Sunday, July 9, 2017

Our Long Fourth of July Weekend

I kicked off the long Fourth of July weekend with the stomach flu Thursday night (who gets the stomach flu in July?) and ended the weekend at Urgent Care just before closing time on Tuesday the 4th with an ear infection for Mila.  Instead of heading to Des Moines to stay with friends and watch Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs at Principal Park, I was in bed for most of Friday, sipping 7-Up and watching Fixer Upper reruns while Beau stayed home to take care of the kids.  It wasn't an ideal way to spend our Friday, but I woke up Saturday morning better and ready to head west to Lincoln, Nebraska to kick off the holiday weekend with a family wedding.

As special as it was to be part of Taylor and Kate's wedding earlier this summer, it was pretty nice to all get to go to my cousin, Derek's wedding and just relax and enjoy being together.  We didn't have to worry about the kids getting naps in before he wedding, or cooperating for pictures, or behaving during the ceremony, and still got the fun of staying in a hotel and dancing the night away at the reception.  We took off for Lincoln first thing Saturday morning, the kids much anticipating a hotel stay that night, and Beau and I enjoying five hours in the car together to listen to my summertime playlist, as well as discover this American Life's Serial podcast, to which we quickly became obsessed!

Derek and Hanna had a wonderful day for a wedding and it was so fun to all sit together, share a table at the reception, and dance the night away with the kids.


Perhaps even more exciting than the hotel room (but not much) was a much anticipated trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha the day after Derek's wedding.  We hadn't been to the Omaha Zoo since Cruz was a little guy and were all pretty excited to get up close and personal to our favorite furry friends.  Cruz was most excited for the aquarium and Mila had been talking about seeing some gorillas for weeks.  In fact, the day before, she came into my room as I was packing holding a new dress and explaining that "the gorillas will just love her twirly dress!" 

We lingered inside for most of the morning as the rain had seemed to settle right over Omaha, exploring the expansive seven acres of indoor exibits this zoo has to offer.  We spent a long time in the aquarium, fully entertained by the penguins as they swam around and around their tank and popped out of the water one by one, over and over again.  Of course, the monkeys were at the top of our favorites list, and the huge gorillas that scared the pants off Beau and Cruz as one jumped right off the glass lookout dome they were standing under.  And when the rain moved out and the sun came out just after lunch, we stayed until closing and made our way to some of my favorites, including the giraffes, elephants, and big tiger kitties. 

Mila's reaction to the monkeys...

The kids were troopers in the heat, walked more than four miles (according to Jordan's fitbit), and loved cooling off (or getting soaked) in the misters they had conveniently placed around the zoo.  We walked until our feet nearly gave way, made our way to our hot cars, and had two sleeping kids before we even made it to I-80, only stopping for slushies and quesadillas to eat in the car by Des Moines.  It was a fun and full weekend and the holiday part had not even begun!


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