The week before school started, my mom took the kiddos and me on a trip to Atlanta to visit my Aunt Elaine. She has a beautiful house and an amazing pool, so that alone would have been a fun trip. (Though, based on the amount of times my boys decided to pee outside, I'm guessing the neighbors felt like the Clampetts had moved to town. Boys. Sigh.) But we also did lots of super fun, kid friendly activities. We spent the first day hanging out around the pool all day, but after that we were off! (Though we did find time to swim every day.)
Our first day trip took us into the city. We ate at The Varsity, the world's largest drive-in. Then we went to the nearby Centennial Olympic Park. The kids (and my mom and me!) had a blast playing in the Olympic ring fountain. It was fun and free! I also found my brick in the plaza that my aunt got me for Christmas the year the park was built. Next, we went to Stone Mountain. The boys and I rode the cable car to the top and explored the mountain. (They kept saying things like, "It's a good thing Daddy's not here becuase he would be afraid." And they were correct!) Then we all walked around the park. We just missed being able to see the nighttime laser show and the amusement park activities. (School in Atlanta starts on August 1st, so all the extra attractions close. If you are planning a trip there, make sure you check what they have going on before you go on and on about the laser show to your children, and then have to explain to them that you were wrong about it, and would, in fact, not be attending it.) It was a great day!
The next day, I got to live the dream of every girl who grew up in the 80's and go to Babyland General Cabbage Patch Hospital! But it was for the kids. Really. Yeah, the kids. Anyway, it too was free and awesome. (Though they have plenty of stuff available for you to buy;) We got to witness a "birth" in the cabbage patch, which was pretty cute. They asked the audience for volunteers to name the baby, and Jack was chosen! So, if you are at the Cabbage Patch hospital and see a doll named Jackson Toby, he's named for my Jack :) There was a ton to see and play with. The boys left with new toys curtesy of Grandma, and Miss Adeline left with a new doll, Bianca Chelsea, who looks a lot like her! Though Harry tried to deny it when we got in the car, all three of the kids (and all three of the adults) had a lot of fun. After that, we ate a hibachi restaurant that mesmerized the kids, and, in an "It's a small world," moment, the chef let us know that he used to live in a small town about forty miles from where we live!
Our last big outing was to Zoo Atlanta. If you know someone in Atlanta, all 159 libraries in the county have free passes card holders can check out once a year. So, free passes in hand, we headed to zoo. It is a really great zoo. They have pandas!!! I was so, so excited to see the pandas. (I think that the other people at the zoo thought my panda enthusiasm was humorous. But pandas are only at four U.S. zoos, and I haven't seen any since I was five. Their lucky proximity to pandas has made them jaded to it being a big deal!) The parakeet exhibit was so neat. Though it might not seem like, the seed sticks are worth the dollar. The birds came right to us! All of the exhibits allowed you to see the animals really close up. And, the children's zoo had fun rides and a nice playground. Jack tried the rockclimbing wall! It was big enough to have lots of animals, but not so big that the kids were too exhausted to see everything.
There were a few other things we wanted to do, but ran out of time. We'll just have to do them next time!