So, we went to Atlanta over the Fourth of July weekend, and suffice it to say, the Aquarium was packed. Mom and Dad came with us, and the plan was to leave early Friday morning and get to the Aquarium a little after lunch. After a GPS-induced ride through the Atlanta ghetto, we made it to the Aquarium in one piece. The plan was to just to let Julia skip her nap--she would be tired, but would probably be okay, since she is genetically similar to the Energizer Bunny. Nothing about this plan worked out very well. Like I said, the place was mobbed, and it was hard for Will to see the exhibits. Julia didn't care much about seeing the exhibits because she was busy screaming her head off. Finally, I found the Aquarium's Ballroom, which is where they have events, and I was able to wheel Julia around in her stroller. She was still screaming, but at least there weren't as many people around to think I was kidnapping her. And, the Ballroom had two huge windows that showcased some of the place's best exhibits--the rest of our group joined us in the Ballroom and we were able to get close-up views of the Beluga whales and various kinds of sharks. Julia finally calmed down a bit, and we were able to go to the interactive section of the Aquarium, which the kids really enjoyed.
Trying to touch sting rays and sharks. We had to physically stop Julia from diving in.
On the fishing boat replica
Please, no more photos. I just can't handle the paparazzi.
After the Aquarium, we met some college friends for dinner and got to meet their sweet little girl. We had dinner outside on a rooftop at a brewery, and it was lovely. Surprisingly, the weather was fabulous--the humidity disappeared for a few days, so it was nice all weekend. Back at the hotel, Will stayed in the room with Mom and Dad, and Julia bunked in a suite with us. Aside from Will's twenty million questions and comments, it all worked out well.
The next morning, we went over to Atlanta's children's museum, Imagine It. It was perfect for the children, and definitely more their speed. It was similar to the McWane center (although not quite as focused on science), and the kids had a ball trying out every exhibit there. They sat on a tractor, built with sand, tap-danced, played in the water table, and generally had a fabulous time. At this point, we were right across the street from Centennial Park, so we headed over there to check out the scene. We had a bit of ice cream, and Will played in the fountain, and then it was time for the girls to go home. Julia did pretty well in the car, but once again, skipped her nap and chatted the entire time. While the girls went back to B'ham, the guys went to Will's first baseball game and saw the Braves play the Marlins. From what I hear, they had a good time. When they arrived home late that night, Zach reported, "I didn't put any more sunscreen on him, I didn't take any pictures, and all he ate the whole time was ice cream." Yep....sounds like a Daddy trip! They all had a blast.
On the actual Fourth, we just played around the house and had lunch with friends. The kids didn't even know that it was a holiday, and we didn't let on that there was anything exciting going on that night. We had thought about trying to take at least Will to see the fireworks, but after two days of crazy schedules and not enough sleep, it was better that we all went to sleep early. The next day, we went to some friends' lake for the day and all had a wonderful, relaxing time. There were several children right around Will and Julia's age, and they had fun playing together.
Whew. By the time we went back to work on Tuesday, I felt like I needed a vacation.