Sunday night I had the opportunity to visit with some girls that I went to grade school and high school with years ago. It was so much to catch up, and we enjoyed several hours of hearing about each other's families, jobs and any news about other classmates. Thank you Tiffany, Leslie, Erikka and Roni for coming to visit with me!!
Monday, I went downtown to have lunch with my father and see some of the old folks at Baird that I used to work with 6 years ago. It is funny how so much has changed, yet it seems like nothing really has when I get back in Peoria.
Tuesday morning my parents took both of the children to Wildlife Prairie Park. My early memories weren't that good, so I elected to stay at home and work. However, they had a wonderful time, and every animal was out, walking around and visible! Bennett came home chatting about all that she saw and was so excited to have ridden on their train. Since she is so into animals, my mother and I took them Wednesday morning to Glen Oak Zoo. It had been at least 20 years since I had been, and I must admit that I was very impressed with Peoria's little zoo. They have just spent millions adding a huge Africa exhibit which is really vast and sprawling. You walk into the designated area and you just see prairie with the various animals walking around (much cooler than Birmingham's area for these animals). The lions were "sleeping" that day, but we saw everything else and Bennett had a ball!
On our last day, we hit the Children's Museum in Bloomington on our way out of town. We thought this would be a fun way to spend a couple of hours and tire the children before the long drive. It ended up being a GREAT idea and worked well for everyone! Preston slept all the way there (about 45 minutes), but then woke up and crawled all around and explored in the toddler area. Bennett just kept going from one thing to the next on the various floors. She is at an age where she is really exploding with her vocabulary as well as her skills so she loved it.
We finally got on the road about 11:45, and we were determined to make good time. We made several short stops, and one longer one for dinner. But we did much better on the way back with much less construction and weather hold-ups. The kids cried a couple of times, but never at the same time, and not for very long. So all in all....it was a pretty smooth trip. Thanks to my mother for driving back with me (I was going to do it by myself which would have been a disaster).
Now we are finally back and trying to settle into our normal routines. What a nice visit!