|They're in there somewhere.|
Yesterday we loaded up ye olde minivan and headed west to Bismarck, where we realized our kids had never been. We visited Papa's Pumpkin Patch and the Dakota Zoo, and we give both a resounding thumb's up. Turns out we all love Bismarck!
Typically outings like this involve tons of fighting and whining and crying and general misery, but yesterday went 10 time better than I expected. We managed on very short naps, PB&Js, and favorable weather.
In almost 6 years of parenting, we've managed to successfully dodge all pumpkin patches. We are an introvert family, after all. This one was great and the kids didn't want to leave...except we also wanted to go to the zoo which was closing early.
The zoo had different animals than we're used to, and our Red River Zoo pass allowed us free admission, so wins all around. We all enjoyed the primates most. They had several different species. I can't find our favorite on their website, but there were two adult and one baby monkey that were swinging around and being generally hilarious. The baby was pestering the one we assumed was the mom and she was swatting and playfully kicking him and we laughed pretty hard. Our newly minted two-year-old through a pretty major s***fit when we had to say goodbye to the monkeys.
I ran into a friend I hadn't seen since college at the pumpkin patch, which was unexpected and fun. The high point for me was probably when we crashed my friend's 3-year-old's birthday party at their house north of town. They live in a great little development with huge lots and they had a ton of neighborhood and friends' kids running around in their shop. Seeing Tanner is always a pleasure, as he's a dear friend, and it was fun to see and meet a few other people there, too.
Driving home, we were all exhausted but so happy to have spent a day actually having fun together. I felt little to no gratitude for how the subsequent night went, but the fact that we actually had a great day made it worth the trouble!