Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Fun While We Can

August. When I make my mega to do list at the beginning of August I am always overwhelmed. School things begin to creep on to my list, and the carefree summer day countdown begins. So, last Monday, instead of being responsible and crossing things off our list we decided to spend the entire day having fun. (Oh, and did I mention we had a showing from 3:30-4:30, so I wasn't going to let the kids touch the house after breakfast anyway?)
We climbed in the car by 8:45 and headed to the doctor's office to have my arm checked for TB. The kids both held my hand and told me to be brave, just like I do when they go to the doctors. (Routine test for my new job!!!! I will be working at a Middle School this year!!!)
Then, we drove over the Walt Whitman Bridge towards the Philadelphia Zoo. We parked at the zoo, did sunscreen and set out for a day of fun with our friend Emily and her 39 week pregnant Momma. We checked out the monkeys, then it was snack time. After snack we saw the crocodiles, alligators, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, and penguins. My friend Kelly and I were amazed at our "daycare" kids. They held hands, took turns and actually stayed at each exhibit to watch the animals. Then we ate lunch with the geese. Patrick kept scaring them away, but alas they would come back. As we were eating lunch the kids spotted the train. Kelly and I exchanged a similar look - NO! So, we sat the kids on the wall by the train and told them to wave to the people. The kids sat for over 4 train rides. They waved to the people, they threw leaves at the train, and laughed so hard with each other. Kelly & I were proud of our savings from the train, and thrilled to catch up while the kids provided entertainment for the train ride. Then, it was time for Kelly and Emily to leave. We continued to see the Big Cats, which we never do, so the kids were super excited to spy leopards, lions, tigers, and pumas in the exhibit. Oh, and they loved the 2 min movie. Patrick even exclaimed that the Lion was almost as fast as him! We ended our visit in Kid Zoo U. We recycled, checked out the coral reef, went through the ant tunnel, looked at the ant farm, and played in the tiny tot barnyard. But, our favorite part was meeting Crystal, the oldest goat at the Philadelphia Zoo. I was surprised both kids wanted to brush her. Patrick never wants to get near animals, yet he felt comfortable with this older, wider, animal.We grabbed our usual snack of a Frozen Lemonade and headed out of the zoo. I figured an entire morning and afternoon would at least get me a quiet car ride home, but Patrick never fell asleep!

Check out Shannon's lady bug costume!
Around 5 o'clock we met up with Finn and my very best friend and cousin, Tricia at the Garden State Discovery Museum. The kids were super excited to show Finn all of their favorite exhibits in the "Lady bug" museum. (as Shannon calls it) We began in the Dinosaur room. All of the kids loved climbing the huge T-rex and finding their way through all the different holes in him. Then they dug in the huge dinosaur fossil dig. They also explored the magnetic dinosaur map and learned where the dinosaurs lived in the United States. We worked our way slowly through the museum. We pretended to be news casters, shopped at Whole Foods, played with the huge Lite Brite board, and visited the Barnyard. Our last stop was to the "beach" room. We have never spent a significant amount of time in this room, but it is well worth spending time playing in this room. Patrick loved the boat, especially fishing for fish from the boat. Finn discovered we could climb under the boat, and Shannon played with a beach ball and a steam of air. Then the kids discovered the bicycle ice cream truck, which was another huge hit!
Needless to say, the kids were exhausted when we left Garden State Discovery Museum and slept well!

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