We got to take a couple of trips to the zoo this summer with Grandma on her days off. The highlight for me this year was watching Izzy take her first rides on the carousel. Just as it's becoming a bit "old news" for Evalee (although she still lights up to see it), we get a whole new round of giggles and screams of delight.
This year, we came prepared. We stopped at Hungry Hobo to grab some picnic dinner, packed the air mattress, lots of pillows, drinks, snacks, and blankets and headed to Iowa to see Monsters University and The Lone Ranger. We wanted to get a great spot to park, so we made sure to leave in time to get there right as the gates opened. And we did.... but unfortunately they opened the gates an hour earlier than the time they posted online because they had such a busy night the night before. We were a little bummed waiting in line to get in and park, but it all worked out because we found a spot with a great view to set up camp. The family next to us had quite the carload of kids and teens, but luckily they were the nicest kids we could have asked for and asked Evalee to play frisbee with them, taught her how to catch lightning bugs, and let her chase them all around while we waited for it to get dark.The movie was really cute and Eva really enjoyed it - although she was nervous when Sully didn't show up for the first 10 minutes or so -- and she had absolutely no problem staying up until well past 11:30. The weather was just the right amount of cool to snuggle in together with a blanket to stay warm, and the theatre is set back just enough from the interstate that the stars can shine bright above you. Just as last year, it was definitely one of my favorite nights of the year.