Today, we went with our good friend Christy and her daughters to Howarth Park in Santa Rosa. We met up with Christy’s mom and with Christy’s friend Sabrina and her family. So, we had three 5 year olds, one 8 year old, and a few adults. On the way home, Christy pointed out that, after her mom left, I was the oldest one there.
We started out with a pizza picnic lunch, followed by some playing on the large playground.
Christy’s mom had to go after lunch, but not before hugs. Jack asked if he could give her hugs too. When I went to take a picture…
Me: Let’s take a picture of you and your girls.
The girls scramble next to their Nana… and Jack gets on Anika’s right.
Me: … And Jack.
(After we got home and Jack saw this picture, he lamented that he no longer had a Nana. We eventually mollified him with the fact that he has TWO Great-Grandmas, and that none of his friends has a GG.)
We got the kids into their suits to play in the water spouts… which were turned off on the half hour. So, we covered them up and headed for the rides.
Thanks to the generosity of Christy’s mom, all 4 kids got 2-lap pony rides. The ponies weren’t tethered. There were young people (I really am old) who were leading them around a great big loop through the woods. Jack’s pony was Lucy. He told us she was “wiggly”. The girls rode Midnight and Willow, and Sabrina’s son rode Kendall.
After the real ponies came the carousel. It was hard to get a nice picture of Jack on the carousel, though I did manage to do so when he wasn’t looking.
The carousel was right next to the train. It was a cute little train that meandered about the woods for a few minutes. Thanks to Sabrina’s husband, we got a picture of all of us on the train.
From the train, we went down the hill to the animal barn. Guess what they had there?
A calf! And we were allowed to pet her! We’ve never been allowed to pet a calf before. Jack wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be, but he did say that she was very soft.
The barn also included a goat, chickens & a rooster, bunnies, and guinea pigs, all of which were pet-able. Two sheep, a pig, and two doves were for looking, not touching. The kids got to suggest names for the animals. Jack decided that the white bunny with red eyes was Lightning Bolt, because bunnies jump fast.
The kids were begging to finally go into the water, and it was 3:00, so we went. I gather that the water was very cold. I think they had more fun running away from and around the water than running in it. I ended up getting into a discussion with a lady about my camera. (A high-end Nikon Coolpix, which I love!) I didn’t get too many good pictures in the water because I didn’t want to get my camera wet.
The kids spent the full half hour in the water, after which we dried them off. Christy and I gathered our things. Caitlyn read her new American Girl magazine and Anika and Jack played with Anika’s puzzle, both courtesy of their Nana. We finally convinced the kids to go get dressed.
Now, I’m a lady. And Jack is a gentleman. And because of how the bathrooms were, I couldn’t have him change in the ladies room. So I had to stand in the doorway of the gentleman (back to the entrance, of course). The layout of the restrooms was such that I wasn’t going to let Jack be in there completely by himself. An older gentleman had a problem with that. What’s my point? FAMILY BATHROOMS!
OK, so we got dressed, then the kids wanted to play, so they went climbing.
We hiked up to the lake. My knee and feet were not happy with me today. Jack really wanted to go in a boat. However, had too many people for a kayak, I couldn’t help pedal a pedalboat, and I wouldn’t do a rowboat or canoe. So we contented ourselves with trying to feed ducks. (We fed them duck food, which we purchased at the boat house. Bread is actually very bad for ducks. I never realized.)
While feeding the ducks, we saw a river otter! I got an acceptable picture.
(Next week, we’re going to Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so we should have some really good otter pictures.)
The ducks weren’t really hungry, so we went back down the hill to the bounce house.
The kids bounced for a good long time, then decided they were hungry and thirsty. After 15 minutes on the playground, we headed for McDonald’s. But first, Jack had to show me how high he could climb.
We got back home a little before 8 pm. Max didn’t come with us, so he put Jack down for bed. When he came down, he asked, “How does Jack know about World War II?”
… But that’s another post…