Monday, June 20, 2016

Animals and Science!! The Florida Excitement Continues

      We have covered a lot of things with our trip, and we still have several other places that we visited. Along with the last two blog we also went to Lowry Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, The Florida Aquarium, and The Clearwater Aquarium.  We had purchased the City Pass for Tampa before we came, providing us with discounted tickets to all these places.
     We hit the zoo on Saturday morning. As usually it was hot, but like most places in Florida they have water features to help with the heat. We had a great time, the kids able to ride some kiddie rides, and Mom and Dad riding the log ride. We were able to pet sting rays, and feed a giraffe.

Cooper on the Komodo Dragon

Lauren Riding on the Carousel, she choose a Dragon
Mom and Cooper after second time down the log ride - My tennis shoes were squeakie the rest of the day
Petting the Sting rays -Lauren really loved doing this
Cooper and Lauren feeding the girafffe
    Next were the two aquariums. We were able to see Winter, the dolphin from the Movie "A Dolphin's Tale". The aquarium was small but nice and Lauren was able to pet more sting rays.  On Monday morning before flying out we went to the Florida Aquarium.

Lauren watching Winter and his friend from the underwater viewing area
Checking out the water spout
Going into the Florida Aquarium
Lauren smiling with all the pretty fishies

More Sting Rays

Finally the Museum of Science and Industry.  It was a big place, and had lots of cool exhibit for the kids. The museum had an Imax and we watched a nice documentary about the National Parks. After that, we headed to outside the museum for the excitement of a ropes course. The kids were very excited about it, and they took off like a couple of monkeys. 
Lauren and Dad headed up
Cooper crossing over
All Smiles
Heading across the platforms
Cooper walking the high wire

Quick Video of Cooper and Lauren on the course

We had a really great trip, and I am hoping the kids will remember their first trip to the beach foundly.  We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Toes in the Sand

Since we are very much at home in Colorado, I am not sure any of us are true beach people. I must say that it is nice to put your toes in the sand every once in a while.  We were staying out on Clearwater Beach, and for kids our age, this is an awesome beach. They have very small waves, and a long sand bar, that you can wade out 30/40 feet and still be only 3 feet deep. We spent all day Friday at the beach, and then a speed boat ride.  The sand was great , the weather was great(we did have a short rain of about 20 mins, but that just cooled us off), with little crowds, it was a great day. I have several photos, so here we go.....

One of our sand creations

Hard At Work

The happy Couple - Joel did get a lot of compliments on his hat

After a quick rain shower - all smiles
Lauren enjoying the sunset
Found a crab - wanted to see if he would come out to see us
    After the morning at the beach we headed across the street for a boat ride. The Sea Screamer, a speed boat that we were able to see dolphins on, was next. It was very cool. This was Lauren main pick of what she wanted to do when we got to Florida. I was really glad we did. It was fun, and really amazing to see the dolphins playing in the water.

                       Not a great pic, but the only one of the whole family... remember we have been at the beach all day. That explains Lauren's hair :)

Dad and Lauren
Enjoying the wind in our hair
Here is a video of the show put on by our dolphin friends

The following morning we headed over the zoo( I will blog it next with the Science Museum), but after the zoo we headed back to the dock for Captain Memo's Pirate Ship.  This was Cooper choice. It was a two hour cruise around the bay, and I was a little worried we were be bored, because it was not a speed boat. Boy, was I wrong. We had a really good time. The crew did an excellent job of keeping everyone entertained and interested, telling pirate stories, arming all crew water pistols, firing canon's, and mustaches for the pirates. (Also did not hurt it has free beer and sodas :) ) Lauren had accidentally gotten some sun block in her eye, so that was  a little damper on the fun, but she still got right in there and participated with everything. It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed it.

  Pirate Cooper ready to board.

The pirates getting permission to come aboard from the Captain
Checking out the main deckMom and Dad enjoying the day
Scurvy Dog Mad Mike telling a pirate story
Captain Cooper, Mad Dog Mommy, and Rennie the Renegade with their booty

I will finish up the trip with talking about the zoo and the Museum of Science and industry in the next few days. Until then... Argggg.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Let's go somewhere warm

      We are determined to travel with the kids as much as we can, and it is sometimes hard to find a place the kids love and Mom and Dad can tolerate. I have been wanting to get the kids to the beach for a year or so now, so I told Joel we were headed to Florida. I did a little research on good beaches for kids, and Clearwater Beach came up as a nice one. So tickets books, did a little more research to see what sights we needed to get in and we headed East. I will note this is the first time I have been across the Mississippi River since I was about 23, I am still not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

                      Lauren sharing her movie with Little Cow and fox

     We landed, and to keep it interesting, Lauren left her backpack on the airport train. After trying to get it back, we had to leave our information with the airport lost and found. Thankful it was finally located and we were able to pick it up on the way back out of town. After a quick early dinner, we headed to check into the hotel and hit the beach. We were able to spend an hour at the beach, and hotel pool before bedtime.

My little cuddle bugs, plus Darth Vader

   The next morning we head over to Busch Gardens in Tampa.  It was a lot of fun, with kids rides, water rides, some animals, shows and roller coasters. Cooper and I rode a few rides, but mostly kept with the kiddy rides.
One of my fav.. Cooper not happy to sit thru Sesame Street show, and how really hot it was 

Lauren really enjoyed the show

Photo Op with Turtle

We were a little wet after the Rapids ride... it was very fun

Lauren AKA Red Baron

We purchase a refillable cup, and after a while we had to change to water since it was just so hot... this photo may be while hopped up on sugar :)
They had several big tree house type playgrounds that were very fun to run around in

Their was a roller coaster, that I was not able to convince anyone to ride with me, that threw water over the crowd. Lauren takes it like a Champ, Cooper runs away.

We got very lucky with crowds, many rides we were able to walk right up and ride. Cooper rode this ride over and over again. He would ride it, get off and run back to get on. He rode it by himself about 20 times. His laugh is awesome on this...

It was a great time, and only day one of our trip. Up next beach and boat trips.

Friday, June 10, 2016

School's out for Summer

I wanted to post up a few pics from the last day of school. For one to show how they have changed over the year.... and second to explain why Mom might be a little crazier each year.

                                  Spring 2015                                          Spring 2016

So looking at these two from a year apart I can see both kids are going up WAY to quickly.(also Mom learned how to comb Cooper's hair :) )  Both kids are doing great in school. Cooper getting several high/above grade level proficiency on his final report card, and Lauren is doing great with her speech and should be ready to take on kindergarten in the fall.

Now for why Mom is losing it..........


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Our Little Soccer Player

    Lauren has been wanting to play soccer for a few years, really ever since Cooper has been playing. They do have soccer leagues for ages 4 and up, but we could not do that to another wonderful volunteer parent. She was not at all prepared to be part of a team.... it was a little questionable right now, but we had told her she could. We also made sure she knew what was required when you are part of a team. All in all Lauren did really well. She tried her best, and followed the Coach Matt's guidance as well and any 5 year old would. I think she had a great time and is looking forward to the fall. Here are a few highlight photos.


We did a LOT of running up and down the field, after other kids with the ball
Mixing it up... they are too cute
Cheering on our teammates
Chasing down the ball

So close
Are we helping Liam, or trying to take the ball from him :)
She had a great time
Even had an Entourage :)
Cooper had to spend some of the game time doing his reading homework... he made the best of it
Happy to have the chance to play this spring,  and we are looking forward to the fall!