Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Day at the Fair

K and I met up with some friends at the county fair this Saturday. We were going to go as a family but after L through a huge tantrum we decided to leave her at home with dad. It was probably for the best anyway, M hates crowds and we had a great time together.
We started out watching freestyle motor cross. It was similar to the one we saw at the rodeo, but the riders were working in a much smaller area. Some of the things they did scared us and we were surprised they were able to pull them off. At the end of the show they did a train of back flips. If one of them messed up, they all would have crashed. It was amazing! We could have stuck around to get autographs and pictures, but the kids were anxious to go on some rides.
K and I went on the Ferris wheel first. I am so afraid of heights, but I did it for her and she loved it. There was a pretty good view from the top and she kept commenting on how pretty it was. After that she went on some kiddie rides with her friends.

When our tickets were all gone for rides, we let the kids play one game. The game they chose was simple. You pick a duck out of a pool of water and you get the size prize that is written on the bottom of the duck. K was lucky and pulled out a duck with L on the bottom. She picked out this cute lemur which she named Lemey the Lemur.
There was a kiddie area we took them to so we could rest while they played. There were musical instruments, hula hoops, bean bag toss, golf, ring toss, building blocks, a huge puzzle map, and a tunnel to crawl through. G and K had fun trying to hula hoop. There was one boy there who kept three hoops going at once, I was quite impressed. I have never been able to hula hoop, not even on Wii Sports.

I loved how they took old items and turned them into instruments. The water jugs made great sounding drums and so did the tubes. Have you ever thought of doing something like this Sue?

This year there was a jungle to explore. It was dark, hot and humid inside with lots of animals from the rain forest to look at. There was also a show for the kids. The parrot was entertaining as was the capuchin monkey, though after hearing about their traits I would never want either for a pet. Apparently parrots screech for an hour every morning when they wake up and monkeys like to pee on anything they like to mark it as their own. Not endearing traits of an in house pet.
There was also a tarantula that they let two little kids hold. I was horrified and had a hard time not fleeing the scene. Before she brought it out she asked for volunteers to hold a cute furry animal. Apparently tarantulas are light as a feather and have soft furry legs. But you could never EVER get me to hold one. I was so glad it wasn't my daughter, though she was disappointed she wasn't called on stage to hold it. I suppose it's good my arachnophobia isn't rubbing off on her.

In the afternoon after checking out the farm animals and having an elephant ear, we watched the BMX bike show. These guys were amazing! I think I have more respect for them then the motor cross dudes because they have only their muscles to get them up a ramp fast enough to do flips and stunts in the air, still landing safely on the other side.
The guy on the left rode a bike up a 5 foot ramp and was able to do tricks at the top before landing on the other side. At one point they asked for a tall volunteer from the audience to stand on top of the ramp and let Jared ride over him. Liz looked at me and I said, NO WAY!! Some guy volunteered and I watched in amazement as he stood there like a statue staring down this guy riding his bike toward and over him. It was AWESOME! We got autographs and a picture with the kids afterward. The guy in the middle did stunts on a skate board and the guy on the end is 39 and was doing great stunts on the half pike.
Before we left the kids participated in a pedal tractor pull. K had to pull 15 pounds across the stage. She was able to pull it 13 feet, she did amazing!
We had a great day at the fair. Thanks for inviting us, Liz. Maybe next year the WHOLE family can participate. By the way, this was much cheaper than Old Fashioned Days. It was only $5 dollars a person to get into the fair, but we had two free passes from a friend. The only other thing we paid to do was rides and food. The rides were .50 cents a ticket and only 5-7 tickets a ride as opposed to 1.25 per ticket and 5 tickets to ride. We paid 20 dollars for 40 tickets which gave us 5 rides and a game to play. The food was pretty inexpensive and there was an abundance to choose from. Definitely more bang for you buck.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Water, Animals, and Glass with a View

We went on vacation to Washington this year to play and see some sites. I haven't really been to Washington before unless you count the KISS concert I went to when I was 20, which I don't. So after talking about it for the past year with M, we finally decided to take a trip up there.
I asked some friends on FB about things to do and we made travel plans. Our first stop was Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. If we knew it was going to be so fun, we would have made it our last stop on the trip instead of the first. I definitely recommend taking a trip here, the resort is nice and only guests of the lodge can go to the water park, which means short or no lines for the rides. Plus, it's an indoor park so it is warm all day and you don't need sunscreen.
The girls were both tall enough to go on all the rides except one, which was one I didn't want to go on anyway. There is a kiddie area, some water slides, some water tubes, a swimming pool, and a HUGE wave pool.

