Jacksonville Arboretum

Joya and I went to the Jacksonville Arboretum today for a walk around the Live Oak Trail.  It’s only about a half a mile long, but there are several gentle uphills and downhills that allow a one year old to practice trail walking.  Joya walked a good portion of it, but reached a point where she just didn’t want to walk anymore.  When she reached that point, she demanded I carry her.  Every time I tried to put her down to walk herself, she grabbed my neck like a great white clamping his jaws around a seal.  Suffice it to say I ended up carrying her for most of the walk.

The pictures above (R-L, Top to Bottom):  Joya posing while standing on one of the park benches along the trail; Joya and Buddy Bison on a gopher tortoise carved from the trunk of a camphor tree; Joya after falling down — this is her standard response to falling, “daddy, wipe off my hands, I’m not moving until you do”; Reading a sign for one of the trees located in the arboretum; carrying Buddy Bison through the arboretum; and at the end of the trail, I put her on a picnic table to take her picture with Buddy Bison — you can see that she disagreed with that. “Launch the Bison!” is what I think she tried to say before I got pelted with a stuffed bison.

Unrelated to our trip to the arboretum is a funny story from yesterday.  I went to the bathroom and thought that I had closed the door behind me.  As I was standing there, I hear a scream and then the door flew open and in charged Joya with a shirt in her hand she had dug out of the laundry.  The next few minutes were me playing goalie with the toilet (while still trying to maintain aim) as she tried to throw the shirt into the toilet.  Unable to get around me, she then attempted to shove the shirt between my legs into the toilet.  I stopped her, fortunately, though I thought for a couple of minutes I was going to have to fish a shirt out of the toilet — a thought I did not relish.


A few notes on this entry:

  • I hyperlinked the Jacksonville Arboretum, the Live Oak Trail and Buddy Bison in case anyone wanted to read more about them.
  • Jacksonville Arboretum is located very close to the house and has trails that, while moderate in intensity, Joya can manage, though there are a few areas where she needed assistance (i.e. daddy got to carry her).  
  • Buddy Bison is a project of the  National Park Trust.  I have one, too, though I’ve been remiss in taking pictures with him.  I’m thinking of designing simple little patches for Joya and me to attach to our respective Buddy Bison.  This way we can tell them apart and we can each get unique pictures with our own, personalized Buddy Bison.  If you are a hiking fan, National Park fan, or just like to go out into nature and preserve it, I recommend purchasing a Buddy Bison.  They’re $9.95 and they support a good cause.  And you can take pictures with him.  What’s not to like about that?  There’s even a Facebook page


  1. Mike · January 26, 2017

    Awesome story!


  2. Kimberly Wantulok · January 26, 2017

    Thank you for sharing with us! I love my Joya Marie! It’s nice to see the pics of the park too…


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