Today we returned to Forest Park Nature Center, the same woods we explored yesterday. They were offering a free program called Eagle Day. There was a little lecture about bald eagles in Illinois, and then we got to see a live bald eagle with his handler. The program was enjoyable, perhaps a little long for the boys, but they did a good job of sitting quietly despite their boredom.
After the program ended, we hit up the trails. We ended up hiking in the woods for AN HOUR AND A HALF. We didn't really mean to do that. We headed out without a plan, we let the boys lead the way, and we really don't know the trails out there very well. So we just kept going and going and going. Those are some long and hilly trails back there. Beautiful, though.
I kept thinking the boys were going to have a meltdown because we were walking so long and there was no end in sight. On the contrary, Theo absolutely amazed us with his endurance. He practically sprinted the entire time. We had to keep calling after him, telling him to wait up. After about an hour Simon did start talking about how tired his legs were. But I was so proud of us all. Nobody started to whine or complain. Simon was tired but we made jokes about the situation instead of complaining, about how we were professional hikers who were going to hike forever.
It turned out to be a great morning, but I did feel a little silly / irresponsible out there, walking for so long and having no idea where we were. Next time I will grab a map at the nature center. Maybe someday I'll know the trails well enough that we won't need one. That would be awesome.
So, we officially have a week of daily outside time under our belts. I feel fantastic. The weather has been so dreamy that it almost feels like we've been cheating. But we've got a habit established. If real Illinois winter decides to finally show up, we'll be okay. We've got momentum going now and we won't be stopped!