Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fritz Petting Farm in Irving

I had to run an errand to Irving and the kids weren't excited about it.  I told them I'd find something fun for them while we were there.  So we stopped by Fritz Park Petting Farm!


There are some animals, like the turkey, that are in cages that you can't access because you probably don't want to really pet a turkey and take a chance at being pecked.

However, most of the farm has big fenced in areas for animals to wander around.  You can just reach in and pet them.


The goat and rabbit area has a gate and you are allowed to just walk in and play with the animals!


This bunny was so silky smooth.  Rachel spent a lot of time with her but the goats kept coming over and trying to get to the cage.  They liked to rub up against it to scratch themselves!


We saw a momma and daddy duck and then realized they had 4 eggs waiting to hatch!


There was a chicken and a rooster in a big pen.  My kids discovered that the birds liked eating weeds fed to them.  I think they only got pecked once and then they decided to quit feeding them.


This sneaky guy found a way to get out of the pen.  Rachel was brave and found a keeper to explain the situation to.  He thanked her but said that the rooster often finds ways out of the pen!


There are two friendly donkeys that love to be scratched.  They were a little bit smelly though.


Nicholas seemed most fascinated with the peacock.  He sat next to him and they chatted for a bit.


It's hard to imagine that this same bird can go from that to this!  What a beautiful display!



The kids remembered our study of Greek mythology and the myth of how the peacock got its beautiful feathers.  Zeus, king of the gods, was married to Hera but he had a thing for Hera's assistant, Io.  Hera found out and turned Io into a cow.  She gave Io to her servant Argus and told him to watch over her.  Argus had 100 eyes all over his body so it would seem to be an easy task for him.  However, Zeus had Argus killed and Hera took his eyes and placed them on the tail of a peacock as a memorial for him.

The front of the tail is so colorful but the back just looks so spiny.  Those feathers are incredibly long!


It's been a few years since we last visited Fritz Petting Park.  Check out our last visit HERE.

Fritz Park Petting Farm is located at 312 E. Vilbig in Irving, TX.  The petting farm is open from 10:00 - 6:00 Tuesday - Saturday and 2:00 - 6:00 on Sunday.  Admission is FREE!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Fun {Eat & Play} at LEGOLAND Discovery Center DFW


I was invited to check out the new cafe at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine yesterday. I just love the new Coffee Shop look!  

It looks like it is really made of LEGOS, doesn't it?  It even has a canopy-covered entry, windows with cute LEGO flower-filled window boxes and terrace-like seating.  So cute!


The interior features a coffee shop counter design, exposed brick details, pendant lighting (the red ones are giant LEGO bricks!), along with booth and bistro seating. It's so much more inviting than their previous cafe design.


They now offer Starbucks signature coffee and tea beverages.  The Frappuccinos are so refreshing on a hot summer day!


Rachel loves that they have even have drink options that aren't coffee-based like Double Chocolate Chip and especially the Vanilla Bean drink that she ordered.  So refreshing!


They now offer a great selection of food items as well from sandwiches to salads and even cinnamon rolls and ice cream.


Some of their menu items are made fresh daily by Grapevine's Main Street Bread Baking Company.  I tried a turkey sandwich.  It was quite good.


Of course, the freshly baked chocolate chip cookie was delicious and the perfect way to top off a fun lunch with my girl!


I love the new variety in the food menu options.  It makes it easier to stay all day and play when you can take care of the munchies anytime they call.


After our bellies were full, Rachel had a chance to spend some one-on-one time with a LEGO Master Builder. 


She built a LEGO flower like the cute ones in the Coffee Shop window boxes.


Once she was done building we decided that there was no better way to beat the heat than getting wet on the outdoor Pirate Beach.


Rachel loves the jets and fountains on the shipwrecked pirate vessel playground.  There are squirt cannons, water jets, and water slides.  

But the most fun is the 50 gallon pirate bucket that dumps water on the kids every few minutes.  That's a lot of water!


Splash!  Followed by lots of squeals and giggles...


There are several interactive models around the beach as well as lots of soft giant LEGO bricks to build to your heart's content.

  
For more information visit LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com/dallasfw or call 877-818-1677.  LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth is located at 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway Grapevine, Texas 76051.

LEGOLAND Hours:  Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. - last admission two hours prior to closing.

LEGOLAND Ticket Prices: Admission is $21 for guests 3 years of age and older, free for kids 2 and under.

