Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yellowstone Bear World










Very near to Rexburg, Idaho is this fabulous park that has 37 bears (all bred in captivity) and a multitude of other animals (most of which were bred in captivity). Their famous members include the Coca-cola bear and the bear who played Baloo in the version of Jungle Book made several years ago. They have a place for the baby bears that they snatched out of the "dens" in the springtime. People get to ride through and throw a set amount of food out to the bears. If a female gets a lot of food she can have up to three cubs (she has to consistently get a lot of food). I got to ride in the front of the truck. It was fabulous!
video

Kids can change in a matter of seconds. Here is one example. Please excuse the food face and shirt. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Modern Miracle

Yesterday the kids and I arrived home from a two-week vacation to visit the grandparents. In a nutshell it was marvelous. More details and pictures to come.

It was the trip ride home I wanted to tell you about.

When mothers with more than one child bravely enter the airport alone we are seemingly oblivious to the fact that we stick out like ketchup on a clean, white tablecloth. Those with 3+ are graced with looks of pity and shakes of the head (if this were a movie sequence this is where the pathetic, somewhat impending doom-ish music would sound).

While I scrambled to get our ticket and bag situation sorted Mom V sat with the kids and kept them happy (Thanks Mom V).

Personally, I think Delta is out there to scalp people. In my head I imagine a voice that is slimy and slightly scary--as well as anxious to get all your money, "Ooo you brought luggage? What were you thinking--do we look like a freighter line to you? That'll be $15 for the first bag. Oooh you added two bags from the same person to save time? Ha--you'll pay $40 now because the second bag costs $25 instead of $15. I'm so sorry (chuckle, chuckle) your bag is overweight. You can now give us $90 for it to go." An evil laugh follows of the Mwah-ha-ha-haa variety.

At this point I begin to get a slight heartburn as I pull out a zipperless bag full of clothes I triumphantly put into the bag last night. I silently pray we do not lose everything in it. Yet, it ended up being exactly the amount needed to be taken out--thankfully. (How did you know I would need that Mom O?). Ha--one up on you Delta. Betcha didn't see that coming.

In all actuality the ticket people were quite friendly though they couldn't do anything about my 2 bag insertion error (I think I was $10 overcharged). They told me to talk to the gate agent.

Mom walked me to the security line. In Salt Lake City they have this awesome line for families and people who need assistance (boy did I need assistance) and we skipped to the front of the security line (whew!). Mom had to leave us there because she didn't have a security pass. We courageously set forth where crazy moms had gone before. It was at this point I must have looked completely desperate. Shoes off; pockets emptied; carseats unloaded (I'm NOT paying $15 a carseat to go through--that's airway robbery); playbags unloaded [grunt] 1, [grunt] 2 (Did I really have to pack all that for a little trip like this? Yes, yes I did); baby (usually sleeping at this point) ousted from stroller; stroller folded and x-rayed. I swear that alone took a good 15 minutes.

Gratefully this really classically dressed lady that was going to Dallas (who had 3 slightly older children) understandingly helped me get everything on and off the conveyor belt. Then she walked me down, carrying a 30+ pound car seat to my flight waiting area. Thank you, if you ever read this and know it is you.

People were starting to board the plane. The place was packed with people. We went to the gate agent who immediately sensed we should be together. Oh I think she forgot about my $10 back .
The lady behind us in line was about 50 with beach blonde hair and a sweet smile told us we could switch her seats if we needed. The stewardess used her seat to get us all together. Again, if you ever see this, thank you!

Sometimes I wonder if the gate keepers guess there will be a unusually rambunctious group with only one adult (like mine) and they send condolences and a wish that they could call reinforcements for them to the steward(s/esses). The one we had was very friendly.

Even with a friendly steward or two I still feel the need to get on the PA system and say, "Folks the group sitting in seats 3-ABC would like to thank you in advance for your patience and kindness. Please worldlessly forgive any hollering, hitting, spitting, spilling, throwing-up, laughing, or any other action that would ordinarily annoy or perturb you."

Most people made it through relatively unscathed. There were only a few with soda stains, play dough stains, cracker crumbs, and other assorted goodies attached to their persons (mostly us). We had several questioning/meaningful glances but other than "He sure is a screamer," delivered by an 11-year-old girl sitting in the seat in front of us going to Ireland; we were relatively unnoticed (as far as I know).

Mission completed successfully--now for some massive amounts of sleep. Zzzzz....