Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spending time with nature

You would think that being at the nature center every other week that we would have completed our walk a nature trail. This year ticks have been really bad, so bad that I had my first ever encounter with one earlier this summer also unfortunately all my boys (and my nephew) had their first experience with them. It made us a little leery about venturing out onto the trails. The season for ticks seems to have passed and we are once again wondering the trails near the nature center. After Jordan finishing helping out at the nature center, we walked the trail slowing down after a busy couple of days and just enjoyed the beauty that was around us.
We had planned to spend the whole day at the park so we had an itinerary of what we had hoped to accomplish. After our (tick free) walk through nature we set off to spend a couple hours playing at the beach. Then off to my first time taking all 3 boys in a row boat by myself. In the past row boats and I haven't really gotten along, one time my mom and I took one out on the water for a while and almost crashed into a much bigger boat when we tried to dock it. Knowing my history with boats, I was prepared for just about anything, like maybe dropping an ore and watching it sink. Thankfully luck was on my side and we had a pretty uneventful ride. Each of the boys took turns rowing and we spend a great deal of time going in complete circles and getting splashed when they smacked the ores back into the water. While on the water (more acturately in the seaweed) the boys spotted a few paddle boats and now would like to try their hand (their feet?) at them, we'll have to put that on next summer's list.
Once we were back on land, we set up our little barbeque and painted rocks until the coals were ready. With all the planning I did in advance you would have thought I would have checked to make sure none of the paints had dried out, well I didn't and we only had a handful of colors to use. The boys didn't mind much but would like to do the project again with a complete rainbow of colors. Each of the boys completed at least 3 or 4 rocks. There were some cool smooth rocks that came in the kit we used, we also had some Jacob had found with some new friends at the beach. I think they actually prefered the more textured rocks with the different sizes and shapes.
We roasted hot dogs and had a delightful dinner, followed by s'mores. We had hoped to watch the sunset over the water, but we were on the wrong side of the park. By the time we almost reached a great viewing spot the sun had already set. All of us were a little disappointed about missing the sun setting, so on the way home I took a detour to a frozen yogurt place a friend of mine had told me about. There were about 15 different flavors that lined the wall and 50 different toppings to chose from as well as syrups . We marked off make ice cream sundaes, although it wasn't ice cream (yogurt is better for you anyways). The boys made some very interesting sundaes (I even lifted the no food dyes for the night). Jordan had chose brownie batter yogurt topping it with cookie dough bits and white chocolate chips. Joey knowing what he likes, chose vanilla topped with Fruity Pebbles and gummy bears. Jacob had a small taste of the cheese cake flavor and chose to get a whole bowl of it topping it with sprinkles and cookies dough bits. I took a simpler route of pineapple twisted with coconut and toppings of pineapple and shredded coconut. Joey and I were the only ones happy with out concoctions. Jordan and Jacob ended up sharing mine and I ate theirs. I had them scrape the topping off the best they could and combined the brownie with the cheese cake, actually it wasn't bad. The only thing about the trip that surprised me was it had cost me $26 for yogurt. I had been warned before hand that they charge by the ounce (Jordan's was almost a full pound), and the bowl/cups they provide are HUGE thus making it difficult to judge just how much your actually putting in them. The kids absolutely loved it there, they plan on saving their allowance so we can return. The atmosphere there was fun and upbeat, with thick plastic orange and white chairs and tables even couches to lounge in while enjoying your $7 bowl of froyo.