As we were leaving I noticed that Grapevine Mills now offers Valet Service outside of the LEGOLAND entrance.  Considering the crazy heat we get in the summers, I just might have to try this next time we come.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Galveston for Father's Day and Sea Camp

We made a trip down to Galveston to drop Nicholas off at Texas A&M Sea Camp for a week long camp in Adventures of Marine Biology.  But since we were going on Father's Day we decided to find a nice local seafood restaurant to celebrate how awesome Stuart is.

Several friends recommended Gaido's.



The giant crab on their roof is striking and certainly gets your attention.  Rachel loves to eat crab and she thought it would be great to eat such a giant crab!


We got there for 11:00 just as they were opening so it was nice and quiet.  The dining room is nice and there are lots of windows for great views of the beach.


Rachel thought it was all so fancy.  We don't usually eat at restaurants with such nice glasses, tablecloths, etc.


Their homemade bread and dipping oil was delicious.  I may have eaten more than my share.


We ordered two appetizers so the kids could experience a few new foods.  Rachel loved the calamari.


Nicholas liked the fried oysters better.  


I'm so proud of my kiddos for trying such unusual foods!


For his meal, Nicholas ordered the seafood platter.  I believe it was a bit more food than he was expecting.


I ordered the Combination Platter which came with char-grilled shrimp, scallops, and fish.  It was so delicious!


Rachel ordered shrimp.  She took one bite and said she loved it!


After lunch we had a little bit of time to just explore before we had to drop Nicholas off so we walked across the street to the beach.  It's kind of unusual for me to see a beach right next to such a busy road.  There is a wall between the two and stairs going down from the street to the beach.  Nicholas sat here to take off his shoes so he could play at the water's edge.  We hadn't really planned on coming to the beach today!  I couldn't help but take this picture.  He's just looks so grown up!


The beach was nice and in the distance we could see Pleasure Pier which is a pier that has restaurants, shops, and an amusement park!


Shell collecting soon began. There were plenty of them scattered around.


The kids had fun and got a little sandy and wet despite Daddy's pleas to stay clean because we didn't have a change of clothes or even towels for them.


We drove along the coast for a while for some sightseeing.  When it was time to turn around, Stuart made a u-turn at this spot and ended up going up the embankment just a little.  The kids were so delighted about being at an angle that Stuart drove on the embankment for a little way.  There were such squeals of laughter from the back seat!  It was a highlight of the day.


We picked up some snacks at a local grocery store so Nicholas could have a few things in his room during the week.  Then we headed to the camp. 

It was hard seeing the real Texas A&M signs.  It was really hitting me that we were dropping him off at a college campus for a week!  What was I thinking?!  He's still my little guy.


Sea Camp is going to be a pretty amazing experience for Nicholas though.  They offer many different kinds of camps throughout the summer. Nicholas is taking the Adventures in Marine Biology.  They will explore a salt marsh by seining, digging, and sieving; learn about biota and food chains; dissect a fish and learn about fish printing; collect live oysters and study them with an oyster biologist;  trawl for shrimp, fish, and crabs from the research vessel Earl L. Milan; tour a turtle facility and meet the threatened Loggerhead sea turtle; and attend a workshop on whales and dolphins and examine real dolphin bones.  It sounds so great and I'm actually jealous that I can't go to camp myself!


Here we are at Check-In!  Ahhh, this is really happening!


Nicholas checked himself in.  He got his room assignment as well as his badge and lanyard that he will wear all week.


He will be staying in Oceans Hall.  I can't help but notice the knot in my stomach as I look at the sign and realize again that he will be staying in a college dorm for a week!  It will only house Sea Campers this week and it will be a neat experience for him.  I'm just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that he is old enough to do something so cool without Stuart or I being with him.



The dorm is classic with a long hallway and lots of rooms on either side. He will have one room mate, Carter.  They will share a bathroom with the two boys in the room beside them. 


Nicholas' room is on the second floor and they have a nice little balcony in their room.


This is his room for the week.


Seriously, when did he get so grown up?


It was time to say goodbye and Nicholas walked us back out to the car.  Rachel was crying because she was already missing him.  Nicholas gave her lots of hugs.


What a contrast in this picture below!  Sad sister crying.  Big brother with a giddy grin and looking back to check out the other campers arriving.  He couldn't wait to go meet his new friends and jump into the fun activities.


Sea Camp will take pictures of the kids during the week and post them on a website so we'll be able to see what Nicholas is doing each day.  We also got him a cell phone so he can keep in touch with us by phone, text, and email.  It will still be a hard week for us all with him gone.