Generally, when I've told people about our endeavor to visit all of the Sioux Falls Parks, people's initial response is, "Wow! That's so cool!" Then, after a moment to ponder, they usually say something like, "Wait. Are you even going to visit that weird Van Eps Park on north Minnesota Avenue?" Well, I can now officially say, "Yes. I have been to Van Eps Park and I lived to tell the tale."
We actually didn't start there, though. Our fun actually began when my friend, Katie texted to see what we were up to. She had just left the Target over by my house and was wondering if we were at a park or anything because they were looking for something to do. Since Grier was still napping, I suggested they come over to play until she got up and then we could go to some parks. The weather was such that it would have been a shame not to be outside.
While deciding on what exactly to do, Katie mentioned that it was the last night that Oh My Cupcakes! would be open until 6pm. Personally, it's not my favorite place in the world, but the mere mention of OMC sends my children into orbit. So, it was decided that we'd head toward some downtown parks that still needed visiting. A stop at a gas station for some beverages, Little Caesar's for a Hot 'n' Ready cheese pizza, and OMC for some Buy One Get One free cupcakes produced a super healthy picnic supper to be enjoyed at Tower Park.
I think it must be called Crazy Bread because it's crazy that something so disgusting can taste soooo good.
Leah took this picture and I think it's so cute. It would be absolutely perfect if Bo's head was tilted just enough that you could see all of Fletcher's face and then Jake's from behind Fletch. Still...adorable.
The babies crawled around near the picnic blanket, where the mamas were chatting. Fletcher and his Jake-friend played on the playground. And Leah and Bo enjoyed hiking in the woods that lead down toward the Falls. I have to be honest, my normally "let them be kids" self was a little apprehensive about this, as I had just read an article in today's paper about an appeal being made by the man (from death row) who kidnapped, raped, and murdered a little girl who was my age, only blocks from this park, 21 years ago. Even as a little girl, I remember hearing about it. I remember our moms all being super-protective and on high alert that summer. My kids are snuggled in safe and sound at this moment, but reading this story now, as a mom, I can't help but be shaken up in a whole different way.
Whew! How was that for heavy? When the kids could stand it no longer (the cupcakes were being saved for the next park), we loaded up and headed down to Van Eps Park. As you look at the pictures, you'll see why we saved the cupcakes for this park. There isn't a whole lot else to do here. It is pretty much just a city block of grass, a few trees, a park sign, and a picnic table. Although, the kids somehow managed to make even this park a fun one!
The scenery. FYI- The sign above the dumpster says, "Romantix." Maybe that guy I saw back in June, wearing the "breakfast of champions" shirt, does his shopping here.
The playground. Jake turned the curb into a balance beam and Fletcher was using a stick to swing at him.
The whole time the other kids were running and playing tag, Baby G just kept standing up and sitting down. This was more than enough entertainment for her. I think she was quite proud of herself!