After our visit to the Reptile Garden, we spent the rest of the day at the hotel in the pool and in the room. We were all fairly tired and since we knew the next day was going to be long as well, we figured we might as well be well rested. We left as early as we could the next morning and it was long until we started to see the many signs leading to Wall Drug. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I think I was expecting a little more. Haha! It was really just a bunch of touristy shops all in one big location with a bunch of cheesy touristy things to look at. We did get some donuts and 5 cent coffee for sure, though. It wasn’t a bad way to stretch our legs either and the kids decided to kill some time in an arcade.
There are so many signs advertising Wall Drug… SO MANY.
Not gonna lie, getting hit with a major snowstorm when we arrived in South Dakota was not something I had planned for. I could have sworn I had checked various forecasts and they were all good. Whoops. Go figure that it was during my turn to drive that the roads got nasty. On the plus side, I did see a coyote when it calmed down a bit and a few other critters. The weather did mean that we would need to find some indoor activities, though, because we didn’t bring any cold weather gear with us.
Thankfully, not too far from us was The Reptile Garden. You really can’t go wrong with reptiles, right? Plus it’s guaranteed that you won’t need a jacket inside and that always wins for me. I admit I was a little put off by the initial cost, but it ended up being worth it. They had an enormous collection of critters, some of which I have never seen in person before. There was also a really neat greenhouse that had some birds, snakes and lizards completely out of cages, which was unique from what we’ve been to before.
There were a few “shows” throughout the day, so we decided to check out the snake show. The kids got a little bored until the trainer (are they called trainers??) started pulling out actual snakes – many of which were venomous and therefore extra cool. Enzo even got to ask a question after raising his hand (which was possibly even more exciting) and he asked what Rattlesnakes eat. We got up close and personal with one too when the gal put the rattler on the ground with this 2-3 foot high clear barrier surrounding it. The kids, especially Enzo, were stoked.
Our time in California was winding down, and Enzo happened to be turning 5 in a week, so my mom had asked if there was a special cake that he would like so she could make him one. As it so happens, he wanted a butterfly cake in an array of colors. I’m not sure where the butterfly idea came from… maybe because we’ve talked a bit about plants and hoping that the monarchs will make a return to our yard. Either way, my mom truly delivered.
For his 5th birthday, Enzo had really only one request. He wanted his own Alexa for his bedroom. Done. The excitement on his face was priceless, as was the moment when he turned to his sister and whispered to her, “Phoebe, we have our very own Alexa for our bedroom!”
My mom and step-dad had the excellent idea of buying him his own first camera too, which he was very excited about and has been using on a regular basis. The hardest part has been convincing him not to delete all of his pictures!! I need to sneak his camera and download the ones he has saved to my computer.
On our final day, we went to Birch Aquarium and it didn’t disappoint! Not too big, not too small and it had a really good variety as well!
The jellies never disappoint, and they had so many here. They really are so fascinating to watch and it was fun to watch Enzo take pictures of everything with his camera as well.
See what I did there? Yeah, yeah, not original in the slightest, but it’s been a long week and it’s cold and rainy, so it’s the perfect day to relive some fun at the beach!
First, though, we spent Friday after our Disney fun just relaxing. The kids played and then we took them to the swimming pool to really wear them out. Phoebe was very excited to don her fancy gloves and play with her new tea set.
We went to Coronado Beach on a Saturday and surprisingly enough it wasn’t even that busy and the weather was gorgeous! The water was a tad chilly, but we were so excited to dip our feet in and soak up the warm rays from the sun.
They’re not even a little excited. Ha!
I love how he just carried that shovel around. You never know when you might need to dig a hole, right? Enzo didn’t necessarily enjoy how cold the water was, but Phoebe couldn’t care less.
Yeah, we all enjoyed the nice weather and change of scenery just a bit. There were also a ton of tiny clams everywhere! It was really kind of bizarre, but neat. I’ve never seen so many and it was a little odd to watch their very squishy, gelatinous… selves try and hold on to the sand as the waves came and do whatever it is they were trying to do. Clearly I know nothing about clams.
We’ve been listening to ocean waves as bedtime background noise and it really is so relaxing. I can see why people would choose to live close to it. I have a feeling the kids would say the same. Alas, back to reality and time to pull out my sweatshirt for the high of 48 degrees and even more rain tomorrow. 😉