Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wee Ones Wednesday - Ice Skating (and More) in the South

Immediately after Christmas, we headed down to Charlotte, NC for warm weather, but we found ice and snow! The kids did their first sledding of the winter down the icy drive way on a boogie board.
Actually, we were there to visit Rob's family, but I was hoping for a break from winter. We did receive warm Southern hospitality from Marc and Stephanie (Rob's brother and sister-in-law), as usual. I always feel so guilty when we take over their house on our visits, but they are always so sweet and act as if it is no trouble at all. Josie couldn't stop talking about her cousin, Lillian, the entire twelve hour car ride. We weren't there a few minutes before the two of them were snuggled up together on the couch.
We happened to be visiting while Lillian was on break and Stephanie was off work so we had extra time to hang out with them. One day, at Lillian's suggestion, we went to the ice rink. My kids weren't so sure about ice skating, I think the boys have been once with my sister and her friend, Stuart, but that didn't go well. Once they were out on the ice, it was hard to get them to leave!
Rob was super dad, while Stephanie and I didn't even don skates.
Josie was super pleased to be able to skate a bit without holding Rob's hand.
Parker after a nervous start, enjoyed himself so much that he can't wait to go ice skating again.
Dema was especially smitten with ice skating and was amazingly blase about falling. He stayed on the ice long after everyone else had put on their street shoes. I love how he is going his own way in the picture above, so Dema.
Another day we went to Charlotte's Discovery Place. Here is Dema on the bed of nails.
The family using team work and some muscle.
As things tend to go, the kids spent an amazing amount of time building with Kapla blocks, which we have at home. Stephanie built the nicest looking tower.
Josie was proud of her tall one.
We also watched the Sharks 3D at IMAX. It was cool to see the sharks in 3D and thankfully not the least bit scary (Parker was worried) or bloody. The down side, of course, pretty much all the sharks on the endangered list. They mention this, but fail to mention that fishing (bycatch as well as intentional fishing) has a lot to do with what is happening to the sharks. The bycatch is the issue which should be, in my opinion, stressed in these movies because that is the action which most of the people watching the movie can effect. By not eating or buying fish products, one can cut down on the overall demand fish and save so many killed and not eaten (bycatch). I guess another option could be demanding "sustainable" fishing (although, I don't know how well this can possibly be enforced) practices. I really get irritated when "educational" movies or museums fail to talk about the elephant in the room. It does no good. Kids (and adults) walk away sad that the sharks are dying off, but with no real answers on what they can personally do about it. More about museums missing the boat regarding animals and environmental issues in a future post.
Before Discovery Place, we had lunch at Brixx. They have vegan cheese for their pizza which the kids thought was cool.
While we were at Marc's tennis tournament, I finally pulled out Dema's first tooth! It had been loose forever and was hanging on my a very thin thread and we were about to go out to eat so I just popped it out. Luckily, the Tooth Fairy was prepared with a present to exchange for the tooth.
We ate Thai twice, but it is hard to beat Thai in Champaign. We have friends who live in Cali and Chicago and they still crave Champaign's Thai (Thara Thai, Siam Terrace, and Y Eatery). The highlight of the Thai restaurant was Rob's dad sweetly saving his tofu for our kids. For some reason two of the dishes which would normally have tofu did not and Josie was so completely exhausted and hungry, after watching Marc's tennis match, that she was melting down without her tofu. The waiter brought us a side of tofu so the kids didn't need the saved tofu, but it was a very nice gesture. The best food of our trip, hands down, was breakfast at the The Common Market before we headed out of town. If we move to Charlotte, I will live at this place. It is quirky and fun with a neighborhood feel. The scrambled tofu wrap above makes my mouth water even now just thinking about it! Veggies, tofu, walnuts, and an amazing sauce in a tasty tortilla. Scrumptious! Finally, proof that there may actually be a veg*n or two in Charlotte.

No comments: