Finishing Summer 2016 well...

Monday, September 19, 2016
It's hard to believe Summer 2016 was coming to a close.  We took a look at our summer bucket list and had 2 major items left to tackle -- the zoo and our downtown adventure day!  We decided to tackle the zoo after church the Sunday before school started.  We failed to remember people make a weekend of it when they come to the fair so the parking lot was FULL when we arrived but luckily it didn't feel "busy" when we got inside.  The kids had earned free passes for their summer reading logs at the library and friends gave Scott and I free passes too so we decided to eat lunch there!  Of course we stopped by the fish and Australian exhibits before heading off to the train...always a fan favorite!



We then stopped by the seal and sea lion exhibit and all the kids love watching them swim right by us.  Lucy particularly enjoyed the gibbon monkeys and kept mocking them all day long - whoop whooooop, whoop!  The kids thought it was hilarious.  The weather was perfect and we enjoyed stopping by and seeing the traveling Curious George exhibit too.



We had a highlight when Max, the new male tiger, and Solon had a stare off.  He came right up and his nose was pressed against the glass (we could see his breath on the glass).  Vera was sitting next to Solon until Max hopped right up and then she was by our side!  Solon just watched in awe, he's our animal lover!  We also saw my favorites, the giraffes and even witnesses a littler predator-prey action when an african bird captured an Iowa bunny :0!   Yikes!  It was an eventful and fun day at the zoo.

Then Scott surprised us and took the day before school off a couple days later so we could head downtown.  We brought a picnic for the kids with plans to grab food truck food for ourselves!  We parked, walked/scootered around the sculptures, walked up the hill to go to the bathroom at the gas station and whining ensued...oh no!  Luckily a little food in all of our bellies and some fun things packed in the bag for after lunch family entertainment rallied the troops.  We were the only ones not playing Pokemon Go! in the park...



Family picnic - Scott and I had delicious gyros from a food truck!

Stomp rockets in the park for the win

Dad and Lucy made it go high...

Happy girl...she would crawl all over and had a great time at the park.  I am sure all the workers walking during lunch got quite a show with our shenanigans :)

After lunch we headed over to the next block to this little stream water feature.  We brought some boats the big kids helped guide down while Lucy preferred to stand/sit in one spot!

And then surprise...an ice cream truck parked right across the street so of course when we were done playing we headed over for a couple of scoops!
It was the BEST family day, kind of felt like a little vacation in the middle of the week.  It was a great way to finish summer on a high note and be together as a family.  It's definitely going on the summer bucket list next year.

And here's a picture of our completed list...I am so thankful we do this because sometimes in the busy we forget what we actually did and all the memories we were able to make.  We had a great summer and it was hard to close that chapter of our year in favor of school and routine but the memories are tucked in our heart and our fall to do list is now up and ready to check off...

Here's a peak at what we checked off the list this summer...
  • Adventureland
  • Pool 
  • State fair
  • 4th of July Fireworks at the lake
  • Block party
  • Smores and campfires
  • Ledges State Park
  • Park picnics
  • Cousin camp
  • Drive-in movie
  • Go to the lake
  • Check school class lists/buy school supplies
  • Take friends to the lake
  • Bike ride to Orange Leaf
  • Sonic 4 shakes in our jammies
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go on a family road trip
  • Feed the ducks
  • Summer reading program at the library
  • Storytime at the park
  • Play flashlight tag
  • Eat BLT's and corn on the cob
  • Grow a garden
  • Celebrate Lucy's first birthday
  • Celebrate Solon's 7th birthday
  • Celebrate Mommy, Grandpa and Papa's birthday
  • Celebrate 10 years of marriage
  • Go to nana and papa's pool
  • Go to American Girl Doll Store 
  • Go to mall of america  to ride rides
  • Pool picnic
  • VBS
  • Dance and basketball camp
  • Have a BBQ with friends
  • Go to Jester Park
  • Go downtown to sculpture park
There were lots of little things like playing games at home, having an all family water fight, slip n' sliding,  friend playdates, and playing in the front and back yards, playing with the neighbors and lazy days too!  Summer 2016 was a fun one :)!


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