Among the things I miss...the YMCA! Salt Lake doesn't really have them (although I did find a sports complex up the street that has two pools and two ice skating rinks.) I will certainly miss a gym where I got free childcare with my membership, or even better, a free membership when I got a job helping with that childcare. Oh, and let's not forget half price off all youth sports. Somehow that made Eli's baseball games in the blistering heat a bit more tolerable--if you can call it baseball. When fielding, the entire team lines up in a straight line. After the player hits the ball, the coach pats a kid on the head and tells them that it's their turn to get the ball and throw to first. And so it continues down the line until every child has had precisely one hit and one chance to field. If only real life were quite that fair...
NomiAnn and Eila watching the game.
Eli's coming! (Insert music here.)
Look closely and you'll see that Mr. Eli Jameson lost his shoe as he slid into third. You could tell he was mimicking the big leaguers he's watched slide into home during his date nights with Papa Kay.
Good job buddy! To celebrate, we headed to Gene Leahy Mall where they were holding a family event in honor of the Y's 150th year in Omaha. Like Eli's parrot?
As for Annika, she wanted a pony.
Talia wanted a dolphin.
Her dolphin hat matched the one painted on her face.
Here's a close up of Talia's face paint...
...and Brooklyn's to match. Pretty sparkles, ladies!
Annika was transformed into a rainbow unicorn...
...while Eli morphed into a butterfly. In the background, you'll notice Eila, who really wasn't forgotten, I promise. She just wanted to stay in her stroller.
NomiAnn got her an adorable monkey.
Papa Kay poses the grandkids on this gorgeous day. Yes, it certainly is fun to play with the YMCA!
Shakespeare on the Green
Of course, we played many other places too. Eila had her first introduction to Shakespeare on the Green where they we performing Taming of the Shrew. Doesn't she make an adorable jester?
Talia, you've been framed!
Eila with Sarah Carlson-Brown, an actress, director, and good friend of Callie.
Speaking of Callie and Adam, every time they called to Face Time, Eila gave them abundant kisses through the phone. Mwah!
Talia and Eli engage in some swordplay before the show starts. On guard!
I think Annika was pretty worried they might actually get hurt.
Someone's all smiles. Where are we headed, Eila?
The zoo! We had to check out the new African grasslands before moving. It's a bit of a hike, but super impressive (even if they hadn't reinstalled all the animals yet.)
Eila doesn't seem all that interested in the elephants.
She liked being held by her cousin Brooklyn, though!
Train ride time!
Even on a hot and sweaty day, these two are a great match.
Only thing better is getting your own seat like a big girl.
Choo choo caboose.
Here are our little ones acting so grown up as they hold hands. It's important not to get lost, right Annika?
At the top of the grasslands, you can find both lions and a transport helicopter as well. For some unknown reason, Annika had been begging for weeks to ride in a helicopter. I guess this was her chance.
Before heading home, we stopped off to see Suriyana, the young orangutan that is Eila's birth buddy. The connection was instantaneous. (Too bad I don't actually have the orangutan in the picture too. She's adorable.)
Speaking of adorable, this big kid's pretty cute too.
Here's Brooklyn standing head and shoulders above the rest at one more farewell swim event where our favorite Lawler family invited us to join them at Rockbrook pool. Goodness, we love this family! Annika and Joey are pretty much promised.
Three cheers for Crestridge! From left to right: Andrew, Joey, Talia, Annika, Eli, Brooklyn, and Thomas.
Our very last excursion before our long drive to Utah was the raptor refuge at Fontenelle Forest. Fortunately for us, the refuge was opened to members the day before our move.
I'm not sure if we were checking out this owl or if the owl was checking out us.
The new raptor homes are beautifully designed.
We learned all about the circle of life watching this hawk devour a rat.
Before we knew it, it was time to pick up Daddy Jason from the airport. He was so excited to see his girls (plus Eli and Papa Kay too.)
Uncle Jason is a pretty great title too.
Add in dinner at Applebees, some hours of tetris loading the mini-vans, and it was time to bid farewell. Omaha, we miss you already!