Category Archives: attractions

Family Outing and the Stuff Kids Say

It’s been a few weeks now, but a weekend finally worked out where we could all go to the zoo together.  There are kangaroos temporarily there and the kids wanted to see them, so on a chilly day with rain on the horizon, off we went. Haha!

It’s also nice to have Josh there because then I don’t have to shuffle kids, a stroller, and coffee.  Enzo decided to bring his camera to the zoo that day too, so I need to grab it and see what he took pictures of!

It was a really nice, slow day without too many people, which means it’s perfect to walk on the Tropics Trail – especially when it’s chilly outside.  The kids can wander off, and Phoebe can run into at least a dozen people because that’s kind of just what she does.

As difficult as this age is at times, there are some pretty great moments.  The kids have been really into realistic imaginative play.  They like to set up a store and go shopping, or one night we set up a restaurant.  Not gonna lie, it’s one of my new favorite games.  The kids wanted to go out to eat after swim lessons, but that wasn’t happening, so Enzo actually had the great idea to play restaurant at home.  As soon as we got home, I set up a little table for them (with flowers too) and grabbed some “menus” and crayons and led them to their seat.

Phoebe kept calling me Restaurant instead of Waitress, so I finally convinced her to just call me Heather.  They loved ordering drinks (Enzo said he would have a beer) and Joe their friendly waiter served those while I took their food orders and set about preparing that.  They were both unbelievably polite – way more than they usually are in an actual restaurant – and it was adorable when they would ask Joe for something (Phoebe: Joe, can I go to the restroom?) or when Enzo told me quite politely “I think I forgot my wallet.”

We sent Joe out to the parking lot to see if he had dropped it next to his car and sure enough, Joe was able to find it. 😉  I wrote up a receipt and everything and ran Enzo’s card through, and even more adorable, I saw him grab a crayon to sign his receipt.  I had no idea they paid as much attention as they do when we go places, but sure enough… he knows the drill.

Phoebe wanted to pay as well, so she ran and grabbed her wallet and tried giving me her actual money telling me she wanted me to buy something nice. Haha!  Tempting…

The game isn’t old yet… last night Phoebe asked for an apron so she could cook me something to eat in her restaurant.  “Um, ma’am? Ma’am!  What do you want?”  Haha!  She’s full of “Yes, Ma’am’s” lately and it’s pretty cute. I realize I’m completely biased.  Enzo is full of sass and usually keeps us laughing as well.  He’s a big fan of knock-knock jokes right now, which reminds me of myself as a kid.  I remember buying a joke book and rainbow sherbet and being in heaven.

Simple things, right?  Some days I long for simplicity, though modern day conveniences are quite nice.

Or just a big kitty to snuggle… I’d be okay with a leopard too.

An Afternoon at the Arboretum

You know what’s awesome?  Nice weather. The kids and I decided to enjoy some nice weather recently and go the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  We got a membership through Groupon and I have a feeling we’ll be going there a few times a month.  There are fantastic paths and trails to walk and it seems like there is always something going on.  When we went it happened to be a very popular weekend for weddings and I think there may have been two happening at the same time.  The kids wanted to hang around and watch one, but I convinced them that walking around might be more interesting.

We may be heading back tomorrow, but the kids and I haven’t decided yet.  So many choices!!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Random Road Trip Stuff

Somehow in the midst of writing all of the blog posts, a handful of photos didn’t make it into posts… still not sure how, but now that means I get to drag it out even more!

The highlight is always getting to see family that we don’t see very often.

I’m just going to say it… I really don’t enjoy having to climb up ladders and whatnot to follow the kids on these.  I prefer to be within a foot of the ground!

Wish we had had more time in Colorado!

So tired…

“What are those, Mom?”

“Oh, just some shrunken heads…”

Some nice people let the kids borrow some toys at the park!

South Dakota…

Drank this bottle of wine (with Josh’s help).

Swimming!

Now where to? I’m ready for more vacation!  Haha!

Road Trip Part 7 – Wall Drug and Home!

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.

Phoebe thought Annie Oakley was a witch. Haha!

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Road Trip Part 6 – South Dakota Reptiles

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.

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