Every year at this time, the Jones crew goes into some berserk sort of frenzy when we realize our summer is coming to an end and yet it seems we haven’t done that much. We probably really have, it just seems like the lazy days of summer all of a sudden seem behind us and we try to cram in every single thing we can before the leaves fall and the snow flies.
This weekend was the beginning of said frenzy, and we felt even more compelled to get in a lot of stuff because D.Jones is leaving for his annual football draft next weekend, and the following weekend he has opening Gopher football festivities.
Saturday morning we decided to get in another summer trip to the zoo since we had joined earlier in the year and its free. We haven’t explored the Minnesota Zoo too much, though we’ve made a few trips. They always seem to be relatively short trips to avoid the inevitable overtired meltdown. Ours, as much as Cooper’s.
This trip we happened upon the coolest playground ever, just past the central plaza of the zoo. There were tree houses way up in the trees, there were huge spider webs for the kids to climb, there were bridges way up in the sky, strung between tree houses, and there was a fishing boat. That’s right. A fishing boat. Which, to Cooper Jones, was the absolute coolest. So, for the first good half an hour of our zoo time, we tried to persuade him to get out of the fishing boat and actually do some other stuff, but there he was, crammed into a fishing boat on springs in the middle of the playground, with umpteen other boys exactly his age, fighting over who would get to run the boat’s motor, which really did make realistic motor noises.
I finally bribed him out of the boat by telling him we could go to the family farm on the far side of the zoo property, and he knew what that meant because we’ve been there before. A John Deere tractor ride!! He high-tailed it out of the boat and was ready to go…. Nothing temps Farmer Jones like a tractor. I know my boy.
For more pics of our day at the zoo, click here.
Today we decided to brave the MN State Fair. D.Jones has a history of hating the fair, and usually Cooper and I go with Grammy & Papa during the week, when things aren’t quite as crazy. Today, though, we decided to go for it. After securing parking, which was no small feat, we made our way to the gate.
Things weren’t so bad when we got in, and D.Jones was on a mission to get the required cheese curds. We made our way to the Food Bldg, but the line was absolutely insane, and D.Jones emerged curd-less. While Cooper and I waited outside, though, Coops spotted the SkyRide and insisted he had to go for a spin. D.Jones said he’d take him, and we figured out that they would end up at the top of “Machinery Hill”…full of, you guessed it, tractors!! Are you sensing a theme with my child yet?
So, we got the tix and Doug and Coops hopped on, while I made my way to the top of Machinery Hill with the stroller. I had a pang of regret as I looked up and saw my baby’s little feet dangling from way up in the air with nothing but a measly little bar, and D.Jones deathgrip on him. Couldn’t we have picked an enclosed sky ride!? But soon enough, they were hopping off and all was well. Though, I wasn’t the only one with concerns, because the second D.Jones got off the ride he leaned over to me and muttered “Not fun. I didn’t realize we wouldn’t be locked in by anything. Never again.”
We spent way longer than the two older of us would have liked, checking out every single piece of machinery on Machinery Hill, and then hit the “Kidway”. It’s the usual “Midway” section of a fair, but for the little guys, so picture the same weirdo carnies, but a sea of strollers, the highest decibel of screaming still audible to the human ear, and tantrums every where you look. Good times, right?
Honestly, I forgot about all of that as soon as my baby boy insisted he was going to go on rides by himself. By himself!? Aww….my little man, getting so grown up! So, for the next hour or so, he rode motorcycles, airplanes, dragon roller coasters, race cars, and anything else that piqued his interest.
I, on the other hand, choked back waves of nausea and cursed myself for doing it two days in a row. Seems my first pregnancy diet of brown sugar poptarts and chocolate milk is unacceptable to Jones baby #2, and unless I eat small meals of healthy food, I’m in a living hell. Apparently he or she doesn’t dig cheese curds and mini donuts.
After we talked a crying Cooper into leaving the “Kidway” we decided to wander around and see some other sights…until we actually left the Kidway. Seems as we spent time on Machinery Hill and at the Kidway, the remainder of the state of Minnesota had decided to also attend the fair. We walked out in to the street to find this sea of people to wade through…
We still decided we’d try to make our way to one of the barns to see if we could see some animals, but once we got there, we couldn’t even get near any of the pens. D.Jones called it and decided we’d head for home. It was probably the best decision, because little Cooper barely made it to the car, and couldn’t keep his eyes open once he was seated comfortably in his carseat.
Once we got home, even the noise of the car doors opening and closing didn’t rouse him, and D.Jones ended up carrying my limp little one into the house, while Coops mumbled things like “oh, good job” some other undecipherable murmerings in his sleep. Is there anything cuter than a dad carrying his worn out little boy to his bedroom?
I’m as exhausted as Coops is tonight, and I’m thinking an early bedtime will be declared at the House O’ Jones, but it was all worth it. What a great family weekend. Times to be cherished, for sure….
For more pics of our day at the state fair, click here.
(for those of you who haven’t viewed flickr photo albums before, just click on my link, then click on “slideshow” if you’d like. And if you want to see the captions, click on “show info” in the upper right hand corner.)