Saturday, October 11, 2014

Center Grove Orchard 2014

Another year, another visit to the Center Grove Orchard in Cambridge, IA.  We never got around to visiting a pumpkin patch last year, so it was super vital we got to one this year.  We had so much fun on our last visit in 2012 that we wanted to go back, and they have added so much to make it even more amazing.  There were dozens of activities for the kids and I love how spread out everything is, other pumpkin patches that I've been to have felt so close together, like they're trying to pack as many people into a small space as possible.

 There are so many animals to pet and feed, it's usually what sways our decision and gets the kids most excited.

In addition, the corn pool is always a favorite of the kids, we usually have to drag them out of there after an hour of fun.  Something they've added is the large eating area, there are yummy sandwiches, soups, a full cafe of latte choices, and of course, the amazing apple cider.

The kids had so much fun jumping on the giant jumping pillows, and took endless turns on the huge slide.  In addition to these awesome attractions, they also have a pedal tractor race track, a hay maze perfect for little people, a giant, rope spider web, bounce horse play area, and a concert venue for weekend shows.  It's, literally, hours of fun and that's before we even got to the corn maze.

 There are a bunch of spots throughout the grounds that are perfect for photo opportunities.

The only thing that would distract Charlie from the corn pool was getting on the tractor to go to the corn maze.

Next stop on the tractor ride is the pumpkin patch.  They've been open for a month and they still had plenty of choices.  There were HUGE pumpkin, baby pumpkins, gourds, and regular sized pumpkins.  It was so much fun and it's become a wonderful family tradition to pick our own pumpkins.

On our way out we stopped and got some sweets from their shop; candy apples, pumpkin bread mix, apple pie, and honey.  It put the cherry on an already wonderful day.  I will always highly recommend the Center Grove Orchard.

For more information on the Center Grove Orchard, please visit their website here.

To view my blog post from the last time we visited the orchard, which has a lot more photos to see, please click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Graduation Day

I forgot to post one of my proudest moments, my college graduation!  On May 18, 2014 I finally became a college graduate.  It was a fantastic day filled with family, friends and a long awaited flood of relief.

Message from Peggy's, the recently closed student bar on campus.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shedd Aquarium-Chicago

If you're planning on traveling to Chicago one of the have to attractions is definitely the Shedd Aquarium.

Ok, here is my top suggestion for going to this aquarium, pay attention, because I read this tip previously and didn't listen, and I should've. GET THERE BEFORE IT OPENS!!!!  Oh my word, this line is absolutely INSANE!!!!  We got to the aquarium 30 minutes after it opened and the line was already crazy.  However, once we were in, it was AMAZING.  It was absolutely fantastic, even with an eight year old who was suffering through a fever and ended up going back to the truck with grandma so sleep while little Charlie and I finished the aquarium and went to another museum.

So the good about waiting in line, the good about waiting in line, look around, what are my options?  Turning around and *BAM* we're standing in front of any incredible view of the Chicago skyline.  I hoisted the kiddos on the ledge and had a little photo shoot.  Well, that killed about five minutes of the endless we were waiting.
Even more fantastic luck, there was a race going on that we could see perfectly from the ledge.  People were running by below us, which made for a perfect place to cheer them on, which is what they did with grandma while I waited in the line from hell.

Once you get past the line you realize what all the fuss is about.  There are endless exhibits for you to walk through, endless photo opportunities and a HUGE gift shop to splurge in.  Even feeling under the weather, Faith loved what she saw.  Charlie probably could have spent the entire day wandering around, but we had to get to the next museum before we left to drive home.

If you're interested in visiting Shedd Aquarium and would like more information, just click here!