definitely "best of times..."

We're back from our whirlwind adventure with Dave and Patty. What great people. We enjoyed them so much, and can't quite pick out a favorite moment yet, as they were all so good. Thank you, dear friends, for making the trek out to see us. And to the rest of y'all: see, it's possible!

Saturday, the boys went to the Wyoming/Florida Atlantic football game (by way of the beach, shown here from brandon's phone). Brandon told me he had the time of his life with these two dudes. It didn't hurt that Wyoming WON the game either:
The rest of us spent a very beautiful, warm, humid, no-wind day at Sea World. We too had a blast! The format was a little different than Disney: at Sea World, you walked around and saw animals like at a zoo or cool museum, then blocked out time to go and watch these incredible shows every couple of hours, where the dolphins/killer whales/sea lions/otters/high divers/acrobats/comedians performed. So, it allowed for some much needed rest in between the adventures in the sun sun sun. (Plus there were 4 or 5 BIG rollar coasters available to the brave park goers. so not me so much.)

Plus, this Patty-friend of ours is a wonderfully calm soul to whom my kids immediately adhered themselves (yes, even Annie), and she did every single thing we wanted, right down to staying two extra hours, taking Zane on rides when I didn't want to (which was every time), chilling with both kids while I went and bought [yet another set of] treats for them [me], replying to Annie's incessant "uh uh uh uh uh"s while telling stories, and walking multiple times in the wrong directions because I insisted our destination was "right around this next corner." Anyone who has Patty in their life is lucky. Thanks, lady, for such a fun day.

Onto my picture explanation: I remember this same thing happened at Disney World--I wanted pictures that said "WE ARE HERE!" But in reality, staged pictures turn out silly and all I really want to do is take close-up pictures of my excited ones. So first, here are a few staged ones. In other words, WE WERE HERE:

(Patty has a better version of the above; I'll replace it when I get it from her.)

And here are some "realer" shots throughout the day.

First, some real fish that we got to [attempt to] throw at the sea lions. Patty, I'm actually a little embarrassed about this moment: Zane couldn't huck the first one far enough, and my reflex to "help" collided with my reflex to "get rid the slimy critter in my hands" so I chucked and chucked until they were all gone. Definitely an example of a time when Patty could have said "wow Michelle, you really need to chill and let your kid experience life" but instead she said, "Let's go find the sharks!" and in doing so, saved the day:

Next, we got to participate in a fun event they hold each weekend in October called "Halloween Spooktacular." Never fear, it was really just trick-or-treating. After Annie realized what was going on, all pictures I tried to take of her pretty much turned out like this:
mmmm, candy.
Our last event of the day (after the amazing shamu show that I have no pictures of because I was afraid my camera would get wet) was letting Zane play in this ginormous (as in 4 stories high or more) playplace of rope ladders and highways and continents. It was a big step for me to let him loose in that labyrinth; I wondered if I would ever see him again, and made him repeat back to me multiple times that we would be waiting "BY THE THREE SLIDES" just in case he got lost in there and needed assistance. Well, my fears were for nothing. 15 minutes later or so, he emerged looking like this:
Red cheeked, hair glistening, and full of adventure stories. So we let him go back in twice more to blow off the rest of his steam.

While we waited for him, Annie had us all to herself, which she quite enjoyed:

We spent the time sword fighting:
figuring out where to go next (which ended up being the PARKING LOT, thank heavens):
and let's face it, going a little crazy after such a long day in the heat:

As we walked to our car, Annie fell asleep on my shoulder. She slept until the next morning.

As for the rest of us, Zane went swimming once more, then went to sleep, leaving us gals to watch one of my all-time favorites: Notting Hill. sigh. it was my sea world.

Now we're home and back to the grindstone, but WE CAN DO IT, because of such great memories.

Plus, Zane tells me it's full-on VOLL outside now; how could I not be excited?


Kjerstin said…
When did you get so good on that camera? Those pictures are AWESOME!!!
Brenny said…
So fun to see Patty and Dave and Johnny. Sounds like you guys had a great weekend.
Ann Marie said…
I am so impressed that the three guys came home safely. I know those guys! Glad you had a delightful day and didn't get caught in their craziness.
walt or jean said…
Amazing weekend. What is "full on Voll?" Is it like mole on pole?