Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vacation 2012 // part 2

Part 2, here we go!!
It didn't take a lot of Googling to come across this wonderful place. It is called The Magic House and is simply amazing! We were there for hours and could have stayed for so many more.
The place is a GIANT house where you travel through different sections. The sections are things like music, bubbles, electricity, construction, a little town, etc. Everything is hands on and the noise level is at a million. But Chaz was pumped from the second he entered the door.
This was awesome! It was a giant wall of pegs, like the small ones you see a party stores. I literally have to pull the hubs and Chaz away so other little kids could play.
I love his face. We brought him around to the other side so he could see his face impression.
That is the hubs, as a puffer fish.
This was a seat on a pulley system. I haven't a clue how a child would do this because the hubs broke a sweat.
The boy got to tag along for a ride. He thought it was a blast!
The bubble room. Probably one of my favorite rooms. The boys trying to blow a massive bubble.
If there weren't 20 kids waiting in line to put themselves in the bubble, I totally would have done this. Darn kids.
Chaz patiently waited for the longest time to do this. It was a tube that blew air into a pan of bubble water. The air would create LARGE bubbles. I was so proud of him for his patience. He was amazing. The kid in front of him....ummmmm, not so much. People, contain your children and teach them manners. Just sayin'
When we came out of the bubble room, we found this little guy playing peek-a-boo with Papa. Such a cutie!!
This was part of the Little City. Their were little houses, a service shop, a post office, a veterinary clinic, a grocery store, a bank, etc. It was awesome!! Chaz was pretty pumped to get under the car and work on it. Notice my "oldest child" getting right there in with him. God love the hubs.

Oh and their was a sweet tree house!! Their were tubes to talk into, can and string phones, etc.
He had a great time just observing.
Exploring the electricity station.
This picture was hanging in one of the hallways. I couldn't help but put the real baby up next to the picture baby. HA!!!
We were all (yes,, dad, hubs, baby, me, everyone) in a room playing when we heard Chaz yelling from right outside the room "Momma, come see this!! I made a rainbow!!" I never really figured out how this worked but I agreed with him that it was very cool.
Playing with the car. Their were horns, pedals, everything!
Even Papa decided to play
There was a silhouette box you could get behind so someone could trace your profile. The hubs traced the boy...
and I traced Mr Burns... no, it was suppose to be the hubs. Fail!
 I tried again and did a much better job... except the GIANT nose (his nose is big but not that big) and the goiter on the back of his neck. Well at least it wasn't a major fail as above. 
I think we were taking to long..... "I will just wait here, you guys are boring"
Goofy kid
The magnet room. Another one of my favorite rooms!!
This was the air room. Tons of tubs and contraptions that blew out air. The balls just hovered over the hole. It was so cool and the baby had a good time checking it out!  Note; the little guy to the right isn't being dramatic, it was really loud!
Electricity ball.
I really should have pulled my hair down. Note to self for next time. But look how cute the baby's hair is!!
and the momma. Such a good sport!

