Last weekend we took a little mini vacation to Pensacola for some family time before baby number two arrives in May. We also wanted to visit Taylor's Dad and Grandmother while we were there. We drove down on Thursday evening and packed as much fun and family time as we could into the next four days.
On Friday, it poured rain all day, requiring a nice indoor activity. We headed for the National Naval Aviation Museum. It was a little crowded, but a lot of fun. Noah pointed out all the planes that looked like Dusty (from the Planes movie of course) and liked being able to touch and explore everything. I think his favorite things was sitting in the cockpits that they have available and pushing all the buttons and pulling all the levers. Maybe next time we'll get to go on a day when the Blue Angels are flying.
Saturday morning, we packed up and headed out to Fort Pickens. We explored all the ins and outs of the fort, sat on a few cannons, and tried out a cell that was used to hold prisoners. Noah was more adventurous than I expected. He casually walked down long dark hallways to try to discover what was at the end. Too bad there wasn't anything at the end, but he had fun anyway. He liked splashing in the puddles left by the previous day's rain and pointing out all the holes in the walls and the floor. That night we went with Grandpa and Great-Grandmother to one of our favorite restaurants in Pensacola, McGuire's Irish Pub.
Sunday, we got up and headed for the beach. It was a rather quick trip. It was incredibly windy and quite cold. So we headed to Grandpa's house, had some lunch, and went to play at a neighborhood park for a while to give the beach a little more time to warm up. We headed back in the afternoon with a little more success. It was still breezy and cool, but not too bad with pants and long sleeved shirts.
One of Noah's favorite things to do is ask (and by ask I mean order) someone to make sand fish for him with a little mold we have. He lets you make seven or eight of them and then stomps them all back to nothing. He thinks this is very funny. Taylor dug a nice big hole for them to play in with Noah's bulldozer and dump truck, and then we spent some time looking for sea shells. Noah would find a spot, squat down, and pick up all the shells he could reach to put in his bucket. He examined them all, then proceeded to throw them back into the ocean. I guess maybe he thought they needed to go back where they belonged.
We decided to check out the Gulf Breeze Zoo on Monday morning before heading back home. It was great. We saw lion, tigers, and bears (oh my). We saw a gigantic alligator, which Noah loved, lots of birds and monkeys, and lots of other animals. The highlights were the giraffes and budgies. You can buy a cup of food when you enter the zoo to feed the giraffes. I was personally very excited about this part of the trip. The giraffes reach down and lick the food right out of your hands with their long disgusting tongues. It's completely gross to see your hand covered in a thick layer of slime when they are finished, but it's also pretty amazing to be that close to them.
The budgies are in an enclosure like the one they have at Zoo Atlanta. You can buy little feed sticks for them and go in and walk around. There are so many of them flying around, and it seems they are more curious than hungry. Noah was still determined to get them to eat the food on his little stick. He kept following them around trying his best to attract their attention.
After being in there for a few minutes, the little guys got really curious about us and decided to come check us out. The first one to make contact landed on the diaper bag that Grandpa was carrying. He kept sticking his head in the outside pocket trying to see what was inside. Before we knew it, they were landing on our arms, shoulders, even our heads. None of them were biting at all, they were just exploring.
From the zoo, we headed back home. It was a great trip, but it was nice to be back home in our own beds.