summer daze

although fall doesn’t officially begin until september 22nd, it feels like summer is slowly coming to an end with the start of the school year around the corner. i certainly am relishing the long days and soaking up the last rays of the summer sun. as much as i like snow, i dread being stuck indoors and the sun setting at 4pm. i spent this summer planning activities and trying to coordinate them with my kids’ schedules. we didn’t travel anywhere exotic – even with the kids sleeping well, i wouldn’t quite consider traveling far with a toddler and an infant a “vacation” – nor do anything out of the ordinary, but we shared many laughs and created lasting memories.

one place that i’ve been dying to bring penny to is the dinosaur place in oakdale, ct. it is a 60-acre outdoor adventure park that includes new england’s largest splash pad, a jurassic-themed moon bounce, a maze, and a huge playground. there is also a 1.5 mile trail complete with 40 life-sized dinosaurs! the main reason we waited so long to bring her is the distance: it is nearly an hour away. since the dinosaur place opens at 10am, we would not be able to go in the morning and have enough time for penny to eat lunch, drive back, and take a nap. naturally, we planned for the afternoon. we pushed penny’s nap up so she would wake up earlier in the afternoon. (she still woke up around 2:30pm.)

there is so much to do, and you can easily spend the entire day there in order to properly experience everything. this is why admission is so expensive. i was surprised to learn admission for 2 and up is $24 during the peak season! there is no “kid’s price”: they pay the same as adults! for that reason alone, i really wouldn’t bring children unless they’re older.. maybe, at least 5 years old, to make the price worthwhile.

FullSizeRender

we took a family photo before we explored the park

FullSizeRender_1

penny enjoyed the splash pad the most!

FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender_7

dad is regretting not bringing a change of clothes although he did wear swim trunks

FullSizeRender_6FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_4

FullSizeRender_5

ezra did not like the jet spray of cold water

FullSizeRender_8FullSizeRender_9FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender_5

can’t expect a toddler to look at the camera in the midst of water play

FullSizeRender_4

FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_9

FullSizeRender_4

this thing was awesome – half the time, kids were waiting for the huge bucket of water to fill up so it could tip over and come down the slide

FullSizeRender_8FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_1

splash!

FullSizeRender_8IMG_2413

FullSizeRender

waiting…

FullSizeRender_5FullSizeRender_6FullSizeRender_7FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_1FullSizeRender_2

walking the dinosaur trail

FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_7FullSizeRender_5

FullSizeRender_6

dinosaur vertebrae

FullSizeRender_8

ezra always has something in his mouth these days

FullSizeRender_10

dinosaur maze

FullSizeRender_9FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_1FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRender_5FullSizeRender_11FullSizeRender_6FullSizeRender_8

our annual stop at dave’s place in oakdale, ct… it’s so good and always busy!

FullSizeRender_7FullSizeRender_11

FullSizeRender_10

my go-to: fried clam strips

FullSizeRender_9

new england clam chowder and a cheeseburger

the day before, on saturday, august 12th, my mil and i took the kids to the tolland 4-h fair that was held across the street from where we live. we had taken penny there before when she was an infant but going on saturday made me realize just how small it is. i believe it was $3 for a walk-in fee.. not each person so that was fine.

there were a few vendors and food stands but the only thing that was of interest were the animals.  we looked at the llamas, cows, sheep, goats, chickens & roosters, and the rabbits (although the latter were closed off so we had to view from a distance). penny also liked looking at the row of tractors, old and new. she wanted to go on them but we told her they were only for looking.

IMG_2170IMG_2171IMG_2172IMG_2174IMG_2175IMG_2176IMG_2177IMG_2178IMG_2179IMG_2180IMG_2183IMG_2184IMG_2186IMG_2187IMG_2188IMG_2189

i don’t want to knock a fair, but it was just okay. i wouldn’t go back though, honestly. it was just something to do and all we had to do was walk over from our neighborhood.

dennis and i are really looking forward to taking the kids to farm day at the fish family farm in bolton. it’s on sept 2nd this year and it’s from 9am-5pm. we took penny last year but since she was so small she couldn’t participate in the children’s activities like the obstacle course. she did enjoy eating ice cream though (and it’s all-you-can-eat!) my friend, karen, and i found out from a vendor that there is a spin art station so i’ll be sure to look for that. hopefully this year we can make a tie-dye shirt too because we didn’t get a chance to last year.

IMG_2191

always smiling

IMG_2193

Enter a caption