Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Vacation Begins

My temptation is to run through the events of our Memorial Day weekend "staycation" chronologically, but I know that's not how to tell this story.

On Sunday evening, we went to the zoo. "What was your favorite part?" I asked both girls.

"Big shark!" answered Ada, and this was no surprise. Several times a day she talks about the huge model of a Great White shark that hangs from the ceiling at the North entrance to the zoo.

"Jaguar!" answered Ellie, and that was no surprise, either. Although Ellie has never mentioned the jaguar before, except in passing ("There he is!") apparently she liked him enough on this trip to throw her shoe right down into his enclosure from the bridge above.

Her 2-months-old Stride-Rite tennis shoe . . . with a $200 orthotic insert inside.

About 30 minutes after we arrived at the zoo.


We had a lot of fun this weekend, but we're worn out, too, and I'm a little worried that we've taught the girls to expect this much excitement every day, or at least every weekend. No way could I keep up with that pace. Nor could we afford it.

Friday night the girls got the best possible treat: their favorite babysitter and frozen pizza while mommy and daddy went to dinner and a movie. His birthday, so I had to see Star Trek. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it!

Saturday morning we went to downtown to go up to the top of the arch, then had lunch at Fitz's on The Loop. Ada's favorite part of the arch trip: inside! Ellie's favorite part: outside! Well, naturally. They are sisters. After naps at home, the girls and daddy wanted to stay in and watch a video (Toy Story 2 . . . again) so I went to Greek Fest alone and picked up an amazing dinner. The girls didn't eat it. More for meee!

Sunday morning we went west to the Renaissance Faire (favorite part for both girls: warhorse pony rides! "I do by myself!" and "I do with Mommy!") came home for naps, then traveled east to the zoo (see above). Big shark and black panther aside, I think the new Stingray Cove was awesome. (I was surprised that the rays didn't feel at all like sharks.)

Monday morning we went by the zoo to pick up Ellie's shoe, then proceeded to The Science Center to "see rocket ships!" and watch an omnimax movie. (Ada loved Fly Me to the Moon; Ellie didn't quite make it through.) We went home for lunch and naps (a daily occurrence, bless those girls) then had an impromptu BBQ with friends.

It had to be impromptu because these friends get sick whenever we invite them over so we had to sneak around ourselves without planning in advance. "Well, if we happen to meet up on Monday night . . ." I made a 4:00 grocery run, they arrived with a burst of rain, we grilled, we ate, the kids played, and we all went out for ice cream and balloon animals.

Fabulous weekend. I'm really looking forward to our next vacation, which involves a week with my family in a rented cottage near the beach in a small Michigan town where, I'm promised, there is nothing to do!

Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow.


flatflo said...

My aunt (you may have met her at my shower) works as a Zoo Ranger dispatcher. When I picked her up last night for dinner with the rest of the family, I asked her, "So, had any orthotic shoes thrown in the jaguar enclosure lately?" And then we had a big laugh over the fact that I knew about it. She said one of the other people in the office said "A $200 orthotic? My daughter's are $600!" So maybe that will make things look brighter for you?

Sarahlynn said...

She's actually the ranger dispatcher who called us! Small, small town!!!

Moreena said...

Sarahlynn--Hi! Do you see the comments this late after the post? I'll take my chances, I guess.

We keep planning to head over to St. Louis again, having decided that we really like it best for short, cheaper vacations with the girls (if we enjoyed it with Annika in pretty much full-blown liver failure, how much more fun when she's healthy?). Email me--maybe we can meet up at a park somewhere. Preferably where the kids can do their own thing in full view while we sit in the shade of a tree.

This post just reminded me what a great city St. Louis can be.

Also, we are renting a cottage in Michigan as well for our vacation this summer. Maybe we can exchange reviews of our experiences? We'll be looking for yearly recommendations (transplant camp is in Michigan).

Sarahlynn said...

Yay! Yay! I'll email you!