First, I am still doing my Wii Fitness stuff, just not the 30 day challenge right now, making a few of my own routines and also finally was able to hook up the second remote and tonight I challenge Ellie and James at some very simple routines (all upper body right now) and I was very proud of James, he held his own and even beat me on the hitting the boxing heavy bag. That's my boy!
Ellie had to work at keeping up and when we were done she said her arms were so tired that she could barely feel them. Well girl, that's what happens when you don't work out with your momma like she told you too! :)
As for the trip. We had a great time! Left Elmira, arrived in Pittsburgh, found the motel very easily and the first thing the kids did was get those swimsuits on and hit the pool. The next day we went to the Zoo and had a great time! Got there first thing and walked all over the place. The best part is that I never got tired or out of breath! Yeah me!
We had Ellie's BFF Trinity with us and you have to understand these two have a very special relationship. They have know each other going on 10 years and there are no secrets, no walls between them at all. They fight like sisters and love like sisters. Well, while at the zoo I swear their influence was being felt by some of the animals. First the gorillas, there were two of them that just reminded all of us of them. The bickering, the love, the teasing, it was great to watch. And then the polar bears started up, it was hilarious! We had a really good time and when we first walked into the aquarium area I swear Ellie forgot to breath for a moment. She was just so taken by the huge tanks and the beautiful fish. And then she got to pet a Mantra or Sting Ray, to watch her was so sweet. She wants to be a marine biologist and I saw that in her during this trip. Then the tank with the Black Tip Reef sharks, White Tip Sharks, Zebra Sharks and Shovelhead Sharks. She just sat and watched. We moved along to the tunnels and when that first Sand Tiger Shark swam up we all caught our breath and just were awed by the beauty of this creature. The water was really murky because of the change of weather and seasons and they said it would probably be clear again in a week but we could see them just fine since they kept swimming right by the glass. It was difficult getting Ellie out of that tunnel, LOL!
After that I came out and was looking for Ellie and Trinity who had headed down the hill and I hear this little voice calling, "MOMMY!! MOMMY!!!" I didn't think much of it until I turned around and saw a woman come out of the tunnel and standing there looking like she was going to cry. I walked over to her and asked if she was okay. She said she had gotten separated from her son and had no idea which direction he went. I told her I heard someone calling from down the hill and we headed down there. She went ahead and I saw a golf cart with some zoo workers and told them what was going on. I was very impressed how quickly they organized and got the search going. I saw Ellie and Trinity and asked if they had seen him and they said there was a little boy over by the big playground looking for his mom. Turned out it was him.
The mom, Julie, was so happy to find him but then couldn't get him to leave the area. I asked James to watch Blake, her son and told her to just come and sit and breath for a moment. We talked a little bit and then I looked at her again and she looked so sad and scared. I asked her, "Do you feel really bad right now?"
"Yeah, I do, I can't believe this happened."
"I know how you feel. Like you are the worst mom in the world and what ever made you think you could raise a kid, right?"
"Exactly! How do you know?"
"Let me tell you a little story about a bad mom..........." and I proceeded to tell her the story of when Melissa was a baby and how I locked her in the house and she had pulled down her bottles and cut herself and how I ended up calling the police to break into my house and how I shoved the cop aside to find my baby covered in blood and called my mom to come take her away because there was no way I was ever going to be able to do this. I told her about the time I lost Melissa in a Target, right by the front doors and how they found her in the back by a Lion King display and when Terry lost her by the dyke that was almost overflowing with spring runoff. And then I told her that despite our best efforts to totally mess this kid up, she's now a beautiful 17 year old Senior who is going to graduate this June.
I let her know she's not alone, she's not the first and certainly won't be the last for this to happen to. She felt a little better when I got done talking. But Blake was still refusing to budge from the playground area. So I asked if I could bribe him with pudding. "Sure, he didn't eat breakfast so he might just go for that."
He did, we all went down and had a snack and then started walking out together but then got separated when Blake went one way and we were going the other. Well after about a minute we heard, "JAMES!!! WAIT FOR ME!!!" Blake realized he lost James, his new buddy and had to come find us!
They were so sweet, I gave her my card and told her to email me so I could send the pictures of them that I took but I haven't heard from her. :(
So, anyway, after that, it was our intention to find the Aviary and see the birds. Well, the directions sucked that we got from MapQuest and I got totally lost in downtown Pittsburgh BUT did end up in Carnegie and we found the Science Center there and had a blast there instead. They had a robot display going on and a Sports Center next door. It was a great way to finish off our day. And I even managed to find our way back to the motel after getting lost again and going in the totally wrong direction, LOL!
That night we were deciding if we were going to head home or stay another night. At first Ellie wanted to go to Gettysburg but that was at least 3 hours from where we were and kind of in the wrong direction of where I wanted to go.
So I got online and realized that Cleveland was only 2 hours away and we could go to the Zoo and Science Center and Natural History Museum there for little or no cost. I found a great room at a Super 8 in Westlake for only $50 a night so I booked it and the next morning we headed out.
Went to the Zoo first, which was really amazing. The Rain Forest Exhibit and building were fantastic! And the Zoo itself was really a lot of fun. They have wonderful displays and the walking up and down the hills, again, difficult but not impossible! If you look through the pictures you will find the sign for the Sky Walk and a picture from the top. I walked that thing and I paid for it the next day but it felt great to be able to do it!
We then left there and found the hotel. The pool they had was an outdoor one and not open yet so I was looking for something for us to do that evening. Turns out we were literally 2 blocks from a Dave and Busters and after checking with the front desk to make sure it was truly kid friendly (the commercials are really geared to the adults) we headed over. It was fantastic! Great food, lots of games to play, something for everyone from age 7 to 47!
The next day we headed downtown and saw the Cleveland Indians home and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (didn't go in, to expensive) and went through the Science Center. And right across the street was the Home of the Cleveland Browns! Lots of fun right there! Then we headed out to the Museum of Natural History but again, thanks to really crappy directions from MapQuest, we got totally lost. Spent the next 2 hours finding our way back and finally had to start heading home. James was very sad but he understood.
Then on the way home, I completely missed the turn off I90, to head toward Jamestown, NY (something about that town that I always miss the turns) and ended up almost all the way to Buffalo! But it was okay because the service area on the toll road was really cool. You parked and then had to walk over this raised, enclosed sidewalk to the center area and you could stand there and watch all the traffic go under you. James thought that was really cool. We had dinner there and then I looked at the map and that's when I realized just how far off we were. I was so ticked at myself!
I called Terry and got directions and found our way back down south and east towards home.
A great time was had by everyone and wonderful memories were made.
Was extremely glad to get home! :O)
Was extremely glad to get home! :O)