Friday, July 14, 2017

Blueberry Festival

Last weekend, Thomas went back up to Virginia to spend the weekend with two of his best friends, Joey and Clark. That meant that I was on my own with the little guys for the weekend, except not really because MaSha was in town and wanted to hang out with us, too. I ran my plan for Saturday by her and she was on board!

First off, we went to the Roper Mountain Blueberry Festival. We haven't been to many events at Roper Mountain, so I was going into it a little blind. I thought we might spend an hour or two there, so I had lunch packed in my car for us to have after we left the festival. I was pleasantly surprised at all of the activities and fun things to look at and participate in there. Needless to say, we stayed well longer than an hour and our packed lunch in the cooler stayed there. We ended up getting lunch from the on-site food truck. Tasty! I'm not really sure why it was called the Blueberry Festival, because other than have some vendors there that sold blueberries and blueberry pies, nothing else was really blueberry focused. LOL

When we went in, the first display was the butterfly adventure. After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, we realized that the line was going to take a long time and one of the employees there told us it would be easier (with a shorter line) to come back later, so we did. But first we took butterfly pics of the boys!

Butterfly Stokie

Butterfly William
As we continued walking, we came up to a old time farm. There was a barn with some animals and other pens with more live animals. We walked by a blacksmith cabin, a woodworking area, some gardens, an old home replica, a schoolhouse and other building or things that would have been part of everyday life in the distant past. It was so neat and most of the areas had ways that the kids could participate in some sort of activity. The boys loved it and wanted to stop in each area.

Petting a baby goat

checking out a baby lamb

Enjoying the farm

MaSha with Stokes and William at the pig pen.
The pig's name was Wilbur :)

Pumping water into these buckets

Grapes in the garden

So excited to be there!

Sitting in the classroom with their little chalkboards

Hanging out with Honest Abe! ;)
After all these adventures, we sat down for a minute in the shade (it was a million degrees!!!) and had our food truck lunch (thanks, MaSha, for treating us!). We all needed some time to chill out for a minute, but when that was over, we went into this area that had mini dinosaur skeletons, crafts (which we promptly skipped after I realized at VBS that crafts with these guys are too hard haha), and a very cool marine biology area! The boys got to touch hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs and stingrays. They got to feel coral, shells and other ocean finds. They got to listen to the inside of a conch shell and play an interactive game about the movement trends of schools of fish. It was all very entertaining and very informative. I loved it. Did I mention it was in the A/C? :)

When we left that exhibit, we realized there was a whole other area to explore, but we were short on this point we had been there already for like 3 hours...and we really wanted to check out the butterfly exhibit. It totally did not disappoint! We still had to wait in line, but it was much shorter. When we got in, we got a little tutorial about how to be around the butterflies, how to get them on our nectar sticks, how to NOT hurt them and all sort of other tips. Then it was time to enter. It was so amazing and beautiful! This little area was filled with flowers and butterflies. You could lure them onto your nectar stick and possibly onto you! Each of the boys had a butterfly encounter and they were beyond thrilled! We did have to get onto Stokes for being a bit aggressive with his nectar stick, but I think he was just so excited and wanted to play with allllllll the butterflies! It was a very, very cool experience. I wish we could have spent all day in there. We probably only had 5 or so minutes, but I got out the phone and MaSha and I snapped a few pics for the memories.

showing Ryan the butterfly on my nectar stick

Stokes trying to woo a butterfly

One landed on Ryan's t-shirt!...

...and on Stokes's nectar stick!!...

...and on the back of William's head!!!!

MaSha and William

They were so pretty!
When we left the Blueberry Festival, it was probably around 2, and everyone was dragging a little, but we were all so darn hot and sweaty and the boys wanted to go to the pool, so even though a nap may have been a better idea, I went with the pool suggestion. I had already packed all their swim stuff and snacks for the pool (since I thought we would bail on the festival and have lunch and a little swim break mid-day), so we went over to MaSha's pool for a change of scenery. The boys swam, jumped, played and snacked. Ryan was worn out and fell asleep for a good 30+ minutes right there in his float. He was so peaceful!

pina colada flavored popsicle!

MaSha came back to our house and spent the night so that she could help me with dinner and bedtime, and then to help in the morning before church, too. 

Let's just say that everyone went to bed pretty early that night! It was a long, but super fun day!

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