To keep our tradition, the kids, Spencer and I piled into the car early Friday morning and headed north to Peoria. Things started off great....we left at 6:15 AM, kids were quiet, stopped only for gas and to eat lunch, no major traffic, and we were on track to arrive early to surprise my mother on her 65th birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). That was until we got to the construction area south of Champaign on I57 where the traffic was stop and go for about 15 miles. I had just entered the construction area and was rear-ended. Thankfully no one was hurt and only minor (very minor, really) damage was done to my car. I probably should have just shrugged it off, but I waited 30 minutes for a cop to arrive and another 30 minutes for him to write up an accident report, putting me an hour behind schedule and in a bad mood.
We finally arrived shortly before dinner and decided to just grab hotdogs instead of our birthday dinner out like we had planned (what a special 65th birthday mom, huh?). The kids immediately hugged their Nene and Poppy and started burning off energy that they had stored
up all day. Pres really enjoyed the little car my dad has, and Bennett was eager to play "catch" with my parents. I sat back and enjoyed a cold one and caught up with Steve on the phone since my cell phone died on the way up.
Saturday we headed to the pool. Surprisingly there was nobody there! We had the baby pool to ourselves and almost the whole big pool. The kids loved playing with toys we borrowed from the lost and found, and running under the large water mushroom. When the tears wouldn't stop, we knew it was time to hit the road and put these kids down for naps.
After some nice naps, everyone was recharged and feeling happy enough to enjoy a great dinner out at the CCP Terrace (always one of my favorites). Today we had planned to return to the pool, but the overcast weather put a damper on our plans so we hit the zoo instead. It ended up being a little cooler and was the perfect day to stroll around and check out the animals.
They got to see all of the animals, and both kids walked the zoo by themselves which really tuckered them out. My parents told me a couple of weeks ago one of the giraffes got their head/neck caught in a tree while eating and broke its neck right there in broad daylight (with children watching). So tragic.... The surviving giraffe was not out in the large Africa exhibit, but rather in a very tall and large kennel (with windows for viewing). I imagine he is suffering from some loneliness.
The kids enjoyed posing on all of the animals as you can see, and just taking in their surroundings. It was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours.
As we left, we saw people in the park eating their lunch. Bennett wanted to have a "picnic" too, so she ate her lunch outside when we got home and all was good.
So far our trip is going pretty well (on day 3), even though the little fender-bender put a slight twist in our plans. Let's just hope the rest of our time in Peoria is as fun, followed by our week in Avalon with everyone! The kids have never been away from home for this long (2.5 wks), so I am
hoping they adjust to the changes okay, but I will keep you posted!