The Lodge has lots of other things to do,
but we only left the water park to sleep and eat.
Here is the outside part of the park. The water is really hot so you
don't get cold playing. The girls liked the
water coming out of the ground and played in it for an hour.
Here we are coming down the water slides. They were fast and the water was less than 6 inches deep so little kids could go down without any problem.
L going down the slide in the kiddie pool area. She loved this area and spent most of her time here with one of us. She really liked the "water bikes" and spent hours playing on them.

We all enjoyed the big water slides. You were required to take a raft down the tubes and they could hold 2-6 people depending on the slide. They went super fast and the girls screamed with excitement every time we went down, me included:)

In the middle of the park is a tower with a huge bucket on top. When it fills up, it pours out and soaks anyone standing near by. It empties about every 10 minutes.

We were able to up grade our room to a Kiddie Cabin for cheap.
It was really cute and the girls thought the bunk beds were cool.

Olympia, Washtington
On our way to Tacoma, we stopped in Olympia when I saw the capital building peeking through some trees. I love architecture and am always willing to stop and get a closer look. I have never been interested in Oregon's capital because I don't find it appealing. I guess I should get over my snobbishness but when you come from a state that has gorgeous capital buildings, it's hard to do.
Here is a miniature model of the Washington Monument.
I really liked this piece. It was erected in memory of all those
soldiers captured or lost during war times.
This is a great picture of the state capital. This building is
very similar to the capital building in Missouri.
I believe this was the court house.
Here we are on the top step of the capital.
The amazing view from the side of the capital building.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
On Friday we took the girls to the zoo in Tacoma. The day started out cloudy and chilly but the clouds burned off by lunchtime and the day was beautiful.
There were some new Clouded Leopard cubs
at the zoo on display. They were very cute.
One of K's favorite things, feeding the little birds.
There were times when she had 4-5 birds climbing on her.
L didn't like all those birds on her stick, it
freaked her out a bit. I didn't care for it much either.
We payed to let the girls ride a camel. They thought it
was great. Their camel's name was Harry.
The tiger was L's favorite animal this time.
My favorite animals were the Polar Bears. At one point two of
the boys were wrestling in the water together.
They are such massive and amazing creatures, I love watching them.
This bird was K's favorite animal at the zoo.
After looking at all the animals in the zoo, we stopped by the carousel on the way out. It was fun for the girls to ride on. We went around two times and they were begging to go a third.

Chihuly Bridge of Glass
After the zoo, we stopped by the bridge of glass. I had heard from a reliable source that it was a beautiful piece of art. We didn't stay for long, I didn't like being on a bridge that crossed a busy highway with rushing traffic below.
The glass was very pretty and I think if we had come in the morning instead of the evening the view would have been even more breath-taking. We also looked at the glass on water near the bridge. Water suspended in air, lovely and shiny. It reminded me of a frozen water fountain I saw in my early twenties.

Thrill of the Grill
After our busy day of sight-seeing, we stopped at a place I had Googled called Thrill of the Grill. It had good reviews and it was cheap. We were very impressed with the food. It was tasty and very filling. I got a HUGE strawberry shake for 3.50; we could barely finish it. The girls wolfed down their burgers and fries, as did we. We were stuffed when we left and the bill was less than 30 dollars (would have been cheaper than 25 without the sales tax). I totally recommend this place if you are in town.
My huge strawberry shake. The glass was filled to the brim
and the metal cup was better than half way filled.
Great food with a great view of Mt. Rainier out the front door.
We were so in love with Great Wolf Lodge that we headed back there for an extra night instead of heading to Seattle like we originally planned. Here are a couple of vidoes of the girls from our stay.