So I know I left all of you in a total state of shock with my post yesterday regarding our trip to Zoo Atlanta ;) Can you believe there is even MORE of the Cool Mom Emily Takeover???
I mentioned Wild Adventures in my last post...in case you've never heard of it it's a theme park actually in our town. It's about 20 min from our house and a couple years ago Mrs. Charlotte got us all passes for Christmas. Most of my friends have passes and LOVE them. The year we had them I happened to be pregnant with Britt so I couldn't really get a lot of use out of them and then last year Britt was too little for us ever to be able to visit anyway so passes wouldn't have made sense. This summer though? Gah I wish I'd thought to ask for some for Christmas! It would have been PERFECT. I'm not pregnant, Britt dropped the morning nap, and both kids are old enough to enjoy the kiddy rides, look at the animals, play at the petting zoo, and even have a blast at the water park there. I mean Wild Adventures ain't no Disney but it's still got a lot of great things to enjoy...however, I feel that it's WAY over-priced now. I looked into buying passes for our family and it SHOCKED me at the cost. Plus the water park area doesn't even open until 11 and with naps and all we wouldn't really even get to use it. Boo. It did surprise me that it cost much less for us to take this little trip up to Atlanta than it would have cost for us to buy passes to a park that's practically in our back yard, but it's true! And unless you get a high level pass, they even charge for parking! I talked to Mrs Charlotte about it all and even if she did buy everyone passes as a Christmas gift...I mean that would eat up like her entire budget for gift giving! I'm not sure if we'll have Wild Adventures passes anytime soon...I think they run specials sometimes though? I need to keep an eye out for next year??? If you are just visiting the Valdosta area I don't think the one day tickets are too bad, but for us living so close season passes just make the most sense!
Anyways, since I was bummed about not being able to hit up the water park area at Wild Adventures I thought if we were already going to be in Atlanta to visit the Zoo that it'd be neat to take the kids over to the splash park at Centennial Park. I remember going as a kid when the park first opened and thought it'd be so fun! I looked into a bit and found out something even better: Zoo Atlanta JUST opened a splash area of their own!!! Like literally it had opened a couple weeks before we went up there! It really was so perfect!
Sticking with my theme of being rebellious and fun we finished up with the zoo and changed the kids into their suits to let them play! It was a FULL DAY of fun people! From start to finish!!! The set up of the splash park is pretty great, including lots of shady seats for parents to sit and watch. I do think they need more seating around the perimeter of the splash area as the openness of it made me a little nervous. Also they have GOT to do something about changing areas...it was a joke! They had bathrooms nearby and only had a couple of changing stalls and a couple of potty stalls so there was a massively long line. Otherwise, it was a great addition to the zoo (and, might I add, we didn't have to pay a dime for it...especially since our zoo tickets were FREE! what what!) and it was an awesome way for the kids too cool off after our long day!
Britt even made a cute little friend who was a little older than she is...I loved her Minnie Mouse suit!
Typical boy: standing over the water waiting for it to spray him...
Our pool is a salt system and this water was very chlorinated (which is understandable!) and it really bothered Kye's eyes. He kept running over to wipe his eyes with the towel. It made me SO THANKFUL that we opted for the salt system when we put in our pool. I can't imagine dealing with chlorine eyes all the time at home!
Coolest aunt ever: she was SOAKED after taking Britt around!
After we finished up we hit up the gift shop. I wanted to be sure to grab an ornament for our tree and I looked to get the kids shirts since I got Kye one at his first visit as couple years ago. But they were like $15. I told Casey I don't even pay that much for their cute clothes. I can't fathom dishing out that price for a t-shirt. I did find a random one on the clearance rack for $4 that said something about a summer camp on it and was WAY too big for Britt but whatever, it works haha. We also let them pick out some little animals. They had a great deal where you can fill a tube with all the animals you can fit for only $8. Yall know me...I crammed 20 animals in that beast!!! :)
I brought Mimi (what Britt has officially named her lamb) and Britt had her fingers ready for some sleepy time!
Good Bye Zoo!
