Tuesday, November 16, 2010

While I Was Gone: Playgrounds, Trains, and Dinos...Oh My!

Something we always like to do when we are in Austin is go to Zilker Park. It's this giant public park near downtown that has a ton of different things to do. It has a public spring-fed pool, soccer fields, rugby fields, rock climbing, a few different playscapes, a giant stage where Shakespeare in the Park is performed during the summer weekends, and of course the Zilker Zephyr. Aiden, like most little boys, loves being outside. Mix that with a beautiful weather and a train ride, and you get a prefect day.

By the time we got to Zilker that day we had missed the train by less than 5 minutes. This being our second attempt at riding the dumb train, we decided to just stick around for another hour and a half so that we wouldn't miss the next one. While we waited we decided to take Aiden and Tristan to the playground. They played for a while, climbing and sliding, and not listening to us at all. Aiden's favorite thing to do was to pretend to drive the old-fashioned fire truck.
We decided to head down to the Greenbelt to let the boys look at the water because they love it, and who gets to still swim/get your feet wet in November? Gotta love Texas right? So to our awesome luck, a family (I don't know the technical term for it...gaggle? flock?) of ducks chose that precise time when the boys were squirming their toes in the water to swim up so that we could say hello. Jennifer had a bag of Baked Ruffles in her purse that she dug out so that the boys could feed the ducks. Let me tell you, these ducks had no fear. They swam right up to the kids and didn't even scoot away when they started throwing the food. A few were even brave enough to eat a chip right out of Jennifer's hand! Aiden really loved that part.

real picture taken by moi

After the bag of chips were eaten, we headed back to the little train station area to wait. When the train finally pulled up and we climbed aboard, both Aiden and Tristan were pretty excited. The last time we were in Texas Ethan and I took Aiden on the train, and he remembered it the second time. He was a little anxious at first because instead of riding in our laps he got to sit on the seat next to us. I think he had to get used to the feeling of moving and swaying with the motion of the train, but he soon forgot all about that. He started to sing the theme song from his favorite TV show Dinosaur Train, and started asking where the characters from the show were. He was slightly miffed when we explained to him that there were no dinosaurs, only people on this train.

After the short ride we decided to head into the air conditioning for a while. Jennifer told us about a museum on the University of Texas {Go Longhorns!} campus that had a bunch of dinosaur bones. Since Aiden had already been asking about dinosaurs we figured it would be a fun experience for them.

It was a pretty small museum, but it had some interesting stuff. I for one love museums so I was happy to go at all. Sadly, when you go to a museum with a two year old and a four year old, don't expect to be able to actually take time to look at any of the exhibits. The boys just flew from one cool display to the next. They were nice and quiet and didn't touch anything, but they didn't care about finding out where a certain bone came from or how it played into the animal's life. There were some cool dino bones, but I was more interested in the animal and science stuff. Maybe one day Ethan and I can go back so that we can just look around. 

After the museum we dropped Tristan and Jennifer off at their house and then went out to dinner with my Mama, her boyfriend Jerry, and his grandson Junior, and then all of us drove out to my Aunt Robyn's house for my family's usual coffee and cigarettes. My cousin's wife and their son were there also so it was a fun time for Aiden to be able to play with the babies in the family. My cousin, Billy, is in the Army and is currently deployed so it was nice to be able to see Ashley and Micah. All of us - Aunt Robyn, Brandy, Ashley, Micah, Mama, Jerry, Junior, Ethan, me, Aiden, and Grandma - walked down to the neighborhood park to let the boys play on the playground. Robyn could've sworn that the place was lit up (seeing that it was dark outside) but we let them play anyways...with adult supervision of course! Aiden and Micah had more fun chasing the flashlight beams than anything else.

Me and Aiden, Ashley and Micah
Some really fun memories were made that night. I really hope that we will be able to make some more as a big family again. When I'm having a bad day and all I want to do is go home, it's nice to think about memories like that and know that even though I'm far away, my family is back home supporting me and loving me.

1 comment:

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