(A bunch of these posts went up at the same time, so the timing here may be confusing. We ended up canceling our trip to Ecuador.) 

The countdown to our South American adventure is on! And we've been busy acquiring gear for our time split between the Amazon jungle and the Andes. You know that well-worn Thoreau quote: "I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes..."? We are ignoring that one. We're more Twain people anyway.

I was talking about our trip to a sales guy at North Face. I told him I was looking for pants to hike in the jungle. Which jungle, he asked. The Amazon, I answered, nonchalantly. So cool. He was impressed until I told him I was going with my young kids and staying in a lodge. Then I was just a mom going on vacation. Oh well.

Kyle has done all of his shopping on Amazon. When his stash arrived, he wasted no time getting suited up. New hiking hat, hiking socks, binoculars, and backpack.

He does look dashing and adventurous. The kids also got binoculars and hats, so after school they suited up in the parking lot and went hiking at Radnor Lake. We've been going on family hikes since we booked this trip a few months ago. The kids LOVE telling people we meet that we are training for Ecuador. It's that much more fun with binoculars.

The next day they tried their new pants and shirts too, and hiked with rain boots, which apparently we'll do in the jungle.

This time they went to Percy Warner Park. Which I'm sure is very similar to Ecuador.

Kyle even tried wearing the Manimal in the hiking backpack. It's hot, but doable.

Everyone kept an eye out for wildlife: jaguars, monkeys, birds. The Manimal apparently told a fellow hiker there was a jaguar right overhead. But the wildest thing they saw was this very cool bug: