The Zoo! The Aquarium! The Actuallys! Oh, my!

On the day we went here,

to see this:

and this (which thoroughly cracked us up):

We also went here:

And could not leave without our own black tip and leopard sharks…

Throughout our comprehensive tour of the animal kingdom I was texting back and forth with a certain someone trying to make plans for that evening.  By afternoon we had a game plan together for a cookout and we were bringing the chips.

That’s right!  We visited The Actuallys!  Bethany and her family graciously invited us over to their home for dinner.  Troy grilled and we shared dinner on their lovely back deck.  It was wonderful meeting Bethany, Troy and Annalie in person.  They were just as sweet and funny as I thought they would be.

It took Wildman (and Cutie Pie for that matter) a while to warm up to the new people and new surroundings.  But as the evening wore on he became more comfortable and was able to communicate effectively with Annalie in the way only 5- and 6-year-olds can…

When Bethany broke out the glow bracelets she secured a place in my boys’ hearts forever.  They still have the necklaces that they made from three bracelets and refuse to part with them even though they don’t glow anymore.  That’s love!

This sweetie and I became fast friends:

Katy loves to be petted and I was happy to oblige.  I am a cat person, after all 🙂

It was hard to tear ourselves away from The Actuallys.  My family and I had a great time getting to know them.  Thank you so much for being such lovely hosts, Bethany, Troy and Annalie!  We will always remember the fun evening we shared with you!  You have an open invitation to swim at our place any time you want.  Just let us know!


Big Truck Day

Each year our city organizes Big Truck Day for the children.  Basically it’s a free-for-all, horn-honking, cab-climbing, bell-ringing extravaganza for little kids.  Wildman and Cutie Pie have loved each time that they have gone.

For one reason or another, J has always taken the boys to Big Truck Day solo.  I’ve either had a Zumba event or been out of town or had something else going on.  This year, though, the tables were turned.  J spent his entire Saturday traveling back home from a business trip to Los Angeles.  I don’t envy him that cross-country flight.  But I do envy the trip to LA…  Maybe I’ll tag along next time 🙂

Anyway, Wildman had an early morning t-ball game on Saturday which ended at 10 AM.  It was perfect timing because Big Truck Day was scheduled from 10AM – 2 PM.  After I passed out snacks to the team we headed over to the community center parking lot to check out all the cool trucks.

The boys immediately locked their eyes on the Publix semi and ran over excitedly.  Unfortunately, the cab and trailer were not open for the kids to explore.  What’s up with that Publix?!

The “Publix Loves Kids” sticker was small consolation for the truck being locked up…

Now the cement mixer was another story!  The guy who brought it was super nice.  He helped the children climb in and showed them how to pull the loud horn cable.  Then he gave them Tootsie Rolls.  He was a hero in the eyes of the children.

The city’s fire engines were a huge hit as well.  There were kids crawling all over them, ringing the bells, trying on the equipment, etc.

I’m not sure who brought the Arctic Cat pulling the jet ski but we had to visit it twice.  I could hardly pry my boys off of them.

The boys liked exploring the cranes as well but the height and sketchy footholds made me nervous.  I didn’t want either of them to make a misstep and plummet to the pavement…  Luckily, they held on tight and there were no accidents.

The backhoe loader was fun too.

We stayed at the event for little over an hour.  The boys exhausted themselves climbing in and on the big trucks.  Since it was such a lovely first day of Spring we decided to spread out a blanket and have a picnic in the backyard when we got home.  It was wonderful!