The girls seemed excited to go, but once we got in the actual house of butterflies, Maria freaked out a little. There are literally butterflies flying around everywhere. Some land on your back, in your hair and anywhere else they can land, They are all different shapes and sizes. I guess Maria didn't anticipate so many would be flying around her head and feet. Gerry carried her part of the way and she was kicking at the ones by her feet. This is not recommended due to the fact that the butterflies are so delicate. The workers even instruct you not to touch them at all so you don't damage their wings. So kicking them...probably not so great either! It was hard trying to explain that to Maria because she was scared. Naomi, on the other hand, didn't mind at all...she wanted to hold them and kiss them all. It's amazing how two sisters can be so different.
She's trying so hard not to touch that one!
The next day, we had Hailey back with us and we headed out to the St. Louis Science Center. Although the Science Center itself tends to be for kids a little older than ours, we were excited to see the movie showing at the Omnimax theater - Sea Rex- The Largest Underwater Dinosaur - or something like that.
The movie was okay. Again, a little mature for my kids but they liked the theater and the experience of it. For lunch we headed to a different part of town to visit St. Louis' famous Crown Candy Kitchen, one of the nations oldest surviving soda fountains. This place gets so much hype we just had to try it out. It's not in the best neighborhood and the line was out the door when we arrived at 1:00 on a random Wednesday afternoon so we figured it had to be worth the wait. And we waited, and we waited...with two small tired kids in a very tiny cramped line. Needless to say, we were thrilled when it was our turn to sit down. The sandwiches were okay, but the ice cream/malts everyone raves about didn't disappoint! We couldn't leave without getting some gummy worms at the candy shop, either! It was quite the experience, but I'm not in any hurry to go back. Maybe without my kids???
Standing in a T-Rex footprint
Thursday was our biggest day of the week...the one Gerry and I were most excited about: Raging Rivers Water Park! It was a long drive up to Grafton, Illinois and we couldn't wait until the girls saw the slides and fun that awaited them.
However, once again, our kids were a little freaked out. It was a long process from the car to the ticket line, paying for a locker, dragging our gear around, changing in to swim suits, getting sunscreen on everyone. We were there for 45 minutes before we were even ready to get in the water. The park is huge and has many different attractions: lazy river, pool and slides for little kids, wave pool and many different varieties of slides for bigger kids and adults. So we parked our wagon in the Itty Bitty Surf City and edged our girls near the water. They both started crying. Okay...I'm dripping with sweat and we just payed a ton of money to get everyone in here...and you guys are crying? I was getting so frustrated. But I think everything was just so overwhelming for them. Huge buckets of water were dumping over eveyr few minutes, a thousand kids were screaming and splashing and the water was cold. Really cold.
Eventually we found a spot that was not as chaotic and the girls got more comfortable with everything...including the water. They had fun slides that landed in about 2 inches of water. I felt bad for Hailey because I knew she wanted to do some of the bigger slides and the wave pool but it was hard for Gerry or I to be alone with both girls because they kept running off in different directions. Eventually Gerry went down a few slides with Hailey and we did the wave pool several times. At the very end, Hailey and I went down a long winding flume-like slide, and we saw parents going down with their small children. The lifeguard said it was allowed so we went back and got Gerry and the girls. The way down and back up was very long and the ground was hot on our feet, but I think going down that big slide was everyone's favorite part. Maria sat on Gerry's lap and Naomi rode with me. All I remember was Naomi just giggling the whole way down. Of course they had their water floaty things on, but it was hard to keep their heads above water when we landed in the pool at the bottom. I wish we knew they were allowed to ride it and we may have gone several more times. Oh well...there's always next year!
This pic is one of my favorites!
Maria figured out if she leaned back, she would go a lot faster!