We were bored. REAL bored. “We” being my 3-year-old son and myself. The school day was over, our stomachs were full, the weather was crummy, and we had just about exhausted every activity within our house AND the tri-town area (Armonk, Chappaqua and Bedford as we refer to them). It was then, with fierce intent, the idea-heavens rained down upon us. Before we knew it, we were packing up bags of snacks, clothes and shoes suitable for any terrain, binoculars, a camera, and a pen with paper…we were going on a bear hunt.
Perhaps Michael Rosen, the famed author of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” got into our heads?
The car was packed and I found myself more excited about this adventure than any other we’d gone in the past. Why? Because I, mommy here, actually had NO idea where on Westchester’s green earth we were going to find a bear. Yes, a fake one…although I wondered at times if we would have more luck finding a real one? Anyways, off we went!
The sun shade was down and his binoculars were in full effect as we cruised towards Main Street. Never thought my child could be so silent on a car ride. Bless this bear hunt.
Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by carved wooden bears, I had a premonition that we might have a sighting if we headed towards Hickory and Tweed. After all, biking plus skiing = wildlife! The door made its’ familiar jingle as we entered and I secretly prayed that our first bear sighting was going to be just around the corner, literally. FAIL.
“Hi, can I help you find something?” a nice saleswoman asked as Spencer knelt down to focus his binoculars on a piece of dirt.
“Um yea. We’re actually looking for bears….,” I said.
Spencer looked up at me annoyed that I asked for help. He really wants to feel the hunt. I saw it in his eyes. That’s when the saleswoman and I locked eyes, she must have her own kids…she “got it”, and she “forgot” I asked for help as she motioned her eyeballs up the stairs (where they do rentals/ fittings).
“Momma, there’s no bears in here,” he said.
“Wait bud, let’s check upstairs!,” I replied.
Lo and behold, the carved wooden bear I was hoping to see. He stands tall. My son is beside himself. We document our first sighting with time and location, and snap his picture. I give the nice saleswoman a nudge as we walked out in pure elation and off we went to find our next “furry” friend.
This next one wasn’t so easy, BUT the powers of the universe have a funny way of showing us that they’re paying attention. Spencer NEEDED hot chocolate to carry on. He was just so exhausted and that was the only thing that could bring him the energy we needed to keep on trekking. Keeping in line with our animal hunt theme, we landed at The Beehive. He opted for whipped cream and I took a pass.
Now, this time for real, no help here, we get back in the car, I do the loopty loop to get out of the parking lot, and I hear and feel violent jeers coming from the back of the car.
“BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR,” my son screams excitedly.
Holy crap. Kid scared the freaking hot chocolate out of me. But he wasn’t lying and he sure wasn’t seeing things. There he stood, our next beautiful sighting; perched nicely above the westward parking lot. Anyone wondering how old a kid is before they’re capable of shedding joyful tears? Three. We jotted down the details from our second sighting, snapped his photo, and slowly regained normal heartbeats.
How were we ever going to top this?!!! I mean we went on a bear hunt and actually found a bear all by ourselves!
As I glanced into my rearview mirror, I saw the yawns coming. My hunting partner was starting to fade. It was 4 p.m. and if I let him fall asleep then, bedtime would be brutal. This is when you pull out your mommy tricks…
“Bud, we did so good today. I can’t believe we found TWO bears! Ice cream time?” I ask.
He stays up. Our bear hunt ends with us sitting on a cow licking ice cream cones for the day. A few days later, we decided to go on another wildlife hunt. As luck would have it our town is a hotbed of other wildlife including the Armonk Eagle and the Guardian Lions sitting outside of David Chen.
Can you help us find more animals in Armonk? Pack up your kid and your car and go and get your hunt on!