Thursday, January 8, 2015

ZooLights 2015

If the rest of 2015 goes anything like my New Year's Day, I have a lot of brunch, quality friend time, city exploration, and takeout ahead of me. I'm okay with that.

One very important thing I did (and it required me to stray from my January 1st tradition of not leaving the house) was seeing Lincoln Park's ZooLights before they were taken down for season. In years past, Jesus and I have gone sometime in early December, as a way to get into the festive spirit, but it wasn't in the cards for 2014. I blame the shorter Christmas season and having a boyfriend who works in retail.

Either way, what is usually a priority for us turned into a "Eh...we can always go next weekend or the weekend after that" ...until there was only one weekend left. Then we got serious. We bundled up, said sayonara to the couch, and miraculously found street parking a few blocks from the zoo.
Along with lots of other families out for the day, we made our customary loop: ice carving and seals, the cat house, small mammals and amphibians, primates (one of my favorite parts), and an extended walk around the outdoor areas (this year we saw camels). The Christmas lights didn't feel out of place, and suddenly we were in festive moods again. Or fresh new year moods.
On our way out, we paused to take in a view of the skyline over the river. It felt right to be standing out in the cold, dreaming of the Chinese delivery we'd soon order. I don't know about Jesus, but I was ready and excited for 2015. Maybe we'd started a new tradition--celebrating holidays in January.
The thing about ZooLights isn't so much the zoo part or the lights part, it's knowing I'll go with the same guy every year for as long as we live in Chicago. It's reminiscing about things we've seen previous years while making new memories of the sights and sounds around us. It's having something to ground us, whether during the rush of the holidays or in the quiet wake of them.
2015 Resolution: teach Jesus how to smile for pictures.