Last weekend the oldest turned 4 years old and we had a sweet little party here at the house.
The theme was PBS's Wild Kratts, a great educational nature program that we all love. There were leaves, creature power discs, animals all over the place and a cake shaped like the Tortuga (the crew's turtle-shaped ship headquarters).
I made the Tortuga out of a mini bundt cake pan, after it was baked I filled the center with candy so that when I cut into the cake, M&Ms spilled out. Children were very impressed. "I want to eat the HEART!" the neighbor boy exclaimed. I gave him all of the red M&M's. Too funny.
It was great fun with family, the cousins and a neighbor boy. The kids had a blast. Trampoline bouncing, swinging, sand box digging, wilderness exploring, pizza eating. The whole food side of the affair was catered by Domino's pizza delivery, a great relief of work and cleaning because the very next day we left to go camping.
Here we are at the McKean KOA. We've never been to a KOA before. Ours was the smallest camper by like, oh, 15 feet. Seriously, the place was filled with huge rigs with slide outs. Massive $50K motor-homes. I think one of the huge 5th wheel rigs even had a second story, is that even a thing? Honestly, the last thing I want to worry about when we are "relaxing" is scrubbing a toilet or vacuuming a carpet. To each their own. I wonder if some of these owners work remotely and are able to just travel all of the time and see the country. That would be a wonderful lifestyle.
Here we are. 12 feet, circa 1960-something, $1,700. It suits us.
Raiding the fridge. They love camping because it's all treats all the time: gummy bears, hot dogs
Spaghetti-O's, Fruit Loops.
The KOA was great for families, beyond anything we'd hoped for. There were two pools, one of which only came up to my waist and both kids absolutely loved swimming. There were tears every time they had to get out for a break. Also there was a pond, a playground, a bounce pad, movies every night and goats.
I won this guy in the arcade in the laundry room. I needed to have it. We also won a big, glittery stuffed unicorn which the oldest presented to a girl that was staying the next site over, who had sweetly befriended him.
They had goats at the KOA too. Adorable, pet-able goats.
Everyone slept snugly. The camper has the original canvas hammock that goes over the back bunk for additional sleeping and we might get it out for the next trip.
The second day we spent some time in Erie.
The water at Presque Isle was too choppy to wade in but it was still a beautiful day. The baby protested loudly and adorably every time we put him down (feet! touching sand!) It was good fun though.
We went to the welcome center at the park entrance, kind of a nature center. When you walk in there is a two-story tower of hand carved wooden animated sculptures of people and wildlife. The same person carved all of them and by spinning a wheel you could set them all in motion. Wooden people rowed boats, swam in water. Birds flapped their wings. The sculptures were really lovely.
A play room with lots of puppets. Honestly, the whole place is much nicer for out kids than the Children's Museum.
I really liked the way these insects were displayed. I've started collecting insects in the back yard again and need to find a nice box to display them in. I'm hoping to find an antique frame that my husband can put a deeper backing on to accommodate the insect pins.
The adults were ready to leave the next morning but the children were not. Here the oldest is trying to hide under the awning as we were taking it down. I just remembered that the awning rail has come loose and lifted the last 6 inches or so, so we'll need to repair that.
The rest of the days have gone by quickly. We've been mostly playing in the yard. I've been working on getting the chicken coops painted "barn paint" red. We lost two more birds while we were gone. The oldest has been going to more stores with me and is doing well with it. It will be a busy week with a friend coming for lunch tomorrow, a freezer meal party on Thursday and a friend married on Saturday with a rehearsal to go to on Friday. Thank you cards to write. Pre-school workbooks to complete so it doesn't seem like the oldest is starting from square one next month. He's been showing a lot of interest in adding lately. I'm also staring to think about picking up some hours part-time somewhere in town.