Pretending to be cobras with their neck pillows
My dear friend, who also happened to be my mentor early in the news business, now works in PR at the San Diego Zoo and hooked us up with free tickets (thanks, Jenn!). How sweet is that?! So, we zoo'ed it up. We did some reconnaissance work in advance, and checked out the exhibits online so we could map out exactly where we wanted to go during our visit, and which animals we just had to see. We kinda lost Jax once we told him the zoo had a cobra snake. After that, he had a one-track mind and had little interest in anything else. The Zoo has a great reptile/amphibian area where Jax got to see every kind of snake, lizard and turtle imaginable. He was jumping-out-of-his-skin excited. When we found the first of the two cobras, he seemed to have springs in his shoes because he couldn't stop jumping and excitedly yelling to Andy and I to come look. He just kept saying, "I can't believe I'm seeing a real-life cobra!"
The look on Ava's face pretty much sums up how she felt about the reptile area
This is a terrible picture, but it's a cobra.
Eden went along for the ride, making monkey sounds when appropriate, growling at the bears, hissing at the snakes and barking at all animals whose sound she didn't know. She wasn't too keen on the stroller and wanted to walk like the big kids, which wore her out... so she was tired... but she didn't want to be in the stroller... so we carried her part of the way... until she finally gave up and let me put her in the stroller where she took a little snooze.
Totally his father's son!
All tuckered out. That snake is Jax's souvenir. It's freakishly real.
Jax was a little hesitant at first but quickly followed his sister's lead.
Eden, however, was not having any of it. She tried it out for a few minutes before deciding she absolutely hated it. She cried, she told us no when we asked if she wanted to play, she was just miserable which surprised me because she loves the sandbox at home. In her defense, she started getting sick the night before and by the time we got home she had full-blown croup, so that could have had something to do with her attitude toward the beach.
On a side note, Jax chose a very realistic rattlesnake as his zoo souvenir. He brought it along to the beach, setting it in the sand with our things. I wish that snake came with a hidden camera to capture the frightened look on beachgoers' faces when they spotted what appeared to be a live rattlesnake on the peaceful beach, or the double-takes we received as Eden walked down the pier carrying the thing. If we're being honest, I hate that darn snake. Much like the beachgoers, it has scared the tar out of me just laying on the floor in the living room or Jax's bedroom.
This is my favorite picture of the girls! Eden rarely looks at the camera, so this is extra-special. They're so beautiful!
That evening, we headed over to Dawn's wedding. Actually, Andy did. It was a no-kids shindig, so Andy went to the ceremony then came back and got me for the reception while Grandma and Grandpa stayed with the kids in the hotel. Not only did we get a date night, but we got to spend some time with "the girls" -- Andy's three girl cousins with whom he spent many childhood summers playing, and who I just happen to adore. We spent most of our time talking about their childhoods together, and our kids, and laughing at it all.
I'm grateful our little family had the chance to enjoy some special time together. We spent all summer finishing the remodel on the house and then moving into the house which, while exciting, didn't make for the most eventful summer break for the kids. So, we made up for it, and made some great memories in the process!