There is a GIANT beanstalk that goes from the bottom floor to the top floor. I think it is 3 or 4 stories. It has some tiny spots so the Hubs and I didn't go in but we watched Chaz climb up and down for close to 45 minutes. He thought it was so cool. It was one of the things he saw on the brochure and really wanted to do in person.
More air, more pipes, more fun. The air flowed through this mess of hoses and you put fluffy balls and handkerchiefs in the openings and they would fly out the ends. It was actually really fun!
At the very bottom level was a construction zone. It was half inside, half outside. Rocks, dirt, boys, hard hats, construction equipment, nothin' better!
They had half built houses that you could climb through and see the inter workings. The walls were covered in plexiglass so the kids could see the wiring and insides. This was really nothing new to my little guy as we have been taking him in construction houses since he was a little guy but he still thought it was fun!
Besides the beanstalk, I think this was one of his favorites. There was this flag pole downstairs and when you raised the flag via a pulley system, a air pipe would blow the flag when it reached the top. He was very proud of himself.
One last stop, the musical stairs. Drop a ball and listen to it go.
Yeah, he had a good time as well!
For dinner that evening we decided to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory, we knew our little bird would not eat anything their so we stopped by McDonalds. Yes, I get another award for this one. McDs, late dinner and a iPhone playing a movie to keep him occupied. Mother of the Year right here, folks!!
The next morning it was time to hit Six Flags. We were packed and ready to go. Yes, we brought this much gear to Six Flags. I am ridiculous.
He didn't care.
He was pumped. You can't really tell it in this picture, but he was.
A shot of Daddy's Orange Crush will get you going.
Get ready, this is good stuff!!  The song was on the PA system at the entrance. I guess we had sung it so much in the car that he thought this was his moment to shine. Awesomeness!
We got there early, in true Wright fashion, so our map kid had plenty of time to review the map.
Plenty of time...I am pretty sure he memorized it and may have taken a mini nap.
and we were off! Looney Tune Land, here we come!
Mr Cool was having a blast. Again, the pictures really don't do a great job of showing his enthusiasm.
Three story tree house? Heck yeah! I love that the hubs and I were able to follow him!
Somehow we convinced Gaga and the baby to get on the ship ride. He was tall enough so why not. Can you spot him??
There he is!! Chaz was so excited that his brother was able to get on the ride with him. Considering he was all of 9 months old, I was surprised myself.
They loved every second of it.
Patiently waiting for the airplane ride. Isn't he handsome??
Now there is some excitement!!
Daddy giving some preflight coaching.
Our lil' pilot!
He was having a great time just taking in the sights of all the kiddos. It was starting to get really hot but he was hanging in great!
Thanks to Gaga and Papa for hanging with the little one so the hubs and I could devote some time to Chaz.
Next, we all squeezed in this tiny little train. We should have taken a clue from the guy in front of us. Look at him with a ton of room, legs stretched, happy as can be.... and then look at us, squished in this tiny train. Hmmmmmmmmm, probably not my best choice. At least the hubs was a good sport.
We only have one picture of this but this was quite possibly the most hysterical 2 minutes of the entire trip. There was this roller coaster and Chaz was actually tall enough to ride it. So the hubs, mom, the boy and I all jumped in line. I had him watch the coaster go round and round and I asked him several times if he was sure he wanted to ride. He said he was in. He was great the entire time in line, ready to go. We all sat down, I purposely put him across from me so I could see his face, and the ride started. It climbed up a big hill and then..............WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, down a giant hill, spinning out of control. My kiddo's face looked liked the people you see on extreme coaster videos. By the time it was over the hubs and I were in tears, Chaz vowed never to ride "that thing" again and mom agreed this was probably not our best decision. I only wish they would have let you take pictures during the ride, if only! I probably should have taken that was a sign. It was very funny, trust me!
We had already planned for my folks to depart with the baby around lunchtime. We knew it would get too hot for him and the other side of the park was a waterpark so we wanted to do that with just Chaz. Before they left, we decided to take a few pictures.. Looking cute with daddy.
And then it was time to try to get a quick cute picture of the family. Well you can't say we didn't try. I actually find these quite entertaining.
This is his I'm-going-on-the-Scooby-Doo-ride face. Yes, he was this excited.
Before we headed to the waterpark side, we stopped by the gift store. I remember dragging my dad into these stores when I was younger. To be fair to the little guy, I was the one who was actually dragging the boys into the store. I wanted him to be able to get a few things. We let him chose what he wanted. He didn't go for anything crazy expensive, just these little guys. A Batman coin holder, a Batman ring and a Spiderman slap bracelet. Such good choices!  By the way, the waterpark side was amazing! We had a blast but didn't take any pictures, obviously.
Chaz loved being able to ride his bike around the park. Love this place!
And he found a thinking rock. Love this face!
The hubs decided to see what it was all about.
And then Chaz decided to breakout his daredevil skills. Boys!!
Another fantastic spot is The City Museum, I had heard a little about it but I don't know that I expected what I was about to see. I know I didn't. When I told the rest of the crew I was taking them to an "interesting kids museum" they all looked at me like I had 90 heads.
The boys were nice enough to humor me with some super excited faces. They didn't have a clue what they were super excited about but they sure knew it was going to be something pretty cool. Momma said so, right?

