Fortunately, my parents and the rest of my family live in the area, so we have lots of reasons to make the 3-hour trip.
Our recent trip was necessitated by the adoption of a buffalo named Buzz (Lightyear) and free babysitting provided by g-parents.
We rode the heatwave of 2012 into town, dropped off our stuff, picked up more (sand-digging) stuff, and headed to Shelby Farms to visit the aforementioned buffalo. And the jaw-dropping new park there.
The weird cage-like fence surrounding the play areas will eventually be covered in vines. Right now, though, the place is like being in a giant frying pan.
The next day, we hit up the Pink Palace. I have no excuse as to why I have no pictures of the outside of the building, but it's so pretty. There is a special exhibit about megalosaurus or something, so some of us wanted to check it out. Some of us, but not Sarah.
My kids are into dinosaurs (real original, I know) in different ways. They both enjoy pretending to be dinosaurs, but Sarah is scared of the animatronic ones and dino skeletons. I have taken this challenge as an opportunity to discuss carnivores (animals that will eat us) and herbivores (nice animals who only eat leaves and plants).
She doesn't mind excavation, though.
Dad and Will got into dinosaur rubbings.
|Look, Mom, somebody else made this!|
|Mike beating the toddlers at their own game.|
We couldn't peel Will away from this gigantosaurus for very long.
My favorite part of the whole museum is the miniature circus, carved entirely by hand by one man. It's nearly 100 years old, and I can remember looking at it for what seemed like hours when I was little. Things have changed since then, and you can't push a button to make it come to life anymore, but it's still spectacular.
|The Big Top|
In an effort to escape roaring robot dinosaurs and scary skeletons, we went down to the permanent exhibition of quiet robot dinosaurs and regular skeletons.
|Flamingo and teensy-tiny Hummingbird skeletons|
|"Can I have one of these for my birthday?"|
After a full morning of evading dinosaurs, Sarah just really needed a pedicure. Thanks to my mom's Caribbean blue nail polish, all three generations of girls got twinkle toes.
Sunday morning was spent at the Memphis Zoo,
visiting my namesake, Julie Hippo:
|Julie and her daughter Splish|
Will made a new best friend who, apparently, loves to eat as much as he does.
Le Le and Ya Ya are the giant pandas and fellow gastronomes as well.
We loved seeing all of the animals of the Northwest Passage, especially the grizzlies.
Too hot to move. I feel ya, wolves.
The little explorers stole Grumps and DD's hats.
|Ready for safari|
And the peeps passed out on the ride home.