Monday, March 30, 2009

A Trip to Kristel's House

A couple of weekends ago we went to visit Buddy's sister, Kristel, and her family. They live about three and half hours away from us, but it is worth the drive. She and her husband Ed have three kids: Trey, Rebecca, and David (who is 3 months older than Quinn.) Buddy has 3 sisters and they all have kids close in age. In fact there are 6 nieces and nephews between the ages of 12 and 7! So I was glad that Kristel decided to have another one, because Quinn needs a cousin his age.

Because they live in such a rural part of the state, and hunting is a big deal, Ed has plenty of property for he and Buddy to go shooting on. So while the "big boys" went shooting, Kristel and I took the little boys and Rebecca to the local nature center. I wish I had pictures of this place but my camera died. The nature center is a free science center for the town they live near. The nature building has exhibits of live animals common to this part of NC, as well as exhibits of dead animals (stuffed to look alive) posed in a "natural habitat". There were snakes, fish, birds, lizards, turtles, etc. Quinn was very impressed with a large white parrot-type bird that sang Happy Birthday!

Once we realized my camera was dead, Kristel took some pictures for me.

This picture was taken in the "cave". The basement of the nature center was made to look like a cave. Inside the cave is exhibits of underground creatures that are native to this part of NC. There were tanks of fish, including the biggest Tilapia I've ever seen that wasn't the Saturday Night Special at Red Lobster! There was also a snapping turtle that had to have weighed 30-40 pounds. No kidding!

After we left the nature center, we headed towards the health building. In between the buildings was this sign. It's hard to read, but it basically is serving as a water mark for Hurricanes Fran and Floyd. The bottom one is the high water mark for Hurricane Fran, and the top one is the high water mark from Hurricane Floyd, which was 37 feet, 5.6 inches. That's a lot of water!

The health center building had lots of really cool exhibits, but they were mostly for older kids. It had a life-size table with the Operation game on it. (Do you remember that game?) There was also an area where you could climb through a heart and go down into the ventricles.
The one exhibit there that Quinn and David could play in was a huge mouth, and you could crawl down the esophagus and end up in a stomach. Here is Quinn standing inside the mouth. For reference, the mouth was taller than me.
Here is Quinn crawling down the esophagus.

Here is Quinn and his cousin David standing inside the mouth. These boys are going to be such good pals as they grow up! They had so much fun crawling back and forth inside this mouth. I can't wait until they are big enough to crawl through the heart.
As you read here, Quinn's new friend is an elephant. How exciting it was to see an elephant statue outside the health center! If only we had not left Harry in the car. (And by the way, it was FREEZING this particular day, and kind of rainy.)

The only thing we did not get to do was to ride the train. Kristel said it was new from the last time they had been. The train didn't operate in rainy weather, so hopefully the next time we go, it will be nice and sunny! There was also a playground and picnic area. And the best part was, this whole place was absolutely FREE!!! You know I can't pass up a bargain!
Kristel, Ed, Trey, Rebecca, and David: Thanks so much for such a fun weekend! We can't wait until we can come back to visit!


Heather said...

I wanna go visit Aunt Kristel. Would she mind 5 more?

Diane Teague said...

I guess Quinn is the only one at church that can say they have been inside a stomach. Sounds like a lot of fun and free to beat. That is a price anyone can afford. You ladies do amaze me with your bargins.

Kim said...

I am glad you had a great family fun day and free at that :)

Quinn is adorable standing in that giant mouth.