Family Fun Day

Some days it feels like we don't see each other enough. Brian works crazy hours being a realtor, Ella goes to her fathers a few days a week, I feel like a taxi at times, and always cooking and cleaning. (plus making concoctions, breaking up fights, being a jungle gym, reading books, ad so much more.) The kids are growing up so fast. I just want to pause time and enjoy everything about them. 
Last week Brian took a full day off work and we had a family fun day.

Our day started off by surprising the kids with a trip to the local Cleveland Metro parks Zoo. We pulled in and I was a bit discouraged after seeing at least 50 buses. It is that time of the year for end of the year trips and it was a gorgeous day. When we normally go to the zoo we start off going to the Rain Forest. This time we went straight into the zoo first in gear that there would be a million kids in an already cramped Rain Forest.

Ella had decided she wanted to go and see the fish first. That meant walking up to the top of the zoo to the Primates and Aquatic section. It actually turned out to be an awesome idea cause we all were pumped and full of energy. There are a few options to get up there, the lazy way of the tram (but you have to take the baby out of the stroller and to me its a pain), walking the hill, or walking the wooden path with ramps and stairs. We ended up taken the wooden path, which is normally what we do. At the top of the bath is this turtle statue. 

The first animal we saw was the Cheetah. They were very active and walking around. Austin called them a kitty. 

Inside the building Austin was running loving the freedom and seeing all the monkeys and fish. 

Ella got excited when she saw one in what she called a "hamster wheel"

Both kids stood here for a good 5 minutes and just watched him run. 

I was found of all the babies Primates. 

What can I say about the fish. They both just love fish and could stay there all day and be happy. But there was still so much more of the zoo to see. 

On the walk back down the wooden ramp, Ella and I stopped and took a picture overlooking the trees. It is so peaceful and calm up here. 

The whole day we drank lots of water. Both kids had their own bottle, Brian and I had a bottle to share, and we had 4 frozen bottles as refill and share. With all the water we were drinking, means lots of peeing too. On the back of some of the bathroom doors were these little stories and facts. Ella liked me reading them to her. 

Over in the Australian Adventure Ella got to listen like Kangaroo. Plus see Kangaroos, a Koala bear, and a bunch more. 

They also had a petting zoo with some Netherlands goats. 

We had a picnic lunch that I had packed for everyone. We found a table in the shade. Ella had a turkey sandwich, Austin and Brian and pb & j, and I had almond butter with blueberries. To share we had grapes, goldfish crackers, pretzels, and they had oreo cookies. Going with a plan and bringing out own food saves so much money and we can keep it healthier. The Cleveland Zoo has McDonalds and Pizza Hut that were open. There is also other options but due to being "off season" nothing else was open yet. 

Ella didn't feed the Giraffe's this time, and was disappointed that a baby giraffe is still taller than her. 

Some got tuckered out from the heat and running around. However he ended up only taking a half an hour nap. That's not long for him.

We tried for a family picture with a Elephant behind us. The Elephant moved the the lightening ended up sucking. But we still tried. 

After doing the main part of the zoo we decided to do the Rain Forest before we left. By this time most of the schools had left so it wasn't very crowded. The kids stayed and watched this baby Orangutan for a good 10 minutes. He is 2 1/2 years old. 

He liked "showing off" for Ella and hanging upside down. 

Before we left we did achieve a somewhat good picture of all of us. I used the cupholder on the stroller to hold my phone (I forgot my tripod at home). 

After the zoo we went home to relax. I was really hoping Austin would fall back asleep, and Ella would take a nap. Ella did amazing with walking all day, wasn't in the stroller, and Brian only carried her so she could see the Zebra's. By surprise they both stayed awake. We went home and they played outside for a little while. 

As part of our family day we went out to dinner. Stonehouse Grill is becoming our new regular. They have delicious affordable healthy options, plus a kids menu my kids will eat from, and they have a beautiful outdoor patio. I got chicken tacos. 

Ella wasnt happy after dinner because I wouldn't tell her what the rest of the surprises we had planned were. After dinner our first stop was Lowe's. I needed dirt for my garden, plus more flowers, and Brian needed a few things. We go to Lowe's at least once a week lately. 
Afterwards all got ice cream. I love Mitchell's ice cream. All there options are homemade fun flavors. A big win for me is they have Vegan ice cream made with Coconut milk. (I get horrible stomach pains when I eat dairy). I tried there Vegan Salted Caramel Pecan, OMG it was amazing. 
We had a fun, memorable Family Fun Day. Ella keeps asking if we can do it again tomorrow, everyday. 

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