Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Visit from Grammie & Papa

My parents flew in from Michigan for several days and we had a great time with them. Mom & I went to a consignment sale on Friday and found a fantastic heavy-duty plastic table & chair set that Ben already loves for sitting & coloring.  We went to the zoo, had breakfast with his other set of grandparents and splashed in the fountain, and attempted to see some hot air balloons. There was also plenty of down time at home, reading and playing.

We ran into some bad luck on Saturday evening. We met Jerry & headed to Overland Park for the Great Midwest Balloon Fest. My parents took me to a hot air balloon festival in Michigan several times when I was little and we had a great time. We were really excited to take Ben. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor. We saw the handlers fighting with the US Bank & ReMax balloons, but they seemed unable to keep them up with the winds. Both the evening launch & balloon glow (where the balloons are tethered but kept inflated; the propane makes them glow) were canceled and we made it to the shuttle bus (definitely the best parking option!) and then back to our cars just as it started raining.  But Ben liked looking out the shuttle bus window and watching the crowd while he ate his snack for the short time we were at the festival. Hopefully next year we will actually be able to see the balloons take flight!

On Sunday after Ben's splashing adventure (see previous post),  we spent a few hours at the Kansas City Zoo. Despite the cool morning, it turned muggy and hot in the afternoon so we all tired easily. It was a good first trip, though, and was probably about the limit of Ben's attention span. 

The first thing we saw was the new polar bear exhibit. Nikita is about 3 1/2 years old and was born at the Toledo Zoo. He was having a blast swimming around his rock and then twisting up through the water. It was really mesmerizing! Here is Ben watching him dive.

We also watched part of the sea lion show. Ben thought it was funny when the sea lion made noise.

A sweaty Ben & Papa watching the smelly llamas get fed:

I think this bird is a lorikeet. We were amazed at the incredibly vivid colors of their feathers. It was a huge mix, like they had been splashing around in a paint box!

We also saw the elephants (leading to requests of "More ey-ye-font!"), meerkats, lemurs, ducks, swan, and river otter. I think next time Ben would probably like to see some of the apes. The chimps are always so entertaining, but they're at the far end of the zoo so it was way too far for us to walk that day.

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