Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016: Week 2

How could two weeks have already gone by?  This is going way too fast!!!!!! Can we all just agree to press pause?

Summer Bucket List Item #8: Park Hopping

We love to explore local parks and find new places to play.  We headed to Rock Hill on Monday morning and entered "parks near me" into Google Maps and drove around to 4 local parks we had never been to before.  One was closed for maintenance, a couple of others were small, and fun for a brief visit, but not worth returning to, and then one was absolute Eden. I love when our explorations lead us to amazing discoveries!

We loved it so much we went back again 2 days later for a photo shoot for a Father's Day gift for Chad.  Glencarin Gardens is worth a visit.  Once Chad has received his gift, I will post pictures of our second trip there, too.

If you live close by, pack a picnic, grab a blanket, bring storybooks or games, and plan on exploring and resting awhile.

Second best part is it is completely free!   Number one best part, there is a lot of shade!  Which is imperative in SC in the summertime.

Summer Bucket List Item #9: Kindness Confetti Kids

The kids and I have started a summer service club in our neighborhood with several other moms and kids.  We meet together once a week to perform a service for our community.  For our first meeting, we made a snack mix and thank you cards together and then delivered them to the local fire department, sheriff station, and library.  I am very excited for more adventures with these cute kids and their very sweet mommies!

 Summer Bucket List Item #10: Eat Dessert for Lunch

On the day we had our pictures taken for Chad's Father's Day gift, we headed to my very favorite french bakery,  Amelies.  We each ordered a dessert to share and ate those for lunch.

Summer Bucket List Items #11 and #12: Go to the Riverbanks Zoo and Ropes Course 

On Thursday we headed with our friends to the Columbia Zoo.  It was the first day that their Sea Lion exhibit opened.  We explored the zoo exhibits and the new children's play area.  Last year when we went to the zoo, the kids asked to do the ropes course, so we made sure to make time to do that on this visit.  

You may not know this about my Ryan, but he LOVES babies and toddlers!  I love the sweetness these two pictures capture.  He is way more interested in helping our sweet little neighbor feed the giraffe than he is in the giraffe.

I am not sure he even noticed the huge tongue touching his arm, he was so focused on Caden.

My favorite part of the day was watching this mama koala snuggle with her baby.

The new playground and splash area is worth a visit all by itself.  We could have spent twice as long in this area.

All three of my children wanted to try the ropes course.

Since Molly isn't 48 inches tall, it meant I also got to try the ropes course.   The boys loved it and zipped all the way around up to the very top.  Not sure where they got their dare devil, thrill seeking spirits, but I can tell you it wasn't from their mom.

Molly got to the first level and decided that perhaps she did not want to go any higher, and that she would like help from this very sweet zoo employee to cross the bridge to get down.

So she and I headed back to the ground level, where she was much happier and we celebrated her bravery and willingness to try new things.

Summer Bucket List Item #13: Pie Face with Friends 

Ryan's new favorite game is Pie Face.  He wants to play it every day.  He was very excited to have friends come over and play with us.  I love it, too! Mainly because my children's laughter is my favorite sound in the world!

Summer Bucket List Item #14: Father and Son Night at Carowinds

With our season passes, we are hoping that Chad can take each of the children alone to Carowinds. Andrew and Chad went on Friday night.  Unfortunately, all of the rides were closed for testing.  They managed to ride the Fury two times, once in the front row (which was on Andrew's personal bucket list) before all of the coasters were shut down.  Andrew is hoping for a redo of their night ASAP.   We are very grateful they were there for just a couple of hours using a season pass and not someone who bought a ticket for the day.  However it was still very frustrating and disappointing.  In fact it has pretty much been our experience every time we have visited.  Way too many rides are being "tested" or not being run because of lack of staff.  This was the worse yet, but it is a very upsetting trend.

Aside from our bucket list items, we went to the pool 6 times with friends,  Ryan went to a birthday party, and I ran around like a crazy person trying to get all of the stuff I need for the Me-Too program at Cub Scout Camp.

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