Our hotel was about 20 minutes from the zoo. It was 3:00 when we left the zoo and Britt fell asleep instantly in the car. Kye said he was going to sleep but he never did. Since Britt fell asleep I felt SO GUILTY waking her up after only a 20-25 min nap so we drove around the parking lot of our hotel. Legit in circles around and around. I told Casey Zach would KILL me for wasting gas so I figured out a system where I coasted most of the way around this little circle area haha. We did that routine for about 25 min that way she got a 45 min nap and I felt a lot less guilt. She woke up on her own (she typically does for a second at 45 min...did you know most of us do that to transition to deeper sleep??? That's why they say 45 min is the BEST length of time for adults to nap b/c once you go past the 45 min marker you're in a deeper sleep and it's harder to wake up fully!) and we went inside.
I have to say, our hotel was AWESOME. They had a "living area" type thing set up in the lobby, even including a library of books to use as hotel guests! The kids and Casey enjoyed picking out some stories to read while I unloaded the car. I have a much greater appreciation for Zach and all he does b/c loading and unloading the car with all of our stuff was quite the chore!
As soon as we got unloaded we got re-ready and headed to an early dinner. We got Zaxby's! If I'm gonna eat fast food I pretty much am always gonna choose Zaxbys :)
I made a deal with the kids and told them we'd eat early and then skip baths. Instead of taking baths, we'd swim in the indoor hotel pool! Remember...this is Rebel Emily day haha I had to live up to my title!!!
Since the kids weren't napping in the hotel that day and because we were heading back home that next morning, I just booked a regular hotel room. I figured for one night it'd be okay with all of us being close together. Casey and I shared a bed and let Kye sleep in the other bed and then set up Britt's pack and play (including rigging up sheets like Zach always does...me and Casey were pros!) in the corner for her to sleep. While Casey read stories I got everything set up that I could and everything she and I would need once the kids were asleep. Since Kye would be in the big bed beside us, we would have to be SUPER quiet! I ended up sitting in the bathroom on the floor on my ipad and Casey went to the lobby to talk on the phone to Jordan and then we both sat in the bathroom and talked until we went to bed haha. It was HILARIOUS b/c a time share deal guy called me (with all the time share deal trips we've taken I get phone calls ALL the time from them) while I was in the bathroom. I answered whispering and the guy said "why are you whispering?" I said "I'm in a hotel room and my kids are asleep" He thought I said something else I guess b/c he was like "ohhh so you're in a hotel room and your husband doesn't know?" hahahaha I think he thought I was being scandalous our something! I mean THIS night was as WILD as I get!
I caught Britt bathing suit shopping while Casey was reading the book hahaha
With all of us being in close corders I expected the kids to wake up pretty early. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, all the zoo fun must have tired them out! The woke up at like 6:45 so we all got ready to head down to breakfast. I literally kept the packing for this quick trip to the bare minimum so I was glad I had decided to buy the little zoo animal toys to keep them busy while Casey and I got ready and packed everything up!!!
I went to load the car and Casey let the kids (quietly) race down the hallway. I was SO proud of my loading job with the stuff. I mean I'm totally spoiled by having a husband who always takes care of those duties!
Hahah this cracks me up!
As Kye said...the breakfast was "LEGIT!"
I wanted to get a picture of them together in their Zoo shirts before we got back in the car to head home. Um DUH. I SHOULD have had Britt wear Kye's old shirt (which is obviously now too little for him) and I should have had Kye wear Britt's new shirt (which is obviously massive on her). Hilarious!!!
We made great time getting home and I loved the whole entire trip! It was so relaxing to just go with the flow of things. It took care of my "travel itch" and let me get out an act of crazy rebellion too :) I always enjoy any time I get to spend with Casey and the kids had a BLAST! It all couldn't have gone more perfectly! I'm also thankful of the timing of the trip. The day we got back was actually the day we found out Austin was lost and began a very difficult time for our entire family. I'm thankful for these precious memories for my kids and I but especially for Casey. She and Austin were very, very close and I know it's been so difficult for her. We had no clue that our little zoo adventure would be the last carefree fun she'd have this summer and I'm so thankful we went when we did and that we did have such a wonderful time together.
I'm not sure when we'll get to visit Zoo Atlanta again but maybe someday ZACH will actually go with us ;)