Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis the Season...

for visiting parks! While other families probably spent this day picking out the perfect Christmas tree and decking the halls, we visited two of our final five parks. We had plans to visit three, but I'll share a little later how Grier had other ideas.

We started out with a little walk/run around Legacy Park. It was fun to have some room to roam and I can see how this would be a perfect picnic spot in the summer. There was a picnic shelter and tons of walking/biking paths. And most importantly, there was easy access down to the water, so there could be lots of fun exploring when there isn't ice lacing the shore.

That white stuff along the banks of the stream is ICE!

Stealth mode.

I imagine this is really pretty when it's green, or even if we would have made it here earlier in the fall when the leaves were changing.

Next Stop: Thelin Park

Now, the address from the city's website says North Career and Benson. And while you can definitely see this park from that intersection, it is not at that intersection. The address is actually 700 North Galaxy Lane, or something like that. Bo's head is covering up the number.


Not sure what the point of these hand pedals is.

Just gettin' a little rock climbin' in before we head to Fawick.

Well, we were headed to Fawick Park after Thelin. But everyone was getting a little hungry and needed a chance to warm up a little. So, we made a quick stop at the Diner, which is totally on the way, for a little snack and some hot chocolate.

Snack. Check. Hot chocolate. Check. New diaper for Grier? Nope. I cleaned out the car right before we took off for the parks and forgot to put the diapers back in. Darn. I guess Fawick will have to wait another day, along with Frank Olson and Town One. That's right, folks. That's the entire "left to visit" list! Three more to go!

Beadle Greenway

The exciting thing about Beadle Greenway Park was that Auntie Lindsey was along for the fun! If there was a sign, we didn't find it, so we just took a picture where you can see the name of the park on the playground equipment.

It was a bit chilly on this morning, but it felt good to get outside and get some activity after we'd stuffed ourselves silly the day before and were headed shortly to Grandma Rita and Grandpa Jim's house to do it all over again.

Fletcher is not feeling so patient about waiting his turn to ride the "t-recky."

His t-recky!


I can't believe he's almost 6 YEARS OLD!

I love the sound of her squeals when she's being chased (by that crazy Auntie Lindsey on the left side of the picture)!

Freezing Rain is NOT Snow!

I think we can. I think we can. We just keep chuggin' along and I think we're going to make it! And anyway, freezing rain isn't snow, right? All they're calling for in the forecast for this weekend is freezing rain and for our revised goal I simple said we'd visit all of the parks before the snow flies.

For Lion's Centennial, we just stopped for a picture. We've played at this park plenty of times before and time is of the essence. It was already 4:30, which meant we didn't have much daylight left and what if it really does snow soon?!

Spencer Park is a park that actually has a lot of memories for me. If you said "Spencer Park" to most of the people I went to high school with, they wouldn't know which park you were talking about until you described it as "the park behind 7-11." Never mind that the 7-11 has been Get 'n' Go for quite a few years now. Most of us who played soccer when we were small remember this place as our soccer fields. The last PE class that I took in high school included a sand volleyball unit where we would run to this park as our warm-up and then play sand volleyball for the rest of the period. Since I had it at the end of the day, we weren't even in that big of a rush to get back. Super fun! Sometime since my sophomore year of high school, though, the city has actually converted part of this park into an off-leash dog park. Not being a dog-lover myself, I don't have any particular affection for the dog park. But I know that people who have dogs that need room to run, love this place.

Lots of room to roam.

And if you're looking for a park where your child can improve their upper body strength, look no further than Spencer Park. Seriously. The equipment here has more climbing and hanging equipment than any other playground I can think of (that we've visited so far anyway).

Grandpa Ronnie and Grandma Lou Lou came to see us since this park isn't far from their house. In typical Leah fashion, their oldest granddaughter invited them to our house for supper. Not being particularly excited for fish nuggets and macaroni, Grandpa and Grandma suggested going out for pizza instead. : )

When I said, "Let's go take a picture by the sign," I meant by the one you see at the top of the post. Fletcher looked around and this was the first sign he saw. He was dead set on having his picture taken there before he'd move on to the other sign.


