We’re well behind on our Summer of Awesome list over here, I’m afraid. Summer is just about half over, and we still have tons and tons we wanted to get to, things I keep pushing out week by week so that now we have about 50 things scheduled for the last week of August and I’m thinking that just isn’t going to happen. But that’s okay, because summer is also about just hanging out and having fun and kicking back, so what gets done gets done, and what doesn’t, doesn’t.
Part of the scheduling problem is that we’ve been doing daily swim lessons, which the kids really enjoy and I find produce serious and measurable improvement. But after a morning swim, and then snacks, then showers, then mandatory video game time, the day is already half gone and it’s tough to do a road trip. The other problem is that we’ve been out of town a lot more than usual, visiting relatives and friends. And again, I can’t complain because those trips have been fantastic, full of good conversation and well-behaved kids and Timbits (YAY), but it does interfere with our ability to be doing stuff in town.
So enough whining – mostly I just wanted to check in with a few mini-reviews of a few things we actually have managed to do in the past couple of weeks.
Ray’s Reptiles Made our annual visit to Ray’s and it was great, as usual. We were there all afternoon and the kids and I loved it. Not sure if they do this every day, but when we were there they included feeding of the caimans in their shows, which resulted in some spectactular fighting and biting and snapping action. Eight-year-old boy HEAVEN. Also, I just found out that you can save 10% off your annual pass at Ray’s if you have an annual pass at the Museum of Nature. Speaking of which…
Museum of Nature: We go there all the time and yet, the kids still love it. They have a new 3-D dinosaur movie and we stayed to watch it twice. My six and eight year olds adored it and still talk about it all the time. There’s just one or two fighting-type scenes but no blood, no gory eating scenes, which I appreciated. They also have a special exhibit right now called Extreme Mammals which is simply fascinating, we’ll be going back specifically to see that again, and Gal Smiley fell in love with the Canadian Geographic photography exhibit and vows to enter their photography contest for the under-15 crowd, coming up in September.
Chamberfest We went to one of the Bring The Kids events at this year’s Chamberfest, and there’s another one coming up on Thursday (as in, tomorrow) that you shouldn’t miss. I wrote about it over at Kids in the Capital and full details are over there.
Library Events We went to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic at our local branch, Centennial, and it was very cute and fun and interactive, plus we walked away with about 20 books per kid. Centennial has a great kids’ section and puts on events for various ages at least three or four times a week. One thing I will say is that the picnic, which was advertised as being for ages 3-8, was really more of a 3-6 kind of crowd. Next time I’ll bring the older two for their 6-12 type activities.
Cars 2 Took the kids to a mantinee of Cars 2 and the eight-year-old ADORED it, cannot stop talking about it, plays with his Mater toy car for hours every day now (you’ll be fascinated to know that Mater is now winning all Hot Wheels type races around here, who knew he had it in him?). The six-year-old enjoyed it, mostly because she got to have a bag of popcorn which is extremely rare. However, the just-turned-four-year-old really had trouble following the storyline – it’s way more complex than the original – and spent a lot of time declaring her boredom and trying to get a side game of tag going in the aisles. I heard from my friend LuckySevens that her four-year-old son, who seriously LIVES for the original Cars, was TRANSFIXED for all of Cars 2 so maybe it’s just my kid. But I will say that even I had trouble figuring out the details of the spy-based storyline. Obviously we will be buying it someday and watching it about a thousand times and probably by then I will finally be able to follow it. Summer brain, what can I say?
Niagara Falls On one of our trips to visit family, we took a day trip to Niagara, just to see the falls and have a picnic and ride the Maid of the Mist. It was just so lovely. I grew up not far from the falls and thus, as a kid, I went many times. And when you go to something all the time, it gets to the point where you no longer appreciate the specialness of the place. Going back last summer and then again this summer, after all these years, made me all misty eyed (ha!). It’s just a lovely place, and we’re actually planning to go back AGAIN later this summer to do Marineland. Oh, the romance!
Wakefield Steam Train Remember when I said this was finally our year for the steam train? Apparently, fate doesn’t want us to go to Wakefield because the train has been closed for the remainder of this summer, at least. There was damage to the track back in June and when they checked it out, they found much more damage that will take a long time and a big investment to fix. I really hope they get it back on track (oh, I’m ON FIRE today) by next year. Wakefield in 2012!
I also just wanted to take a moment to mention thank Sara of My Points of View, Alicia of I Found My Feet, and Nicole of Girl In A Boy House who are doing their own Summer of Awesome. Anyone else keeping track?