Question: What could inspire a deprived late-sleeper to set her alarm on a rare day off to get up and haul three kids more than an hour away for an Easter Treasure Hunt at the zoo? An outdoor zoo? On a rainy, 40 degree day?

A) Free Doughnuts
B) Ewan McGregor
C) The chance to spend time with some very good friends.

The answer is C. Although I’d go pretty far for free doughnuts. And Ewan McGregor. And if both of them had been at the zoo along with my friends, it probably would have been the best day of my entire life. Especially if Ewan had fed me the doughnuts. But instead it was just a really good, but cold and rainy day with my friends.

Easter bunny

And the Easter Bunny.

Reptile

Also some reptiles.

Snake

Very friendly reptiles.

For the record, I don’t need my reptiles to be friendly. In fact, I prefer them to be a little snobby and stand-offish.

The Easter Treasure Hunt worked liked this: Each child got six tickets and a basket. Throughout the zoo were stations where they could cash in their tickets for treats which they stored in their baskets.

The first station was near the otters.

Jump in the water!

See them there above the water?

Swimming otters

Look! They jumped in.

Look at the otters

And they showed off a little.

My mom and the little girls

There’s my mom. Thank God for her. If she didn’t come along with me to stuff like this, I probably would have lost a kid by now.

Next we saw the kangaroos.

Kangaroos?

And wallabies.

Kangaroo

They looked so sweet and cuddly. Like you could just hug and nuzzle them. You can’t do that, though. The zoo people get really upset if you try.

After that, we were freaking cold. But we pressed on, because we’re hardcore.

Playgroup friends

Okay, the grown-ups were cold. The kids were having so much fun, they didn’t even notice it was cold. Or wet.

Lucy at the zoo

Well, Lucy noticed a little bit.

Lucy and the heron

But she still had fun. We all did.