Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PrairieTrailTomarLyon Park

That's right, folks. It was a THREE park day! By the time we got up this morning, we had been symptom-free for 24 hours and we had some serious parks and rec ground to cover. We are going to be cramming way too many at the end, if we don't pick up the pace a little.

We got our morning started out right by parking next to the sign at Lyon Park and taking our picture before we started playing. Unfortunately, when I turned the camera on to take that picture, the battery started flashing red. I had to be very selective with the rest of the pictures I took this morning. I would have loved to take pictures of the kids in front of some of the flower beds or on the quartzite retaining walls, but I was afraid the camera would die before Fletcher could have his picture taken with the "army gun," as he called it. Grandma Loulou and Auntie Elli stopped by on their way to pick Grandma's car up from the shop.

"We're flyin' at Lyon!" they yelled.

I have always loved this park, mostly because I've always wanted to live in the "Green Gables" house across the street from it. Even though we just moved into our current home, I won't be giving up my dream of buying that house someday and being "Annie of Green Gables." Although there were cars lined up along the park side of Phillips Avenue, we were the only people in the park. And it's probably a good thing we were there at 9am rather than 9pm. The kids were so excited about the "art" that somebody left drawn in the sand that they started to copy it and add to it. I quickly suggested a game of "erase the artwork" and am hoping I won't find them doodling the same characters and signs in the future. It'll be a proud day when the principal calls me in to ask where my kids picked up the gang symbols. Awesome.

It wasn't easy to get the kids away from Lyon Park, but I managed to catch their attention by suggesting a picnic at the next park. In fact, that mud you see Leah and Bo playing in was right by the van and it was harder to get them away from that than it was to get them off the playground. We ran home, fed Baby G, charged the camera battery a little, used the bathroom, and packed our lunches. Tomar Park, here we come!

Leah noticed in one of the other pictures that if she stands in the right place in front of the sign, she can make it say something different. "Omar" Park, here we come!

We chose a park close to my parents' house so Grandma Loulou could join us and then the kids actually went to play/nap at her house for a few hours this afternoon. We have been to this park a million times, but I figured it wouldn't be official unless we actually went there this summer and took the pictures to prove it. It's a great park. It's near the bike trails and the river, so the bugs can be a bit problematic at certain times, but they weren't too bad today. Probably because of the strong breeze that actually made it a little chilly in the shade today. Tomar has all the facilities for an all-out party. There is a shelter with electricity and lots of seating, tennis courts, ball field, basketball court, quite a bit of parking, bathrooms in an actual structure, and a great playground. There are also the soccer fields, but those are supposed to be for league games only. It would be a great place to fly a kite on a windy day. I also think we watched a hot air balloon launch from there once, now that I think about it.

This sand was way more cooperative than that darn sand at Danny Dugan last week, just ask the not-so-cranky girl, Leah.

Another great feature about Tomar is that I think it's kind of a hidden gem. There's usually somebody else there, but it's never packed, unless there's a soccer tournament or something. Oh! And Leah loves this spinny thing.

After supper, we went back over to the south side of town and visited Prairie Trail Park. It's the one on Tomar road, right by the golf course. Again, I parked by the sign and went right for the picture. It only took me what? Ten parks or so to get that part down?

Prairie Trail "Par"

We weren't there five minutes before the kids had found a caterpillar that they were going to be keeping for a pet. Hooray.

The best part is that the caterpillar made it through our playtime at the park and into the van, but he never made it into our house. "I was just swinging him around and now I don't know where he is, Mom," Leah tells me. "But that doesn't matter as much as this. Are you mad at me?" Well, fortunately for her, caterpillars move slower than me, so no, I'm not that upset about it being lost in my van. It shouldn't be able to just sneak up on me like a spider or a mouse could. We'll keep you posted on our pet status.

The kids made some new friends tonight, too. It was actually really fun. If we lived in a different day and time, I probably would have tried to exchange phone numbers with the mom. But I was already walking around trying to take pictures of my kids without getting hers in them, so I didn't want to send out too many stalker vibes at our first meeting. One of her children actually kept saying, "Do you guys live around here? We do. I hope we run into you again sometime." I hope that happens too. They seemed like the kind of people we'd like to get to hang out with again. Plus, the mom was able to answer my question about what the heck this thing was:

I thought it looked like the top part of a merry-go-round, but it was obviously lacking the ability to "go-round", so then I thought maybe it was something to chain a bike to. She told me it used to be a merry-go-round, but the parks department buried it. I guess I do still have a few questions about that one...

Oh! And one last thing. I was talking to my sister after she read the last post, the one that included the piece of equipment that she once fell from and broke her nose. She wanted me to clarify that she did not fall, she was pushed by a kindergartner. Considering that I think she was in fourth grade at the time, I'm not sure if that actually makes the story better or worse. There was a reason my grandpa always called her the "Old Black Cloud," I guess.

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