We spent the next day at the house. We ate cinnamon rolls with my brother before he had to head home. Then Mom drove Brian to the airport. Sam and I and the kids cleaned up the house and pool area and got Sam packed up to leave. When Mom got home from dropping Brian off, we all loaded up and headed to my mom's Costco. We had already been shopping at another one closer to her house, but we hadn't had the chance to visit the one she works at and meet some of her co-workers.
After Costco it was time to head to the airport to drop Sam off. After saying a tearful goodbye to Sam (the boys were sad to see him go!) we headed back to the house. We spent the rest of that afternoon swimming, playing golf and visiting the cool neighborhood parks. The boys would probably say their highlight from that day would be walking the dogs. They just LOVED walking my mom's little dogs!
The following day we headed out early for a trip to the Phoenix zoo. My kids would choose going to the zoo over many other exciting attractions. They love time spent at zoos and a new one is always something special to look forward to seeing!
Everyone was a little grumpy as we started out our day. The kids were kind of picking at each other and not being their usual cheerful selves. We had packed a lunch, so we finally decided to have a (VERY EARLY) lunch and see if that helped. I warned them that if attitudes didn't improve we'd be heading home after that, even though we hadn't seen much of the zoo at that point.
Miracle of miracles...the food helped! It seemed to my mom and I that they had just finished breakfast, but apparently they were all three hungry. After we ate it was like they were different kids!
We walked along the many trails and paths and checked out the entire zoo. Every time the path got bumpy, Bridget would grab Jonah's hand to steady herself. It was so sweet watching them walk along hand-in-hand. I just had to have a picture (or 12) of that...but I'll control myself and only post one here.
Throughout the zoo we found various physical challenges set up for the kids to test their strength. Henry was the only one of us able to do pull-ups...he is one strong boy! The other two just enjoyed hanging from the bar and having Grandma or I catch them just before they hit the ground.
Even though Bridget's attitude improved, she seemed a little tired throughout the day. She spent a lot of time in the stroller and asking to be carried. Snacks did wonders for her, but it's hard to overcome exhaustion. :) The one thing we finally found that truly perked up our little Bridget was the air dryer in the barn. We went in the petting zoo and visited the goats and on the way out they have a sink and hand dryer to wash up. Bridget washed her hands (a great joy for her!) and stood underneath the dryer, waving her hands to make it come on. It startled her as it came on as soon as she stepped under it, and it blew warm air all over her hair. Mom and I couldn't quit laughing as Bridget couldn't quit dancing underneath the blowing air. She found such amusement with that silly thing! A few times she even struck a Marilyn Monroe-type pose, pushing her dress down at the hem...it was just adorable.
We got a couple of group shots with the self-timer on my camera. I just love the self-timer! This one, down near the monkey areas, is my favorite.
On the way home, the kids all crashed. Always a good sign of a fun outing. :)
The Phoenix Zoo rocked! They had lots of little 'extra' things you can pay for and do, but we found that the zoo was exciting enough without doing any of the added-on things. Well, of course we rode the carosel...don't be silly! That is just a tradition of the zoo. Jonah rode the water horse because he had seen a picture of it online before we got there. It was all he had hoped it would be. Henry rode the shark as a second choice to the eagle, which was broken at the time of our ride. And Bridget? Would you think she might pick a horse? A gorilla? A hummingbird? A seahorse or a panda bear or maybe a zebra??? No, she HAD to ride on the bench. The handicapped-accessible bench that isn't decorated like anything at all and doesn't go up and down like the others. And you know what? She loved every. single. minute. :)