Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Circus was in Jacksonville

Oh, wait... that was just me and my kids visiting the zoo along with some playgroup groupies! I'm sure most of the other people thought we were the circus or actually belonged IN the zoo. No, it wasn't that bad. The kids were pretty good for the most part and had a lot of fun.

I got up at 613am to take a shower before getting the kids up and ready. My goal was to be out of the house by 745 so I could follow some friends. We were all ready to leave by 725 so I decided to clean out the van. I went to grab a plastic bag for garbage when the doorbell rang. At 738am, I was baffled at who it could be (this is where my terrible memory comes into play). Oh... it was the roofers, the ones that said they wouldn't be here until 8 so I would already be out of their way. Instead they show up before my kids are packed into the car. I had to move my van so they could back the dumpster trailer into the driveway. We had to wait for them to get it just right, meaning after they backed it into the tree, and then we left.

I remembered we had to stop to get gas and hit up the ATM so I called my friend to let her know we didn't need to follow her so don't worry about waiting on me. As I passed her house I saw them loading up their car and I beeped like a mad woman. My kids get overly excited over this and ask, "What? Who were you beeping at?" I told them I was beeping at Miss Lauren and Miss Tiffany which made them turn in their seats to try and see them. "Where???" I try to explain they were back at Miss Tiffany's house getting into the car but they don't seem satisfied. This goes on a few minutes before I just say forget it, nevermind LoL It's like when Kadie asks, "What is that for?" and I explain it but that doesn't end the questions, or should I say one question she repeats over and over and over. WHY??? After about the 12th why, I end up saying I dont know and sometimes that appeases her and other times, she asks why I dont know. Fun times... I digress.

We stopped for gas at Kroger and cleaned out the garbage in the van while the gas was self-pumping. I know, I could have exploded but I have leather seats and there really isn't much static electricity floating around down here so I felt I was good. Guess I'd have felt differently had we actually blown up... I would have considered sueing Wendy's for giving my kids their own bags and crappy toys that they threw all over the floor. Had I not had to clean that up there would be no problem... (I really keep getting off track of my story here).


After filling up the tank I contemplated getting Starbucks. There were two in the vicinity. Neither had a drivethru and both were inside other stores. My options: Kroger, right inside the two doors, probably not crowded. Target, right inside the two doors, usually crowded. I opted for Kroger so we wouldn't be running late. I pulled into the parking spot, turned off the car and thought, "Should I run in without the kids? I don't want to drag them all in for just a few minutes for me to feed my addiction." I was this close to running in for the coveted white paper cup but the next thought that ran through my mind was of tomorrow's headline reading: Mom leaves 5 kids in hot van while enjoying a Caramel Latte (you know the media always puts their own spin on things... it wasn't hot, and I would have been in and out, not enjoying it in. Don't I wish I could just leave them in the car with a movie playing while I relaxed inside a Starbucks drinking my stresses away. Ahhh, that would be the life). Needless to say, I started the car back up and headed down to Jacksonville.

We found the zoo with only one problem. I passed the entrance and had to do a speedy turn around (I didn't slow down quite as much as I had though) but we got there all in one piece and DRY! No one had to stop for a potty break... woohoo! Heather and Kelly pulled in right behind me, then Christina a few minutes later. We were still waiting on Tiffany and Lauren so we made our way up to the entrance. Man were there A LOT of kids there. They must have had like 4 school field trips. We thought we were going to have to wait in line with all these kids but found out otherwise and made our way to the ticket booth. $40 later (atleast for my family) we were in.

Lauren suggested making our way backwards through the zoo and that worked out perfectly. There were only a couple of times we ran into a large group of school kids. My kids kept running off, mostly Adam but I never lost them... atleast not for long enough to have enjoyed it LoL

We saw wolves, alligators, snakes, gorillas, silly monkeys, lions, elephants, giraffes, animals with weird names, animals that were too lazy to move, and lots of funny looking people... oh wait, they were with us, HA! We rode the train through three stops and by that time all the kids were pretty agitated. My kids were fighting over the cameras, Christina's daughter Kennedy was in on that too... Christina almost jumped overboard to retrieve a dropped binky... and you could't really see any animals on the train ride. Apparently it was a behind the scenes train, what fun for the kids!

I brought lunch for the kids and bought myself some snacks and a cappuchino at one of the restaurants. There was this big lady that kept staring at us and I was getting scared. She looked like she used to work in a prison cafeteria and did NOT belong in a zoo with children running about. She was a clean table nazi too... as soon as I convinced, err, conned Adam into sitting with us at our table instead of the 4 top he had to himself, she pounced on it. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, especially once my kids started running circles around all the other zoo-goers.

We left the zoo around 3 or so, after freezing our butts off in the measily 63 degree weather all day. At one point Jacob says, "It isn't spring break down here!" Very confused, I asked what he meant. He says, "It's still WINTER! It's COLD out here!" LMAO He is too cute sometimes.

I followed Lauren, Tiffany and Christina to Babies R Us which was about 30 minutes from the zoo. I was going to show my kids the new Radian80 carseats I ordered them but the three babies were being peaceful AKA sleeping. I didn't want to wake them so I drove across the street to see if this Starbucks had a drivethru. Sadly, it did not. I came SOOOO close to once again running in for a coffee. I could have seen my car from the counter but a) this place had a yuppy feel and b) I just did not feel like having CPS called on me.

I navigated my way to the closest Bob Evan's and headed off for an early dinner. My navigator took me the back way and we made it there in a little over 20 minutes. Woohoo for a Bob Evans fix!

They were not busy at all which was a MAJOR plus since my kids were likely to be noisy and rambunctious since we had been out in the Florida, ummm, overcast all day. We were shown to our table but immediately turned around for a before dinner potty break. After everything was feeling better (a good 10 minutes, I'd say) we made our way back to our table. Jacob fought me over where he was sitting but he eventually gave in. All in all the kids were very well behaved throughout dinner. Adam was a little loud and Kadie yelled a couple of times, just the way Kadie does but since we were hidden in the corner I was unexposed to glaring eyes and muffled grievances. Lexi ate all her dinner and was able to get dessert. Jacob ate the majority of his dinner plus a roll and Kadie ate a good bit too, so they both got gummy worms. Adam and Sara fell in love with a couple of $3.99 toy cars and since we were on "vacation" I let them get them. $55 later we were back on the road.

We made decent time and if I had driven just a bit faster, we probably could have caught up to Lauren and Tiffany. Just about 10 minutes from home was the most eventful the drive had been. We did make it home all in one piece though (I'll tell you in another blog what happened).

The roofers were still at the house when I got home. I had to park in the street and when we got in the alarm was going off. Apparently from them banging so hard on the roof they knocked the smoke detector down which caused the motion detector to be tripped. They also made a HUGE mess of my bathroom floor with paint pieces and dirt from them fixing the sky light. I thought that was the worst of it but when they left they decided to leave my gate open which allowed the dogs to get out. The neighbors kindly brought them back but jeez... you've been here ALL day and the dogs have been outside ALL day and NOW when Im HOME you decide to let my dogs escape. Damn Mexicans!

Anyways, after a long day I was still up at 11 but ready to crash. I had no energy to post last night so here I am posting this morning before heading out for another exciting day of Target shopping and indoor play places.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Why was it $40 for the zoo? I thought you guys had the zoo pass thing. Sorry I didn't look at the redians while in BRU I didn't even think about it!