After our trip to Blue Ridge, we headed back to the city and went to Gatti Town. We don't have a Mr. Gatti's Pizza in Virginia, much less a Gatti Town. It is always a family favorite. Well, with the theater-style dining and the carnival of games, what's not to love?
Well, I don't particularly love the part where you trade your 847 tickets for a bouncy ball, a tootsie roll, and a whoopee cushion, but the rest is just peachy.
We also went to the Fort Worth Zoo . I love the Fort Worth Zoo and we haven't been since our kids were really small and they offered some sort of get-in-cheap special. Cause back then....it was all about cheap.
When we moved to Richmond, 8 years ago, the zoo was one of our first outings. Talk about an "eye-opening" experience. Our local zoo is privately owned and quite small. I will say it has grown on me in the past 8 years and now instead of small, I like to say, "quaint". (that means really, really small)
The weather could not have been more perfect. We got there after lunch thinking we could stay until 5:00 or 6:00 but they closed early at 4:00, so we put on our runnin' shoes set some priorities!
Monkeys. We could have stayed and watched those monkeys all day long.
The brown monkey is the momma. She was terribly engorged and I felt like I should advise her about warm compresses but she was preoccupied with her children.
Mothers- doesn't this picture elicit some vivid memories for you? Can't you reflect on a time when you laid flat on your back and had your monkey-children pester, poke, and pluck your last nerve?
I feel your pain Monkey-Momma.
Just braggin' on my camera. Hey- I spared you the other jillion animal pictures.
Jeffrey and Hannah were about two years old the last time they rode this lizard to town.
I don't have pictures of the mountain lion that was totally ignoring Tiffany and I. He was ignoring us so I tried to engage him in some friendly banter, which led to some real-life primal fear on my part.
Zookeepers may have said I taunted him, but that is totally a matter of opinion. There were no impressionable children around, just two middle-aged momma's who seriously tested their bladders while we hopped around like lunatics trying to get the big cat to give a flip that we existed. After pouncing around for a few minutes, I guess we started to look more and more like wild antelope because he started looking at me in this really weird way. And licking his mouth. And looking at me.
Ya'll, that mountain lion nearly made me pee my pants. Seriously.
In an act of service and humility (or sheer boredom), Emma came up with the brilliant plan to rake leaves in the neighborhood for charity. Julia and Jacob eagerly agreed. Jeffrey and Hannah (oh-so-much-older-and-wiser) scoffed and held their breath.
Never mind that the children had no rakes. Minor details. We are talking about mission-minded little people. God would provide the rakes.
So... door to door they went, offering to rake yards for charity. $5.00 to be exact and if that isn't
They raked this one house and bagged about 5-7 bags, but the yard was so completely full of leaves to begin with, that it still looked a little bit too leafy when they were done. So I (the mean and evil adult) told them it wasn't quite finished.
Then began the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The crying for food, drink, and band-aids for their blisters. The moans of "WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY"???? It was priceless. A classic live & learn lesson that we as parents
Hannah wheeled around on her bicycle offering Fritos for the weary and downtrodden but it did little to lift their spirits.
I am not sure that Leaf Raking For Charity will make the headlines, but it certainly made an impressionable mark on the memories of our sweet kiddos. Our trip with the Jolly's was precious and too short. It always is. We are grateful for the blessing of the longevity of this friendship and the truth and love that sustains it. We miss you guys!!!