Sep 10, 2009

Wrapping up the summer in Memphis

So I had about 56 minutes in which to write this post, and then I started uploading my pictures. Now I'm down to two minutes.

Since I'm usually waaaay too wordy, that should please at least some of you.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that we went to Memphis over the holiday weekend ... now to be known forever as The Three-and-a-half Pound Weekend.

We had a GREAT time -- aside from all the self-deprivation of carbs -- and I thought I'd recap some of the highlights for you today. I figured I'd start with the bowling alley, since Mandy and I took the older boys to a bowling birthday party while Jake was napping on Saturday afternoon, but when I realized how many other pictures I'd already uploaded, well, I decided just to say, "The kids had a great time bowling, and they got awesome Scooby-Doo masks to take home." Done and done.

Sunday dawned sunny and hot, and we'd decided to take the kiddos to the Memphis Botanic Garden (How much does it bother me that there's no "al" on the end of "Botanic?" A LOT. However, my dictionary says it's OK. Whatever.) Anyway, the Memphis Botanic Garden has a whole new section called "My Big Backyard," which is an amazing discovery area for kids of all ages. Here we are, approaching the entrance:

When we reached the front gate, we found this adorable mailbox to greet us. We ate our picnic lunch under the arbor that you can see in the background, then headed in to explore.

And right past the arbor: Precious playhouses!

We came upon real "flower beds."

Next were a couch and chair made of moss, as well as a rug made of glass. They called it "glass mulch," and they said it functions like real mulch. Fascinating. It sparkled in the sun and was so pretty!

Right next to the "living room" was the "dining room," complete with a table set for four.

And lastly, the bathroom! I loved the mirror set into the shrubs. I guess here on my blog, out of context, the bathroom in the bushes looks sort of white trash. But in real life, it was really neat.

After we cleared the "home tour," Jakey had to take a juice break. He plopped down smack down in the middle of the sidewalk, forcing other Garden guests to walk around him. He remained oblivious.

We headed around the corner to one of the first play areas, a giant birdhouse of which I somehow neglected to take a picture. So sorry. You can see it here. It was adjacent to this neat curly slide, which Jake was dying to try but I wouldn't let him. That's he at the bottom of the steps.

All around My Big Backyard, there were beautiful little structures for the kids to play in. Sasagu, a big kid himself, accompanied the kids into most of the houses.

Several of them, this one included, reminded me of the adorable Crooked Houses I've seen on TV.

Jake loved this green one in particular.

I ran around to that window so I could get a picture of him peeking out. Flushed cheeks. Warm day. No AC in the crooked house.

Emi climbed straight up to the top.

Not to be outdone, Nick did, too.

Next stop, the spider web. See that giant spider hanging over them? Emi sees it.

In the spider web area, they had fashioned ants climbing up the trees. I think they used recyclable materials for most everything.

Many of the ants were made from old hammer heads.

One of our last stops in the Garden was here, where they could use the burlap to finish up the hut.

"What? Just burlap? But there are fresh magnolia trimmings just 25 yards away. I think I'll go drag them over here."

"Ah, yes. Much better. Going back for more."

And THEN, just before we left, one of the cutest things EVER happened. Jake found a girl. They walked up to each other.

"Look, Mommy! A GIRL! How cute is SHE?"

"I'm Jake. What's your name?"

"Let me show you my six-pack."

And I snapped it a moment too soon, but they leaned in and gave each other a hug. Cutest. Thing. EVER.

And right after The Hug, we headed home so that Don Juan could take a nap.

(Did I mention that I left my big camera battery at home for this trip to visit friends we hadn't been to visit in like 10 years? Yes. I left it at home. So all I had was my little point-and-shoot. Not good for catching the surprise hug.)

Monday morning we wanted to squeeze in One More Thing before we headed back to Birmingham, so we packed up and drove out to Collierville, where they have a great park with a whole section of water fountains for kids.

I wish we had something like this (for free) in Birmingham.

Jake and Grayson quickly surveyed all the fun to be had.

Nathaniel jumped in and got drenched on the first try.

And the second.

The water kind of pooled under their feet, so just walking through the area cooled you off.

Jake was a big fan of the walk-through.

He was also a big fan of the walk-OFF.

For thighs that thick, he sure can MOVE.

Once collected by Nathaniel, he got right back into the swing of things.

Nick loved the water guns that you could point at people. Shocking.

Emi enjoyed sunning herself on her towel.

And before we knew it, it was time to dry off and pack up to get on the road again.

But not before catching one last smile from Kai.

From the park, we got on the highway back to Birmingham, with one major stop on the way home. But since I've already used up way more words than I thought I would in a post with this many pictures, I think I'll have to save that story for later.

Miss you, Memphis! Thanks, Sasagu, Mandy, Emi and Kai for a WONDERFUL Labor Day weekend!


Rachel said...

What fun! Nathan worked all weekend so we did nothing. :)

mj1989 said...

I don't know what part of Bham you are from, are you familiar with Gardendale. There's a free one at Celebration Park by the soccer fields.

Sarah T. said...

Those pictures of Jake's first love affair are adorable.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

MJ, I know where Gardendale is, but I am not familiar with Celebration Park. I'll have to look it up! Thanks for the note.

Wade's World said...

Great pictures! The garden looks amazing!

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