Note: This post is dedicated to the talented Eric Carle. Because of him, my sweet baby girl chirps "CAKE!" when you ask her what a caterpillar eats. It is definitely worth the critical error in his book since butterflies actually emerge from a chrysalis, not a cocoon, Mr. Carle.
Every now and then, as Anjali has gotten bigger, I get the Twins Question regarding Team Chaos. They are always in their stroller when I am asked this seemingly odd question and I suspect the size difference must not be as obvious while they are sitting down. Or something like that, since truthfully, I do not think they look like they could be twins. Not in the least. However, at Silver Dollar City, I got this question several times. Huh.
Anyway, I have finally uploaded vacation snaps to Flickr. Overall, the trip to Branson and Silver Dollar City (SDC) was a good one. I cannot recommend Branson enough - it is so family friendly and reasonably priced. Anju and Arun got in free to most things because they hit the "3 and under" requirement quite nicely this year. Furthermore, all the attractions within Silver Dollar City are free - even Marvel Cave! Food and souvenirs are reasonably priced as well.
In fact, some of their toys were cheaper than what I have paid for in the past - case in point, we have a collection of frogs at home. Sadly, I had only brought one, solitary, single frog with us when I scooped up some animals to bring along and yes, we must have animals to play with everywhere we go. I have teeny, tiny animals in my purse, my car and frockin' bed, folks. My kids? Are obsessed with animals. I should just buy the entire Animal Toob company and be done with it. Anyway. That sole frog caused so much anguish in the tiny, compact space that would be my car, if it had not morphed into some demonic level of hell. Because the wrath of a child denied his or her heart's desire? Is a force not, I repeat, not to be reckoned with. Fortunately, at SDC, I came across a nature store that sold little toy animals. I frantically bought a variety of frogs and for good measure, some snakes and salamanders. Of course, I still lost the war because I had only bought ONE red salamander. Team Chaos spent the duration of the trip in tussles over that damned Red Salamander.
Anyway. Anjali Sr. has an excellent post on Skirt explaining how vacations become very unvacation-like when you become a parent. She also points out that in the end, it is all worth it. And she is right - seeing my children's faces full of awe and wonder at the things we saw was worth it. It is the reason why I will be dragging my weary body (and Red Salamander) to Omaha and St. Louis this summer as well.
The Butterfly Palace
We went to the lovely Butterfly Palace. I had told the kids we would be going to it and then, it turned out, our hotel was near it. We drove by the damned place multiple times every day. Every single morning, they asked about it - even Anjali. Finally, on the last day of the trip, we headed over to the place. They were beyond excited. I forked over the exorbitant entrance fee, grateful they were getting in free. We marched upstairs to view a movie, which they loved (although Anjali insisted on narrating the entire time in her outside voice. Which I supposed might have been a boost to the poor saps who did not know what the hell a butterfly or praying mantis was. She was helping, no?)
Then, we went into the hot, damp, muggy atrium thingie where the actual butterflies resided. Did I mention the hot, damp, muggy part?
Just by the entrance inside of the double doors with all sorts of signs warning you of the Fragility of Butterfly Life, some of the Palace personnel were releasing butterflies that had just emerged from their chrysalises. And it just happened to be at face level to my children.
Within 10 seconds of arrival, Arun managed to freak out, flap his arms wildly about and smush a butterfly. Awesome. Anjali, taking many of her social cues from Arun these days, proceeded to become unhinged as well. We spent all of 10 minutes in the atrium with a total Butterfly Body Count of about 2 (maybe 3, Mr. Postman was definitely limping by the time we scooted out of there.)
We went downstairs to look at frogs, turtles, lizards, cockroaches and centipedes, where the children were just thrilled. Frogs! Turtles! Lizards! Cockroaches! Centipedes!
The Butterfly Killer
BBQ and Bluegrass
I love going to Silver Dollar City this time of year, and we made it just before the BBQ and Bluegrass festival ends. After that, the Kids Festival begins and runs all damned summer long. The thought of that many children in one spot absolutely horrifies me, so I was extremely grateful we missed that. Because if nothing else, I am an excellent hypocrite. I do not mind foisting my lovelies on the rest of the world, but heaven forbid, should other folks want to bring their own precious progenies. Go me!
So, where was I? Oh. Yes. I love, love the BBQ and Bluegrass festival and this year, the kids did, too. They gobbled up some good food and danced away. As such, I have some great video of the kids dancing. However, the Embarrassment Quotient on it is pretty high for my sweet pair of severly uncoordinated goofballs and that EQ will only increase as junior high looms closer, no? Therefore, I am hesitant to post it. I have loads of thoughts like that rambling around in my skull these days - what should I post here? What should I not?
Howdy Podner. Pull Up a Chair.
Waiting for some damned music, already. Fools.
My parents took me through so many caves as a kid - one year, we did a total Cave Extravaganza - just driving through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, veering off the roadway any time we saw a sign for "cave". I was really excited to do that this with the kids - we only did the Fantastic Caverns and the Marvel Cave, but I am hoping to kick it up a notch next year. They both loved the caves, although again, Miss Katie Couric had to narrate the trip. In the Fantastic Caverns, Anjali kept yelling "I don't wanna see DARK! I wanna see BATS! I wanna see BATS!" Lucky for her, we saw cute little bat just as we were leaving. In Marvel Cave, she kept yelling about the damned bats again, but added a new litany to her complains, "I wanna WALK! I wanna WALK!"
Folks, That's Some Serious Flare
Marvel Cave Tour Guide
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
Guard rails are meant to be ignored.