.
Finally, we learned to get on our knees and stay in our safe, security blanket position. My friend kept paddling one one side, wondering why she was going in circles. After my sister and I taught her how to get out, and of course, after they fell a few times and I laughed underneath a cupped hand that covered my grinning face, we got to the middle of nowhere.
It was the perfect destination. We took moments to sit, face each other and talk about the realities from which we were trying to escape. I looked around often, trying to remember every detail, smell, look and sound. Then I realized I didn't want to think that much. I just wanted to be there.
Still, I remember a little. Beyond tall stalks of grass that were reminiscent of corn fields, there was a bridge. Cars on it zoomed by. It made us want to slow down even more. Their rush was inaudible. There were better sounds that day.
My sister was doing headstands on her board. She'd fall off over wakes from boats on the other side of the buoy. My friend fell, swearing she was sure to catch a disease because she was adamant the water was that dirty. More importantly, it felt good to be there, to know that the people I cared about were able to walk through the wardrobe doors with me and be in a place that made them feel better, too.
Eventually, we headed back. ..passed people fishing, passed people with pets on their board, passed a trampoline we swore we'd one day return to play on... some day soon.