Saturday, October 15, 2011

Family Friday Fun

Yesterday we had an entire day of Family Friday Fun. It made for a long, exhausting day but definitely one I think the girls will remember for a long time (I know I will).

The morning began with a trip to Marbles Kid Museum in downtown Raleigh. This was a field trip event with Gabrielle's school. Marbles Kid Museum is an extremely fun place where kids can play and explore while learning. There are giant games like Connect Four and Chess, giant Lego's, a place to build and race your own car, art centers, a grocery store, kitchen, vet and pet grooming center and even a giant piggy bank that once full will drop your "$avings" of plastic balls down on all the kids! And there is even more - way too much to include in a single blog post. It is always a great place to visit - yesterday was no exception.

Gabrielle found her best friend from her class a few minutes after we got there. The two girls wanted to hang out together all morning.

After a couple of hours we were all getting hungry. A quick exit through the gift shop (why do I always get suckered into visiting the gift shop??), I decided to find a nice park to have our picnic lunch. If I had brought one of our picnic blankets we would have tried out one of the parks downtown but I was not that prepared. Instead I decided to try to find a park I used to frequent when I was a nanny of three little girls in my younger days (I sure wish I had the energy and patience now that I had then - life would be so much less stressful!). After driving in what seemed like circles I finally found the park. Like so much of Raleigh, this little park has changed dramatically since my days of actually living in Raleigh. But it definitely had changed for the better with nice paved walkways, a sheltered picnic area and new play equipment. We ate our picnic lunch consisting of the standard PBJ, applesauce, goldfish and juice boxes and then explored the play area for a while.

The girls on a park bench with their new "friends" from Marbles Gift Shop.

The girls were having a blast and the weather was near perfect but it we had to get going so I could get all of our "stuff" together for our evening at the N.C. State Fair. Ed was going to be home from work at 4:00 and wanted us ready to leave when he arrived.

We did the whole park & ride routine to get to the fair. It was much quicker and less stressful than driving and parking (and paying who knows how much to park) ourselves near the fair. Gabrielle was a little nervous about riding the CAT bus but only because she thought it was some sort of fair ride. Once we got going she said "It's just like riding in a car!!" I had to laugh. She is definitely not a fan of any type of amusement ride. She had made me laugh earlier while in line to get our bus tickets. Gabrielle saw one of the teachers from her preschool and her shocked reaction to seeing a teacher outside of school always cracks me up. Last year I had to explain to her that teachers don't live at school - they actually have homes and families of their own. She is still not 100% convinced.

The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect fair weather. At a cool 74 degrees it was not too hot, not too cold, but just the perfect cool fall fair weather.

First on our fair to-do's was getting dinner. Gabrielle and I shared a giant delicious turkey leg. It was so good! Even with Ed helping us out, we still couldn't finish it off. Samantha had a hot dog for dinner (sounds pretty ordinary but it looked like an exceptionally tasty hot dog) and Ed had his traditional fair food, a sausage with peppers and onions sandwich.

This is the only photo we took at the fair. We were too busy enjoying the sights and time together to think about getting the camera out. Pictures are great to have but sometimes just being in and enjoying the moments are more important.

We walked through all the buildings to see the livestock - cows, sheep, pigs. We even saw a bunch of different rabbit breeds. I am now trying to convince Ed to let us have a cute little pet rabbit. I'm fairly certain I will be totally unsuccessful. We saw the ginormous prize winning pumpkin and watermelon. The watermelon, which was a new state record, was only 9 lbs. shy of setting a new world record. Mighty impressive! We attempted to browse through the Village of Yesteryear, definitely one of my favorite fair exhibits, but that was later in the evening and the girls were getting restless so we did not get to walk through it all.

Gabrielle was obsessed with winning a prize therefore we had no choice but to try our hand at the fair games. We chose the kiddieland games to be guaranteed a prize. Nothing is worse than not winning a game and having your kids cry and scream about not getting a prize. And at least one of our kids definitely has that kind of personality. After a couple of games the girls each had a couple of prizes and were happy as clams.

The girls with some of their fair prizes, taken this morning. I'm not sure how the smallest child ended up with the biggest prize. She kept hitting people with the giant crayon (that she actually thought was a real, working crayon!) while we were waiting for the bus home.

What to do next but more fair food of course. Roasted corn, ice cream, caramel apple with sprinkles, kettle corn - is your mouth watering yet? Or maybe your stomach is turning with a sick feeling?? Ha! I actually feel like we stayed fairly "healthy" with our food choices, considering we were at the fair. I would not dare touch a deep fried Twinkie or Oreo or whatever the new deep fried craze is this year. Gross! But to each his own I suppose. We decidedly reached our junk food limit for a while. We topped off the evening with some Lingg hot apple cider and decided to call it a night.

A quick bus ride back to our car, a change into pajamas for the girls and we were headed for home. A little over half way home I was a little concerned by the chattiness of our girls. "Certainly they are going to fall asleep on the way home" was the thought racing through my mind. It had been a very full, very busy, very long day and Ed and I were both exhausted. The thought of getting home at 10:00 pm and still having to go through the whole bedtime routine stressed me out! Alas, not more than 10 minutes away from home sweet home we finally, thankfully, praise the good Lord, had two sleeping girls in the backseat.

This morning the girls slept in, Gabrielle sleeping until 8:30 and Samantha just after 9:00 am. If only I could make every Saturday "Sleep In Saturday", then all weekends would be closer to perfection!

No comments: