Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Zoo Review

Okay, Okay, so with this title, I am showing my age. I am sure some of my readers will remember the show, the new zoo review- you know who you are. The rest of you will just think I am being all witty and cute.

Good times my friends, good times.

With our reciprocal Columbus Zoo membership plus two guest passes from Nat and Rachelle, we took Nana with us and hit the Kansas City Zoo.

It was the most glorious weather, crisp and clear- ideal for wearing Fall Clothes without a pesky coat, hat, gloves and other warming gear.

I made sure that I sandwiched this adventure in the middle of our time in Kansas City. I knew there would be a ton of walking,



roaming up and down hilly paths, and I needed to be sure these kids would get their own monkeys out. I made sure they got enough exercise to make up for the two days of sitting in car seats and watching red box movies.

The review of the Kansas City zoo can be seen in the happy faces of my kids as we explored every inch of the newly remodeled facilities. I admit the face lift was overdue and now this is a really amazing Kansas City destination.

My own little animals enjoyed

seeing everything and were most impressed by the sky ride over Africa where you could get a birds eye view of the exhibit below.


I would have been good to just sit my fat ass down to ride the sky ride repeatidly, but the kids wanted to make time for the carousel


and other fantastic sights during our review of the new zoo.

We had fun and that is the bottom line when you are taking kids anywhere. This concludes my 2011 new zoo review, not to be confused with the 1970's version of my youth.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"I should have taken the baby back ribs"

This marks our annual mecca to Kansas City for the birthday party we jokingly call, Grandma-palooza. When you are 101 years old, you can say and do pretty much anything you want. And get away with it. An entire weekend is dedicated to you, and like it or not, you are forced into mandatory family fun.

Aunt Nat and Aunt Rachelle treated the kids to a special morning of all things cowboy and horses. They chartered a pony riding stable for a hour




and the kids just rode and rode taking turns on each of the beautiful ponies. CJ told Nana he was a natural at riding horses. Where does he get these comments?

Again, we used the outdoor scene to try to capture a more recent photo of all the kids, but alas, we just decided to say, what the hay, and move along. Instead, I got as many candids

as I could and will make some digital pages for the memory books.

We went to visit the birthday girl in her play room. The great grandkids sure enjoy all of Grandma's toys and puzzles.They have no concept of the community center room, they just think that Grandma has a vast selection of amazing toys. We took photos of each of us with the birthday girl- when you have multiples, I have been told that in the future they will each wish that they had special photos of themselves



without the whole posse. I get that concept, and I try to snap individual images lest I pay for their therapy sessions, times four! I made sure to showcase that 101 is the new 85- no botox, no photoshop- these are indeed, my genes.

Nana and Papa took the whole fam damily

out for dinner in honor of Grandma's big day. The kids were mildly freaked out by the taxidermy in the room, so I did my best to remedy the situation. The rest of the meal was typical of dining out with 6 kids, two cranky senior citizens and over tired parents.

You might wonder what a 101 year old lady orders for her meal. Here is the choice of the 100 year old, plus one,7 ounce filet mignon prepared medium, side of chardonnay cream with lump crab meat, grilled asparagus, and a loaded baked potato. As it was presented to her, she leaned into me and said, "I should have taken the baby back ribs." This is classic Grandma. Classic.

With six helpers to blow out the candles, the above mentioned meal was concluded with peach cobbler ala mode.

Yes, she ate it all washed down with a few glasses of her beloved Sprite.

Next year, G-d willing, when we have a change of scenery for the big # 102, I will remind her to take the baby back ribs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Night of the Tired Parents

We drove to Kansas City starting around midnight. Jeff and I experimented with the departure time and I can honestly say, we won't be doing it this way ever again. While we arrived in KC first thing in the morning, we were all cranky, tired and whining. Thankfully our day started at the Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center.

At the Children's Kaleidoscope, the art projects were free flowing and the fun was on going. The only that would have made it better for the adults would have been a nap station and or massage therapist. Cest La Vie.

As you can see, the cousins reunited as if time had stood still since summer.



They just pick right up where they left off, and are glad to see each other. We made several attempts to get a fantastic photo of the six grandchildren,

but like most tries, it was unsuccessful.

We went non-stop all day. There was lunch at Jason's Deli, followed by outdoor playgrounds, parks and more recreation. The evening meal was at Sweet Tomatoes where kids ate free if they were dressed in their Halloween costumes. We totally took advantage of that one, times SIX.
The Scooby Doo gang, the unicorn, and the police officer were the stars of Sweet Tomatoes, which really isn't setting the bar all that high, you know.

To top off our action packed start to the change of scenery, we went to Night of the Living Farm

at the Deanna Rose Farmstead. The kids trick or treated and mooched all kinds of swag from various participants. There were face paintings, hayrides

and pumpkin tossing contests. By far the highlight of the evening was tossing real pumpkins through a white pvc pipe,

onto a trampoline and into a pen. Candy is good but getting to wield gourds onto a bouncy surface is sublime.

This is how Jeff and I felt all day.
It is what I found in the hotel bed after I showered the kids and put them into jammies. Normally, I would have to lay down next to them to settle them and get them to sleep, but tonight, I excused myself to change my clothes and 3 minutes later they were all out like a light.

Next year, we will time our trip more appropriately, leaving early in the morning and arriving after lunch. Otherwise, we experience the day and night of exhausted parents.

And remember, even though I am taking vacation time off at work, travel with four kids for 11.5 hours in a minivan is NOT A VACATION. It is a change of scenery.

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