"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

labor day weekend: zoo's, pools and roller coasters

A rundown of our Labor Day Weekend... what I considered to be our farewell to Summer and our welcoming of Fall.

Boy, am I giddy it's Fall.

A little over a week ago - with my patience being tested by the extreme heat - I knew that I wanted to do something different with our extended weekend. I wanted to get us out of the house and give the boys a little excitement. We were all getting a little cranky from the 100 degree temperatures, and our lives get really busy when September rolls around so I knew it was our last completely free weekend for a while. We hadn't made it to Adventureland over the Summer months so on a whim, I booked us a hotel room, invited my parents along for the ride and planned to spend two days two hours from our home. I watched the weather forecast all week, keeping my fingers crossed the heat wave would break and we'd be able to enjoy two days comfortably outside - a day at the zoo - a day on the rides - and some hotel pool time in between.

We lucked out. The weather gods were in our favor, and we couldn't have picked a better two days.

And our boys didn't disappoint either. They were such troopers throughout our little experience - watching movies peacefully on the way there - sleeping on the way back - and having a lot of fun while were there. The only hiccup came when we stopped for lunch upon arrival and I realized that I'd left my camera's memory card in my computer at home. After a brief second of panic that I wouldn't be able to take any pictures, we spotted a Best Buy directly across the street, and I was able to pick up a $12.00 500-picture memory card on our way to the Zoo. Disaster averted!

Pictures and memories from the zoo...

This was the boys' first trip to a zoo, and the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines was the perfect size for our first trip. Easy to get through in just a few hours, but lots of different animals to see with a playground thrown in the middle. The only problem we encountered was that Brandon was so anxious to get to the giraffes (which happened to be at the very end of the tour) that we had problems getting him to pause long enough to enjoy the rest of the animals!

This starfish also made Brandon's day. He literally did a happy dance and jumped up and down when he spotted it.

Is he not the cutest little thing?

This might sound odd, but one of the highlights of our visit was feeding these fish. I have never seen such a thing. Talk about a feeding frenzy... these guys couldn't get enough food, and they were wrestling each other for every little bite. Piled one on top of the other and spraying us with water whenever they'd jump up to catch a nibble...

And these poor ducks that were swimming with them... we tried to feed them, too but the fish kept stealing the food right out from under the ducks' noses.

The lions peacefully sleeping...

Jaden's favorite... the sea lions. We were lucky enough to be there for the brief sea lion demonstration, and I think Jaden could have watched these cuties all day.

And my favorites... the penguins. I wish I could bring one home with me. Watching a penguin walk its walk would cheer up any day. :)

Squirrel monkey... these little guys were cute, too.

And finally Brandon did get to see his giraffes, but they kept their backs to us the whole time - soaking up the breeze coming from that direction.

More to come!