Love them!! Pure sweetness!!
This museum is an amazing showing of art and architectural design. There are slides and tunnels and climbing is awesome and beautiful!!
This was one of our favorite things. I think I went down it 5 times, the hubs did his fair share of rides and I cannot count the number of times Chaz descended down this slide. It was a few stories high and was made of rollers. As Chaz says "It tickles your booty." Awesomeness!!
Turtle pond? Why yes, yes there was!
Chaz wasn't really pumped about climbing through tiny little spots and getting lost in the dark, but momma was! This place was amazing!!!
Chaz finally lightened up and decided to have a good time. He never did quite take off through the tunnels but I was ok with that because you could easily lose track of a kiddo if you weren't right with them. There were SO many twists and turns.  There was this cool hamster wheel. Chaz was quite a fan!
You had to take a tiny elevator to the roof to see more of the action. This slide was simply amazing and these pictures do not do it justice.It is a good 50 feet tall and another 30+ feet wide!
I love the faces of these two. They were having a blast!!
I think we may have worn him out!!
But before you knew it he caught his third wind and was ready to go! Another slide, another happy boy!
We outside pavilion were we ate lunch was amazing!! There are several places to eat but this was a very cool spot. Their were cages, stair cases, bridges, a giant ball pit and tons of other amazing architectural marvels! This is literally right over our table. We even had a flip flop fall onto our table from above, funny and quite unexpected.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, back to the super cool side.
Yes, he was still around but he was contained by Papa. This is not a place where you want a 10 month old baby running wild. He did enjoy watching all the big kids run around and be crazy!
When we were in the elevator on the way up to the roof I noticed a sign that said "You must be completely dry to reenter the building" I thought to myself 'hmmmmmmm, that is a very odd sign' but when I rounded the corner to see this, I fully understood.
They went around nothing short of 50 times. I think it was all to see how high my blood pressure would rise. I actually had less faith that the hubs would stay dry. All I was thinking was how in the world would I smuggle these soaking wet boys back into the building. Awesome way to unnerve the worry wort of the family.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the Hubs then took us into the old school bus that was hanging over the edge of the building. Seriously, I thought I was going to puke. This was not made for the scared-of-heights-momma.
Really? We didn't test the luck enough last time?? We had to see if we could succeed again? Thankfully (and shockingly) they made it through the adventure without falling in.
Next we ventured into an awesome metal dome, in the middle there was this giant rope swing. Of course, the boy was all about it!
This face says "I just had an amazing time on a wickedly cool rope swing"
This face says "Momma, I am tired of smiling for your camera. Would you please stop?!?!"
As Chaz patiently waited for another turn,
His father became the worker bee. This happens everywhere we go!! he becomes the personal shopper, kid watcher, entree suggester, etc. Everywhere.

Before we left, my parents were nice enough to take the kiddos and let the hubs and I be 12 years-old again. There are two ways off the rooftop...1) the elevator 2) a 12 story spiral slide to the bottom floor. Guess how we got down... It went incredibly fast and spit you out into a cave-like place. You then had to find your way out of said cave. It was so dark we had to use the flashlight app on Ryan's phone. When we actually found the place to get out I realize I could slither through but the hubs could not. He actually had to climb under a staircase to get to an opening. It was crazy fun!!
He was tuckered out before we left...
I think he might have made it out of the parking lot.
More bike riding time!
If you go to St Louis and do not hit up the zoo, you are missing out. I have been here numerous times and I love it every time!! I mean most of it. I don't like the snakes or the stinky indoor bird exhibits but other than that, I love zoos.  Baby boy was super excited to go to the zoo!!
Papa and his buddy were in charge of the map. Imagine that!
If you see a tunnel, do you have to go through it? I mean I am pretty sure that is a rule somewhere.
Apparently it takes daddy and brother going first. I am thankful sometimes that I am married to a big kid.
And I am very thankful that sometimes my momma grabs the camera and snaps a shot just to prove that I am indeed a real live person
This was one of my favorite parts of the zoo. The hippos. The boys were able to get a primo location in front of the underwater wall and the hippo entertained us by swimming around in circles and coming right up to the window. It was awesome!!
Next up, elephants. I always love the elephants.
and there is nothing better than a baby elephant... well unless of course you like a baby elephant in a waterfall!! Seriously, he couldn't be any cuter! The boys loved him!
This was an indoor exhibit but it didn't stink. They did have some snakes, which I tried to stay VERY far away from. They had several animals you could touch and play with. One was a guinea pig. I tried and tried to get Chaz to pet this little guy but he wasn't having it. I then brought in my secret weapon, the baby brother. Yes, I am a terrible mom who uses the little ones fearlessness to convince the older one to do something he wouldn't otherwise do. Yes, I am that mom.....and I have no shame about it
and for 1.25 seconds he branched out and touched the guinea pig. Success.
This little guy isn't scared of anything. He loved playing with the animals
There was a big concrete frog outside the building. Why wouldn't you want to sit on a big concrete frog? It gives me flashbacks of when I was 115 months pregnant sitting on a big turtle at the Tulsa zoo. No, I will not do one of those fancy little links that shoots you right back to said picture. Won't do it. You will have to search for that nonsense yourself.  Now, back to the cute kid sitting on the frog
We had to add in brother! Why wouldn't we?
Chaz is such a good big brother. He held onto him so well. AND if you know this little squirmer you know that is a feat in itself. He is wiggly!
and then we stumbled upon one of my other favorite parts of the zoo, Splash pad! If I would have done better research, I would have known this zoo had a splash pad and I would have packed extra clothes.  Oh well, I couldn't really deny him this kind of fun and it was hot!
At first he was a little reluctant to get his clothes wet but once he got the "ok" he was all in, literally.
This little guy didn't want to miss out on the fun, so Papa helped him git his feet wet.
Hilarious! This kid LOVES water!
and I think his brother is going to be the same way. The funniest part was watching my dad try to stay dry in all the chaos.
"Yes mommy, I had a great time in the water and I am only marginally wet."
We stopped in the gift shop to get the boys T-shirts. We would have done this anyways but it was a good excuse to let him wear a new (dry!) shirt. He was SOOOOOOO tired so we decided to board the train and take a little rest.
Zonked but still holding on!
Did I mention ..zonked?!?!
Next stop was the seals. The tunnel was very cool as you can tell from this little guy's expression

