Ok, now for the pictures! Friday we left our place around 11am. Raya was ready to hit the road!
We stopped for lunch along the way and then arrived at our destination around 3pm. We ended up finding a hotel close to the Mall of America (it was a really nice room...and they had an awesome all you can eat sit down breakfast buffett...yum!) and we got ready for that night's baseball game. Then we rode the transit train from Mall of America down to the stadium...it was really easy and the train dropped us off litterally steps from the stadium entrance so no walking at all! It was about a 30 minute ride down, and Raya did pretty well, considering. She struggled a little bit b/c she really wanted to get down and run around the train, but as we got closer to the stadium it got more and more crowed and she had to sit on our laps, much to her dismay :-P
Here are Daddy and Raya posing on the train in their Twins gear. Lee picked up a hat to wear, since we aren't normally Twins fans and he had nothing festive. Everyone loved Raya's Twins shirt I made her though...she looked like a true fan from head to toe!
Once we got to the game we got ourselves a pizza and found our seats. Our seats were waaaay up at the top, but we actually had an excellent view behind home plate and it was really cool sitting so high up! We fed Raya full of pizza and kettle corn to keep her happy haha. Overall the game was the most trying time for Miss Raya, b/c it was a sold out crowd so she had to stay on our laps, which she isn't a fan of anymore. As long as she was eating though she was fine!
Family pic...with pizza faced Miss Raya :-) ...it looks like no one was sitting behind us, but they were just out of their seats at the time....we weren't all alone up there :-P
We had a great view of the skyline...such a beautiful night!
Around the 7th inning Miss Raya was getting really tired so we left our seats and pushed her around in her stroller...she fell right asleep!! Then we watch the rest of the game....they lost unfortunately, but still fun!
After the game we took the transit train back to our car and Raya slept the whole time, even with the crowds of people....she was beat!
Saturday morning we went to the Minnesota Zoo...Raya and Lee's first zoo experience ever!
We had great weather again too. It was a little chilly at first so we went to the indoor part to begin with, and within an hour or so the temp was up and it was perfect sweater weather. The zoo was really nice....looked mostly new and the animals seemed well cared for. It was the perfect size for Raya's first zoo trip b/c we were able to walk the entire thing in about 3.5 hours. They didn't have a lot of the more exotic animals due to the weather MN has, so like no elephants, girraffes, zebras, pandas, etc...but they did have some cool animals like grizzlies and tigers and a nice indoor area with a few monkeys and such. It actually didn't matter much what animals they had though b/c Miss Raya is just like her dang daddy....her favorite parts by far were the fish! She could have stayed staring at the aquariums forever...and we're not talking colorful tropical fish....she loved watching the river fish like bass and carp! haha...lee would explain the fish to her and she'd walk around pointing at the fish and waving "hi!" at each one. Too funny. She also loved the otters.
Raya's favorite part!
Raya did NOT like one particular animal....can you guess what she was frantically trying to get away from ?
Yep, a little old crocodile haha
She did like watching the monkeys....they were squealing really loud!
We had to take turns lifting her up to see things b/c dang, she's heavy!
This guy was pretty cool
But my favorite part...the grizzlies! They were playing right next to the glass window!!! They wrestled for a really long time and I just kept thinking how I wouldn't want one of them stumbling upon my campsite...they're huge!!! Raya barked at them haha
Raya was a little walking machine and knew exactly where she was going too...a lady on a mission!
It was so much fun going to a zoo with a kid now, as opposed to by myself b/c she is actually starting to show interest and get excited about what she sees! She was still on the young side a little bit I think....probably next year will be a really good age to take her when she actually knows more of what she's seeing....but she was definitely interested this time! She probably would have been equally interested in our backyard though haha...but that wouldn't have been nearly as fun :-P
Hurry up Mama! We've got animals to see!!!!
Perhaps her favorite part of the whole day though? They had a farm section with a petting zoo type thing....(oh no, that wasn't her favorite....she was horrified at the thought of touching animals haha)....but outside the farm area was a playground....THAT was her favorite part of the whole day!!!!! :-)
Come on dada!!
We had a cheerio snack at the farmhouse...refueling the baby!
After her snack she was ready to keep going!! She was pretty interested in the camels.
Mama, why are they all in a pile like that? Hmmm....I wonder....
Some more animals...
After the zoo Raya had a 20 minute cat nap in the car and that was the only time she slept the entire day!! We found a hotel for our 2nd night (couldn't stay at the same hotel again b/c they were booked for Saturday) and after settling in to our new room we drove over to the mall of america for a late lunch. Then, although our feet were killing us, and my back felt like I was 9 months pregnant, and my pelvis felt like Brielle could fall on the floor at any moment, I decided that I really wanted to check out the mall of america for a little while since we were here. So Lee took Raya on a daddy/daughter trip to the mall's aquarium exhibit while I went shopping for a couple hours.
The mall was CRAZY though! Between it being a Saturday and also there was a scrapbooking convention going on....so it was packed! I only lasted a couple hours before I was ready to go lay down haha. But it was still fun to check it out for awhile. Lee said Raya enjoyed her aquarium too lol...she had to have been just exhuasted, but he said she never fell asleep....just quietly checked out all the displays :-) He had strict orders from me to document his fun with her in pictures, but I guess the camera didn't work well in there because it was dark and full of glass walls etc....so he bought the little picture they took of him and Raya so that I could have a souvenir hehe.
Daddy/daughter fun in the shark tunnel!
He said that although she loves aquariums, she did NOT like these guys at all!!
This is more her style :-)
After Lee and Raya met back up with me at the mall we discovered, much to our horror, that Raya had peed through her clothes....she was soaked! And of course I didn't have any change of clothes in her diaper bag b/c it was full of so much other crap from our trip...so the poor girl had to do a "walk of shame" pantless out of the mall haha. She didn't seem to care though....rather than try to make a quiet exit she danced in her stroller and waved at everyone walking by, so that they were sure to notice the half naked dancing and waving baby haha.
After we all cried "uncle!" out of exhaustion at the mall we went back to the hotel and relaxed! Then we went out for a icecream run before an early bedtime for everyone!
Sunday morning we got ready to head home...Missy Moe waited patiently to hop in the shower with daddy...
Then she had fun running around the hotel room naked and trying to hide from me :-P
Daddy worked on packing everything up....he had the pack and play packed and ready to go, but now where'd Raya go?!
THERE she is! :-P
While we finished packing Raya danced around the room...she LOVES to dance now...especially since she'd been so deleriously tired all weekend I think haha
Her official verdict? FUN WEEKEND!
I think next spring before the weather gets hot we are going to try taking Raya and Brielle to either the des moines zoo or omaha zoo...Raya will be at a really great age then! We'll have to see which one has the most fish :-P