That's how many degrees we've come from the day in July when we visited Kuehn Park and pool. Really, I should probably say 360. It's more like we've come full circle. We are now wearing full winter gear and rushing to get to the parks before 5pm, when the sun sets!

We sort of the took the scenic route to this park. The address listed for the park is the intersection of E. Madison and N. Omaha. I thought I kind of knew where it should be, but then I went and listened to Bill. I ended up on the wrong side of the Interstate for a while. When we finally got to the park, daylight was fading fast. We only stayed for about 20 minutes. Really, though, that was plenty of time for this little neighborhood park.

"What is all this stuff?"

"It's our lucky day!" Leah found a penny and a matchbox car.

Seriously. That giant puffball of a coat and those teeny little legs in the jeggings are just too funny!

Never too cold for the swings!

There were trails back there that Leah desperately wanted to explore. I'm assuming, based on the location of this park, that they're the same trails that we explored from Leaders Park, the ones for mountain biking. It was getting dark, though, and I'd seen some boys from the apartment complex right next to the park head back into the woods, so there would be no exploring for Leah on this day. We went home for some hot chocolate instead.

Single Digits (for real this time)

With stops at Farm Field and Yankton Trails, we are truly down to single digits for the number of parks we have left to visit. Crazy! I'm actually running out of room on my memory card in my camera and I feel a lot safer clearing my card when the pictures are transferred to a CD, so I only let Leah and Bo use the camera sparingly at these parks.

Plus, there isn't much to do at either of these parks anyway. Farm Field is a practice field for soccer, a parking lot for people hitting the bike trails, and sometimes I see people flying kites here. We don't need the park for any of those things today, so we just got out to walk around and take a few pictures instead.

No sign at Farm Field. So I guess this senior picture pose of Bo on the bridge will have to do.

Yankton Trails is great fun when there's a soccer tournament or Jazz Fest going on. But on a regular fall day, there isn't much to do except play in the leaves, enjoy some wide open space, and soak up all the sunshine we can get before the bleak days of winter hit.

Single Digits

I was a little disappointed after we did these three visits because I totally thought we only had 8 or 9 parks left. I was mistaken, but it was still super motivating to think we were in the single digits for a while. : )

If you're familiar with the area around the Arena, Burnside, West Avenue, etc., you are well aware of the fact that there is a ton of construction on West Avenue. So, we started with a drive-by of Burnside Park, since I missed the turn into the parking lot. In hopes of avoiding an accident, I just kept driving and ended up Earl McCart Fields instead. I figured we'd go back to Burnside now that I knew where to turn.

Fletcher is super into dinosaurs these days, so he's just anxiously awaiting his turn for this toy.

She hasn't gotten any less cute, has she?

He had nice form, but we may have to work on the ring itself when the time comes (depending on whether or not the rest of us want her to say, "Yes," I suppose).

"Wood chips for sale!"


There was a pretty fierce wind on this day and I felt kind of bad that I didn't really have Baby G dressed very appropriately, so she came back to the car for a little snack while the others finished up playing.

Wouldn't be a very worthwhile visit to the baseball fields if we didn't pretend to play a quick game!

There wasn't anything particularly exceptional about Burnside or Earl McCart. Of course, my original plan for these parks was to visit during baseball season so we could catch a little bit of a game. The playground is clearly not the focus of Earl McCart Fields. It's fine. But as I said before, my kids are getting a little bit tired of playgrounds, especially when we're not meeting up with friends to play.

Just had to follow her big brother. Apparently her legs are feeling better. : )

Since we were already in this part of town, we made one last stop at Elmwood Park and made it a "3 Park Day." Unfortunately, my camera's battery started flashing while I took the sign picture here, so that's all I've got of this park.

We didn't spend much time here anyway. Within 10 minutes of arriving, both boys and then Leah had to go to the bathroom. On such a chilly day, the park was empty enough that I wouldn't have felt too bad finding an emergency tree bathroom for the boys. But with the park facilities locked for the season now, we needed to find something else for Leah. We made a quick stop at Station 7 to visit our favorite firefighter (and use the bathroom) and then headed home for the Baked Potato Soup that was waiting in the crock pot. We even had the pleasure of dining with friends. Perfection!