Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grant & Mama Day

I hadn't had a day off with Grant in a while. I mean, we have weekends of course. But I decided it was time for a random day off, just the two of us. So I took last Friday off and called it Grant & Mama Day. I talked it up with Grant quite a bit and eventually, I think he thought it was a real holiday. Thursday he asked "Is it Grant & Mama Day now?" and he was super excited when he woke up Friday morning to find it was finally the day.

We took ourselves to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham. Grant loves this place and since it takes about an hour to get there, it's not a place we frequent. They have all sorts of different play spaces (inside and out) plus animals, bugs, and a train. 

When we go we always start with the outside stuff's just more fun.

Bells & chimes...
Drums. Good stuff.

And we found the water spout play area that
wasn't open when we went last year (too early in the season).
We were wandering and trying to take our time since we had an hour before our train ride. I didn't want to stray too far from the train station. So Grant played in the sandbox before we moved on to the farm animals.

We really need a sandbox at home.

This guy (or gal) was my favorite but they had goats, donkeys,
a cow, some pot bellied pigs, and an owl.
We also checked out the bug building that has an exhibit of some rather big spiders that aren't behind glass. It's always a little off-putting. But there is worse stuff in there and that is behind glass so I'm not going to complain too much. They also have a room there with a crap load of butterflies. You just walk through...and they land on you...and I don't like it. But Grant wanted to do it. So I obliged.

So he just stood there after seeing others do it, waiting for a butterfly to land on him...while they were dive-bombing me and I was ducking like a maniac. At the end there is a huge mirror with a sign asking you to check for "hitchhikers". Thankfully we had none so I didn't have to cause a scene. After the bug building we did a quick run of the dinosaur trail before our train ride. 

He did this funny voice and said to me
"Oooooh...what's behind me?!"
So at noon it was time to ride the train. And my guy loves some trains. It's just a little one but it goes around their track twice and it wasn't too crowded. Grant was excited to pick our seat and screamed really loud (like the conductor told us to) when we went through the tunnel.
Waiting for the train to go!
We grabbed a brief lunch at their "cafe". Thankfully, it wasn't super crowded and I ate fast because I let Grant have lemonade with lunch...which upset his stomach launching a meltdown and him telling me - not quietly - that he had to throw up. We sat outside in a quiet spot for a bit so I could calm him down. He was more upset because he thought we'd have to go home. I knew the culprit was the lemonade so once he was calm and telling me he felt better (I could tell he was actually feeling better), I decided to stay. And he was fine after that, thank goodness.

We made our way down by the "wetlands" which is also where the bears and wolves are. Both were rather scarce and I can only assume that's because of the hoards of overly loud school children screaming "HEY BEAR! COME 'ERE BEAR! WHERES THE BEAR?! HEY BEAR!" I can't believe that didn't get his attention. But we did manage to catch a glimpse of both and lots of turtles in the swampy area. They also had this nifty stream thing set up with lots of rocks so you could move them around to create different water patters.
Grant was pretty taken with it. Rocks and water and you're allowed to play with both. He stayed there playing for a bit but then we were inundated with those overly loud school children who sort of took over (because when your parents aren't around you don't have to use manners), so we left that area. We checked out the lemurs but Grant was ready to keep on playing so we moved on to their "wind" exhibits. There is a raised pond with sail boats - which we couldn't figure out - and this bit crane thing that you put giant seeds on so you can see how the wind catches the seeds. And the MIST. Oh boy, the mist. We could have gone straight there and skipped everything else I think (except the dinosaurs). I didn't know mist came out of the ground there, last time we were there it was too chilly for them to have things like that going. Grant had a blast!

Checking out the mist
He told me "I want to run and play in it!"
It was a warm and humid day so that mist felt GREAT. There was another section of it when you walked farther back with all these little hills. I thought Grant might get a little nervous there because the mist got so heavy we lost sight of each other a few times. But he was good and had so much fun! Note to self: there were a lot of kids in swim clothes, a good idea next time because Grant got happily soaked.

Back behind the misty area there was even more to play on and in!

Happy :)
I generally keep an extra outfit with me and Grant said yes when I asked him if he wanted to change. So we did that and then slowly made our way back toward the exit to maybe beat the traffic home. By that time the school groups had filtered out and Grant was asking to check out the dinosaurs again. We basically had the place to ourselves, it was great!

Digging for fossils - and we found some!

He told me he had to tell the "Rudy dinosaur" something (if you
haven't seen the 3rd
installment of the Ice Age movies then
you won't know who Rudy is). Then he saw him and went "ROOOAAARRR!"
Grant asked for a snack in the car - understandably hungry since lunch was cut kind of short- and right after that he passed out.

When he woke up from that much needed nap (I could have used one too) I was pulling into the parking lot of our new favorite place: Pelican's SnoBalls. These things are GREAT! And it was the perfect way to end Grant & Mama Day :)

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