Monday, June 16, 2014

A Great Day at the Zoo!

We love going to a zoo, and my favorite zoo to visit is the Birmingham Zoo.  There's  so much to do and so much to see that you should plan to spend the day there.

Before we go to the zoo, we try to eat a good meal.  The food at the zoo is a little expensive so eating before we go is one way we try to avoid that additional expense.  Also, it just so happened that this day was special. . . Father's Day.  And anyone that knows Dave knows that he loves pancakes . . . Ihop here we come!

We headed to the zoo after eating a huge meal of eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and french toast.  Yum!

Because it was Father's Day, Dave got in the zoo free.  We purchased the armbands for the boys that allows them unlimited access to ride the train, carousel, and play in the foam area of the children's play zone.  The armbands were very reasonable at $7 each.  Considering the train tickets and carousel tickets are $2.50 a piece and my children rode the carousel at least 10 times . . . I got my money's worth.  Not to mention the foam area.  But I'll tell about that in a minute.

The boys loved the animals.  We saw the birds and reptiles first.

The strangest looking bird we saw . . .

Then we went for a train ride.  

It was a really good train ride.  

The conductor shared so much information about the zoo and animals as we circled the zoo stopping periodically so we could see the animals.

When we disembarked from the train, we were just in time for the sea lion show.

This was a great show.  I love animal shows like this so I really enjoyed it.

After the sea lion show, the boys were anxious to get over to the children's play zone so we headed over there.  Dave and I needed a cool place to sit and rest anyway.

The zoo has this fun splash pad and foam area . . .

The armband covers playing in the foam area too.  

All three boys LOVED the foam area and the splash pad.  Here all 3 of them are right under the foam dispenser . . .

They would get all covered in the foam bubbles and then go to the splash pad to rinse off . . .

And the place next to the splash pad/foam zone is nice and shaded.  Perfect place to sit and relax while your children wear themselves out.

And surprisingly, after a while of playing, all 3 boys came up and said they were ready to move on to other parts of the zoo.

The Carousel was right next to the play area so we spent a lot of time there.  

The boys kept wanting to ride it.

Mostly because the guy running the carousel kept "scaring" the boys and they Loved that.  It became a game to see if he could sneak up on them and "scare" them.  

Did I mention the Alabama Wilds area that has a petting zoo?  Yes, even though we have goats and chickens and kittens and dogs, it's still fun for the boys to pet and play with the animals at a petting zoo.

And part of the Alabama Wilds is a cool zip line you can do.  It costs a little money ($16) to do it or you can buy the armband that includes everything as the other armband plus the zip line for $20.  We weren't sure about the zip line so we didn't buy that armband. 
All three boys wanted to do the zip line once they saw it, but Shane didn't weigh enough.

It was like 4 or 5 different zip lines you do as a part of the course.

It looks like fun, doesn't it?

Dave and I thought we would try it too.  
Here's me getting ready to do it.

And here's me backing out and climbing down the ladder.  :)

But Dave didn't back out.  Nope he embraced it totally.  

After the zip line, we set off to see the rest of the zoo.  First the Predators:

And the boys rode the camel:

Then we went to the Savannah area:

Then the Primates:

And then finally the Rhinos and Elephants:

At this point, the Zoo was closing and I think we might have been the last ones to leave because the other people leaving with us were zoo employees!  Ha!

Anyway, the Birmingham Zoo is awesome and fun and definitely deserves an entire day to fully enjoy which is how it was for . . . 

                               the Ferrell boys and me!

A Vacation Weekend in Birmingham

So on Saturday while Dave, Zach and Alex were at the Men's Gridiron Conference, Shane and I explored the Sheraton Hotel.  
What's there to do in the Sheraton Hotel?  Let's see . . .

This hotel had a couple of different levels connected by escalators.

So we spent a while riding up and down the escalators.  Fun.

Then we found an elevator that goes up the 16 floors of the hotel.  No big deal except this elevator goes up the 16 floors on the outside of the hotel with a glass wall.  Here's our view of the city of Birmingham from the glass elevator.

We went up and down in the glass elevator a few times.  :)

Then we decided to wait on Dave and the boys at the top of the stairs at the hotel entrance.  Shane was having fun being a daredevil at the top of the stairs.

He kept wanting me to take a picture of him with my camera phone.   :)

So once we met up with Dave and the boys, we headed for lunch at Dave's favorite place to eat in Birmingham . . . Joe's Crab Shack.
On the way to Joe's Crab Shack, we passed Chuck E. Cheese's . . . so Dave being the sweet daddy that he is . . . turned around and took us to Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch . . .

And for some fun play too.

After all, it's a place where a kid can be a kid!

And since this was Shane's first time, we had to get a special souvenir to remember this trip (or so that's what he said).

Boxing gloves and a punching bag . . . hmmmm . . . does that sound like a good idea to you?!  

I think Zach might've gotten socked in this next picture.

We had planned to go to the zoo, but we decided to spend the night and go to the zoo on Sunday instead.  So we got a one room suite (which means it had a bedroom and living area with a pull out sofa bed) and went to see a movie . . . 

This is not a typical girl movie, but then again, I don't live with any girls.  :)  Thank goodness I've seen all the X-Men movies or this movie would have made no sense to me.  It was great.  We loved it.  Now we can't wait for the new Transformers movie to come out!  It's definitely a boy world for me!

Next post will be about our trip to the Birmingham Zoo.  It's was so great and so much fun that it deserves a post of it's own from . . . 

                                 the Ferrell boys and me!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday

[One]     Vacation

Dave is off this week.  :)  We aren't planning any big trip during this 2 week vacation.  We're saving that for July.  

But we did go out to eat on Saturday with the boys and then to see Godzilla.  

The boys loved it.  Dave and I weren't too impressed.  Oh well.

[Two]     Go Kart Incident

Dave bought a little mini go kart to sell at the Fun ATV store.  It's the perfect size for Shane.  

Dave kept hoping to sell it.  Because it's so small, most people would buy the mid size go kart (the next size up) so their children wouldn't grow out of it to quickly.  So we decided to give it to Shane.   He loves it!

Zach wanted to ride with Shane, but we found out the hard way that's he's too big to ride!  He made the go kart off balance so that when Shane turned the go kart, it caused the go kart to turn on its side.  Shane was fine, but Zach got scraped up pretty bad on his arm and knee.  

[Three]     End of Baseball Season

Last Friday marked the end of my boys' baseball season.  Zach and Alex's Little League team, the Tigers, won all their games but the last one.  My sweet little Shane played his last Tball game.  He'll be moving up to Coach pitch next year.

[Four]     Science Experiment

The boys  love science experiments so we're trying different ones this Summer.  The one we're working on right now is turning an egg into a bouncing egg that doesn't break.

I'll be blogging about that once we complete the experiment.  :)

[Five]     Gridiron Men's Conference

Dave has gone with the men of our church to the Gridiron Conference every year.  Last year, he took Zach and Alex and Me with him.  I felt like I really stuck out amidst all those men!

This year Dave, Zach and Alex were going and at the last minute, Dave decided that Shane and I needed to go as well.  We didn't have tickets to the conference so we're hanging out in the hotel room.  So while they are at the conference listening to Rick Burgess of the Rick and Bubba show . . .

I'm at the hotel with Shane  . . . playing with the Snap Circuits Jr. kit learning about electronics  . . . and how to make a fan blow using the kit . . . while watching Spy Kids 3 Game Over for about the 100th time!  It's been fun spending time with just Shane for a change.  :)

All in all, it's been another great week.  

So glad you stopped by for the Five on Friday with . . .

                                 the Ferrell boys and me!