My niece Tori makes EVERYTHING more fun. She spent the night on Saturday and we had quite a time.
First off I went and retrieved her from her babysitters house. She told me that she kept asking the babysitter when I would get there.
We had wonderful talks on the way to my apartment. Tori remembers everything. She remembers things from when she was 2 (she's 5). Tori also has an obsession with the ghetto. She loves it! She said to me, "I just love the ghetto!" I could explain all of this, but I'll just leave it at that. She is hilarious. Not even hilarious in an accidental kid way, actually funny!
So we start the party off by going to Union Park and riding on the carousel. It's only 50 cents a ride! I rode it too! Just the first time. I had to sit one out so I could take some pictures. A tidbit about the carousel: This turn-of-the-century replica carousel is hand carved from basswood, hand painted and ridden to the sound of an old-fashioned band organ. Through this the Heritage Carousel supports a nostalgic and unique aspect of the past whose availability dwindled during the depression. The carousel itself is a beautiful work of art displaying the heritage of Des Moines and surrounding communities through painted portrayals of buildings and sites of significance to these communities.
And the park also has a rocket ship slide! What more could a couple gals want? Oh yeah, I guess a wading pool doesn't hurt. At first I told Tori to just take off her shoes and try not to get too wet because she didn't have her bathing suit on. Then she pointed out to me that other kids were wearing their clothes in. I can't argue with that! She could go in. Then the clouds started to roll in and we had to leave the park. I took Scott's camera and Tori and I were both very concerned about getting it wet.
So we go back to the apartment, get into some dry clothes, watch Follow that Bird and then we went over to play with her pal Amelie. After all that it was time to wind down. We made ourselves ice cream sundaes and played Muppets Take Manhattan. Then bedtime.
I slept by Tori in her and Alyssa's room (and if you come over and spend the night it will be your room too!). In the middle of the night Tori started moving around and shouted "BATMAN!" Even in her sleep, funny. I asked her about it the next day. She told me that I was trying to take Batman's picture and he wasn't paying attention so she had to yell at him.
The next day we get up and we head for Living History Farms.
You know how sometimes you remember things as being totally awesome as a kid and then they let you down when you're an adult? Living History Farms isn't one of those places. It was so awesome!
And just like the carousel here's a little tidbit about Living History Farms: Founded in 1970, we are a 500-acre, outdoor museum that recreates history and lifestyles in four time periods – the 1700 Ioway Indians, the 1850 pioneers, the townspeople of 1875 and 1900 farmers. Historical interpreters dressed in period clothing complete the daily routines of each time period – caring for animals, cooking, blacksmithing, gardening, and much more. The story of 20th century agriculture is explored through an exhibit of crops, displays and interactive activities.
So now that you know what it is here are a few pictures.
Here's Tori helping the woman at the General Store mix up some "Cure for Black Teeth." Her Mom and I both thought it was pretty funny she got to do this because her and her sister are obsessed with the Penguin and his black teeth.
It was hard from get Tori to move away from this bowl full of leeches. She was fascinated. When the lady told her that they used to put them on people to suck out their blood sort of like vampires her eyes about popped out of her head.
Here we are at the print shop and Tori is about to help her roll a 150 lb. roller. See that look on Tori's face? That's her not worried she won't be able to move a 150 lb. roller.
On the way home we stopped and got our Dads an ice cream cake at Baskin Robbins. And do I know that Grandpa Bill is her Dad's Dad too?! I did.