Well, we did it! Zoe and I drove nearly a thousand miles round trip. We shoe shopped, we lunched, we played hard at the Playground of $500 Strollers, we went to the zoo, we attended a dinner party, we went to two very long worship services, we saw Yo Gabba Gabba Live! It was a whirlwind week, and it was wonderful.
Of course, the best part of our trip was the time we spent with our family and friends: Grandma and Papa, seminary friends, childhood friends, Milwaukee friends. You are all beloved, and if Michele Bachmann adds teleportation to her list of campaign promises, I might just vote for her so that we can get together all the dang time.
But there were also little moments of delight this week, like the squirrel enjoying a piece of sandwich bread in the park and Zoe’s attempt to help our friend Ingrid’s Minnie Mouse doll remember her baptism by dipping her white-gloved hands in the baptismal font at the seminary.
And then, there were these guys:
They may look like cheap, potentially toxic plastic water bottles (pro tip: that is what they are), but these babies are actually a parent’s best friend. We found them in the food court at the Lincoln Park Zoo, filled with pink lemonade and calling my name very sweetly. Zoe was instantly in love, and entertained herself with Bear and Blue Monkey for that meal and any other meal or outing to which Bear and / or Blue Monkey were invited.
Now, these sippers are definitely Zoe’s, and Zoe loves them, but I am not kidding when I say they were calling to me. What I really wanted to take home from the zoo (besides fond memories and adorable photos, of course), was a molded plastic treasure from this machine:
Unfortunately, this plan was foiled by our lack of correct change and time constraints (the blessing and curse of Nap Time). Since Bear and Blue Monkey have actual utility as well as play value and kitsch, everybody wins. One word, friends: plastics.
What is your favorite vacation souvenir?