Friday, January 10, 2014

Clearwater/Tampa con't

On Friday, we went to Busch Gardens. If you've never been, it's like a zoo and amusement park combined. It was about 50 degrees all day, so not very warm....definitely not the warm Florida weather we were hoping for! 
We've arrived! We got there around 10:30 and didn't leave until the park closed at 7 pm. 
We did the Serengeti Safari (Brenda took James on a train ride because he wasn't old enough)
We saw all kinds of animals on our safari jeep tour! 
This picture cracks me up!

We all got to feed the giraffe lettuce. Adelyn liked it, but wouldn't look. 

They still had all the Christmas decorations up. There were tons of poinsettias everywhere! Grandma and the grandkids are in the sleigh together. 
Emily, Thomas, and Adelyn were tall enough to ride this bad boy, the Scorpion. They loved it!

Saturday was MUCH warmer (high 60s/low 70s) and we visited the Lowry Park Zoo, which is voted #1 zoo in the nation by Parents Magazine. 
Family shot after the kids fed the giraffes again

They had a wide range of animals and the best part was how visible they were to kids. When I went to the Atlanta Zoo I felt like we were searching for the animals and I was constantly lifting the kids up to see them. 

Beautiful, colorful birds 

 My favorite- the orangutans! And I could have watched these monkeys all day. This video is crazy!

 This girl is growing too fast. 

 James loves the merry-go-round!

 When James saw these penguins he said, "He kiss it and make it better?"

 Oh, are we at the zoo?? Forget the fact that there are meerkats behind this viewing's turned into a monster truck jam. He carried this monster truck EVERYWHERE we went. 

 They all got to feed giraffes again! This time James and Brenda got to participate!

 Their long, black tongues creep me out/fascinate me. The black is like a sunscreen because giraffes eat the bulk of the day. 

 Bobby bought James a cupcake. He's always getting the grandkids sweets. 

 This is an okapi- it's head resembles a giraffe and it's legs a zebra. Interesting mating combo. 

We were in a fenced in outdoor "room" with the wallabies. No cage- so cool!

After this, we headed home. What a great way to kick off the new year. Now it's time to get back into some kind of routine! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy 2014 (and our first trip of the year)

Happy New Year! 

For the first time in 5 years, Seth and I went on out New Year's Eve. We got a sitter and met some of my favorite people for dinner at Cabernet. It was fun to get dressed up and enjoy a nice meal. 
Me, Laura, and Heather 

Mel, Trevor, and Seth

The next morning, we left for Florida. When we arrived in Clearwater, it was rainy. We hung out at the hotel and Seth and I took the kids across the street to the beach. They had a huge trampoline and Adelyn wanted to try it. I will forever have her squeals embedded in my memory. Check it out here. The kids and I put our feet in the ocean. It was pretty chilly!

On Thursday morning, we went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It's a marine rescue center (where Winter the dolphin resides). I have lots of videos posted below, but they're all super short. 
Family shot

Adelyn chillin' with Winter

They loved touching the stingrays
Emily, Thomas, and Adelyn did the Encounter with the Dolphins package. This allowed them to be on the platform during one of the presentations. They got to do all kinds of neat things with the dolphins.  

Adelyn posing with Hope. She also got to feed her! (video here
Each child got to throw a toy for Hope to fetch. 
Here are some short video clips of how the kids got to interact with the dolphins: 

This was definitely something I'LL never forget. It was a very special day!

More on this trip to TBC

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Family Christmas Celebrations

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. One of the best parts is getting together with family and friends. 
On December 21st, my parents hosted my dad's side of the family for brunch at their house. We haven't ALL been together in years. It was awesome to see my aunt, uncle,  cousins and their kids!

Turner cousins

The next day, my cousin Regan hosted us at her house in Hickory for lunch. Here are the McComb cousins anxiously awaiting their dessert- banana pudding and birthday cake. It was also Regan's birthday!

Adelyn thought it would be Christmas-y to wear a red and silver sparkle shoe. 
We went to Seth's parents' house for lunch on Christmas day. How cute are the cousins? 

Adelyn requested a sewing machine and her own thread. This will be interesting! She's SO excited. I guess we'll both learn to sew. :)

James got lots of tractors/trucks!
On Christmas night, we went to Seth's grandfather's house to eat. 

Seth's Aunt Lynn knit their American Girl dolls a skirt and cardigan. So cute!

My parents came the day after Christmas and stayed for 2 nights. We normally do a steak dinner, but this year we opted for hamburgers on the Primo. They were delicious!

Adelyn got some learning toys this year! She got a clock and a cash register to learn time and money (on top of sewing!)

More trucks!

Uncle Joe spoiled my kids ROTTEN. 

One thing my brother got Seth and I was a coffee mug that looks like a potty. It's hilarious! 

My mom and me

Ah, relaxing by the fire....where we spend most nights!

Seth got a driving simulator from his parents and my parents. I guess I should say good bye now, because once this bad boy gets set up Seth will be out of sight. 

On Friday, my parents and I took the kids to The Pink Pig train ride at Macy's. I've always heard about this Atlanta tradition. They loved it, but I certainly don't feel the need to do this annually. We ate at Souper Jenny- YUM!