For Michael’s birthday lunch we had pizza at Rhombus Guys. If you are ever in Grand Forks and want pizza, go there. So, so good.
And as a bonus you get a free s’mores pizza on your birthday. After we were done eating, and while we were waiting for the free s’mores pizza to bake, we checked out the park that is positioned behind Rhombus Guys and a few other down town buildings. It was the neatest little inner city park I have seen. The sculptures were a hit with kids and adults alike.
The kids dubbed this one the giant robot hand and Tim made up a fun story about how there was a giant robot buried underneath Grand Forks.
The other really beautiful large sculpture was of 4 trees connecting in a canopy. I would venture to guess many senior portraits, wedding photos and prom pics are taken under this arch.
Patrick was a little too interested with the graffiti. To say that makes me nervous is an understatement. I don’t know if it is graffiti or if it is commissioned art but trying to explain the difference between commissioned art and graffiti to kid is not easy. I am sure all he heard was “PAINT THE WALLS!”
Maybe Grandma Shannon picked up on his scheming on how to get paint and which wall he would paint because when he walked by her, she scooped him up in her lap pretty quick!
My favorite were the fish. There was a sign that I didn’t get a photo of that said, can you count the fish, or something like that. The kids ran around counting fish and talking about their favorites.
I am very much inspired by these fish and I am hoping I can figure out a fun summer project where each kid paints a fish for me. I would love to hang a few in our house.
For a girl who doesn’t like fish, I was really taken with these.
more photos here.
After our Disney trip this spring, I thought that a summer vacation in North Dakota visiting both sets of Grandparents would seem a little lack luster, for lack of a better word.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The rest of this week I am going to share photos and stories from our #NDsummervacay. The posts and photos will not be in chronological order. They will not be in any particular order other than, as I get photos edited I will post them and share the story behind them.
This morning I want to tell you about our park tours of Grand Forks and if you follow me on Instagram, you already know which park was our favorite.
We stayed with Tim’s parents for a week. They had to work during that week so every morning Tim and I loaded up the kids, Googled “park” and started driving. We don’t know Grand Forks well. We have been there many times over the years but mostly we stick to the street where Grandma and Grandpa Shannon live, the main street where the chain restaurants and big name shops are and of course Grandpa Shannon’s church which just happens to be at the end of the street where they live. So yeah, we don’t have the best grasp on where things are in Grand Forks and what Grand Forks has to offer.
We first visited Ben Franklin Park and it was pretty much like most elementary school parks except there was a large green space around it so while Tim and the kids played I was able to walk Lucy around without worrying about little kids coming up and asking to pet the dog. I am at a tough place with the dog. She needs to practice interacting with strangers but she is so unpredictable with strangers that I don’t want to expose strangers to her, especially little kiddos, to a dog that may or may not become protective and be aggressive towards them. So I walk perimeters and praise her every time we walk near (20 ft) a stranger and doesn’t react negatively. Ben Franklin park was good for this. The kids had fun too. Patrick loved the solar system play equipment.
We also hit up the playground at Lincoln Park. This was a fun and beautiful park and the kids had a blast on the play equipment. I love parks where the small kid equipment is near the big kid equipment. We even ran into a little girl Elise’s age and when I introduced Elise to the little girl I realized the little girl (who was with her nanny) was the child of friends of ours that used to work with Tim when we lived in Bismarck. I love that about North Dakota. You are never more than a few people away from someone you know. Someone always knows someone who you know or are related to.
Lincoln Park and Ben Franklin Park were the two runner-up parks. The hands down winner of our parks tour was Sherlock Park in East Grand Forks. The kids dubbed it Harry Potter Park because we were reading the last chapters of Sorcerer’s Stone when we discovered the park and the castle shaped playground made them think of Hogsworth. The boys even made friends both times we went to the park that were also excited about Harry Potter so they ran around pretending to be Harry, Ron and Hermonie with another kid playing the unnamable villain chasing them. Tim and I sat sipping our coffee, watching and laughing as the kids played. It was perfect. When my coffee was drained dry I picked up my camera and started snapping.
This is Harry Potter Park.
more photos here.
This weekend we went to the MN Zoo and spent most of our time at their Big Bugs exhibit. It was a hot day and to be honest, the heat and the crowds tested Tim and my marriage a bit. Just like Target runs, going to the zoo mid-week is always better than on weekends. We braved the crowds and the heat so the kids could experience the zoo with their Dad.
This is kid far to cool to be Tim and my kid. Look at him posing like a child model.
It was a fun day filled with giant animatronic bugs, layers of sun screen and Tim and I shooting glares at each other while we each counted 1 kid, 2 kid, 3 kid over and over, both thinking the other wasn’t paying enough attention.
We picked up Beth on the way to the zoo. Have I mentioned how much I love living so close to family again? The only people who love it more than me is the kids.
Michael thinks he is a zoo tour guide because he went on a school field trip to the zoo and because of our few trips to the zoo this spring. He was happy to be in charge of the map and lead the way.
The best thing about having a zoo membership is that there isn’t pressure to get all the bang for your buck like when you buy a day pass. Because of this we cruised by most of the animals and headed right to the big bugs.
Michael has done some light reading on bugs and was able to tell us a lot about the different classifications and why some bugs looked like spiders but were not spiders. I think it is great that he is interested and learning, but I draw the line at bug collecting.
This bug (I was too busy taking photos to learn the scientific names) was animatronic and the kids were able to manipulate the controls.
Patrick loved it.
And here is my favorite photo of the day. I told Patrick to make a face like there was a real giant grasshopper behind you.
I think Elise’s favorite part of the day was the cooling mist faucets.