His dad was a little mesmerized as well.
When he wakes, he eats. This is just the way this kiddo rolls. He is constantly eating!
As if he wasn't wet enough for the day!
And then it came.... the epic moment of the day. At first we didn't think the penguin exhibit would be anything super noteworthy, man were we wrong! At first he loved the penguins. He was outside pointing out all the "super cool" penguins.
He loved them!
They seemed to like him too!
Papa liked the penguins, too!!
and then we went inside. telling you it was loud may be the biggest understatement ever, this place was maddening.
Then it happened. We tried to get a cute family picture in front of the wall of penguins, and we failed. Or actually we pseudo got attacked by a puffin. What you can't tell from the pictures above is that there is a giant tank behind the hubs, it comes right up to his elbow. When we were all in place the puffin went psycho, seriously psycho. Chaz lost it like I had not seen in a long time and the exit could not have been close enough for him. Simply epic. He bailed, in hysterics. I look at the tank and saw this..... yes, this little "sweet" guy caused all the madness and panic. Thanks dude, thanks a lot.
After he calmed down a little we headed to the carousel. Doesn't a carousel solve everything??
As we rounded the last turn of the zoo, I quickly discovered there was something else at the St Louis zoo I hadn't planned for...... Build-A-Bear. If you are a parent, you have probably heard of the place where you can easily drop $85+ on a stuffed animal and then quickly realize you have created a Build-A-Bear drug addict. Yeah, that place. Chaz had been pretty fantastic all day and he was coming off a recent traumatic event (HA!) so we kinda caved. I mean, how could we deny him at this point. We headed into the place and quickly discovered that there were more than just bears in this place. It was all zoo animals. Of course it was, duh. We asked Chaz what he wanted, with the note that he could have any animal he wanted, and without skipping a beat he said "My favorite, a PENGUIN!!" Really? That thing that 25 minutes ago you were 100% certain was about to end your short little life? That one? But of course.
You don't have to ham it up kid, we got it, you looooooooooooove penguins. Of course you do!
I mean really? Could you tell him no?
His favorite part of Build-A-Bear, washing the stuffed animal. This activity can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Seriously.
"Oh and can we get this one for Brother???" Yes, he conned us into a mini penguin "for his brother." Said penguin has never left his sight BTW. He is keeping it close until brother is big enough for it. His words, not mine.
How does a stuffed animal cost so much money? Well, you have to get an outfit and house shoes, of course. Note: we have never spent $85+ on anything from Build-A-Bear as that is just crazy talk but I have seen people who have. This day my sweet, frugal hubs used a multitude of coupons and even got a free carry bag and mini bag to boot!  Big penguin gained the name of Colty and little penguin gained the name of Squeeky. Yes, Colty and Squeeky. I can't make that up.
Nighttime bonus was glow necklaces, bracelets and bubbles!
Yes, bubbles. I found these at Walmart and stored them away for the Summer vacation. I don't know if I am the only one who got fooled by these things but the "juice" you put in the bubbles really only illuminates the container of bubbles. They don't glow as they float off in the air. So disappointed.
As we were hanging outside on the last night of vacation, this beauty pulled in. Yep, that is a school bus the owners converted into an RV. Really, no joke. We, of course, made friends with the family and quickly accepted our invite into this masterpiece. It wasn't very roomy, as expected, but it was super cool. The dad had done all of the construction on the inside which included bunk beds, a kitchen and a bathroom. Although I wouldn't trade our ride, it was very cool!
Mr Dane running around like a madman in the motorhome.
The last afternoon we were at the park, Chaz and the hubs decided to head off for one last swim in the pool. They were gone FOR-ever!! Ryan texted at one point and told me they had "found some friends."  Once they were back at the camp, I went a few doors down to meet the new friends. They were awesome people and I am so sad we didn't meet them earlier. They live in Detroit so the likelihood of us ever seeing them again is probably slim to none. Chaz will look at a map and try to convince me that it really isn't that far.  I had to make sure to get a picture of the two new friends. So the next morning when we were packing up I had the hubs go down and get them.   Lance was a little shy and Chaz decided to wear the shiny green lantern cape we won at Six Flags. All of the above makes for some good snap shots.
Goofy kiddos.
Finally, I got a good shot of the both of them. So cute!
Dane waved bye-bye the entire way out of the park. So stinkin' cute!!
He had to stand on me in order to see out the window.
What a wonderful week. We relaxed but also did a bunch of stuff! It was the perfect balance! I love finding little spots not too far from home that are super fantastic! St Louis was nothing short! I can't wait to start searching for next year's spot. Any and all suggestions are welcome!!!

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