Kaylin begged all week to go to the pool this Sunday because her daycamp counsellor refused to let her go off the diving boards during their weekly pool trip. The thought of battling the throngs of people at the public pool on a very hot Sunday afternoon was less than appealing. I would rather have worked. I quickly devised an alternate plan...
I ran my plan by Gene about 8:30am and we were on the road by 9. We drove 1 1/2 hours to the zoo in the Quad Cities. They have an amazing pond exhibit with zillions of koi fish, as well as ducks, geese and swans. The kids and I spent ages feeding them pellets. The fish were so thick it looked like you could walk across the water on them. The geese and swans ate out of our hands. As a zookeeper I normally don't get much of a thrill out of feeding zoo animals, but this pond area was a blast! We then headed to the lorikeet exhibit where I paid a buck for a cup of food. We must have been some of the first visitors of the day because I immediately had at least a dozen birds perched all over my arms, shoulders and backpack. Kaylin and Logan got a huge kick out of seeing Mom covered with birds. It was really hot and all the big cats had access to their buildings and would only come outside for a few seconds at a time. I was a little bummed because the big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and cougars) were the main reason I wanted to go to this zoo and I only got to see them because I spent so much time waiting. The kids enjoyed the train ride and the carousel but were pooped out from the heat and ready to leave after a couple of hours. It's a fairly small zoo so we had seen everything in that time anyway.
We then headed to downtown Moline to the John Deere Pavillion. Logan was in heaven climbing all over several huge tractors and pretending to drive them. They have a large store with play tables with all kinds of toy tractors and construction vehicles. The kids (especially Logan) could have played for hours. We bought Logan a small set of construction vehicles (that included a Gator like I drive at work!) and moved on.
Kaylin wanted to go to Iowa so we hopped on the highway and drove two minutes across the Mississippi and stopped to shop and eat in Bettendorf. Kaylin's on a major search for Webkinz Charms so we went to a Hallmark. No charms, but she got a Lil'kinz hippo and was very happy. We ate at (ooooh) Taco Bell and headed home. It turned out to be a really fun day. I usually plan everything to the extreme so I was surprised how well my spur of the moment plan turned out. Now I have a full week before I have to take the kids to the pool on the last weekend it's open and the weekend before school starts. I'm sure it won't be crowded at all, lol.