Weekend Away!

We made a spontaneous getaway recently!
When we lived in Central TX, one of our favorite things was how close we were to big, fun cities and we would often just get out of town to see a fun, artsy movie or to eat dinner at an eclectic restaurant or maybe go shopping...
last weekend, we decided to try doing that... with children.
And we had a blast!
We loaded up the car and it was a special treat for Will to watch a movie on the road.  We only allow movies in the car when on trips so this was a big deal for Will.
We headed straight to the zoo.

 Will loved it the carousel.
 Ellie loved it briefly
and then she rode in daddy's arms. 
 We learned lots of cool animal facts aboard the monorail.
 This gorilla was awesome.
He was sleeping like a baby until I plopped Ellie down and her splints made a loud noise on the metal and that gorilla woke up, gave her a scary look, & then rolled over and went back to sleep
(Reminded me of a teenager... or my 4 year old when I wake him up too early.)

 Ellie & the peacefully sleeping gorilla (after he gave his warning look to her.)
 This giraffe was awesome!

 Much like my newly discovered love of elks, apparently I love getting close to giraffes.

 Isn't it beautiful?!?
 R & I petted him but Will was a little nervous.

Then this precious playful little baby giraffe took off running laps & spooking the ostriches & zebras and making them run all different directions and then his mama or daddy would chase him and it was so much fun to watch!
I'm pretty sure this giraffe is Jaime - named after sweet baby James who died last year.  I was one of many who voted that the zoo name him in memory of this giraffe adoring little boy... it was fun to see the giraffe in person.

 Later, we checked into our hotel.  Will thought he was so big pulling his own suitcase.
 I have such good memories of playing on hotel beds.  There's something about those big white beds that just beckons to be jumped on.
The kids had a blast rolling, jumping, & being tickled.

 The next morning, I let them watch a cartoon in our bed.  They thought that was a huge treat.

 We briefly visited Great-Grandpa who is in a home for people with Alzheimers.  He doesn't know me or R or Ellie but for some reason, he always knows Will and perks up for him.
We were there just in time for music therapy which was geared perfectly for a four year old.  Ellie & Will both had fun shaking their instruments and following directions.  I think the therapist liked having some energetic participants as well. :) 
 Finally, we saw a play at the children's theater - "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."
It was pretty cute and funny.  Will had fun & Ellie did great through the first act.  
I must say that it didn't have the funny slapstick kid humor or the adult humor of "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" but we did enjoy it.

A fun, spontaneous weekend away.  I'm so grateful for kids who travel well, who sleep in hotel rooms (although Ellie woke up frequently as her leg kept getting stuck between slats in the hotel crib), kids who eat well at restaurants even when we wait for a table forever, and who can be flexible with weird naptimes and late bedtimes.

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