Last night we had to pick up Kevin from the Nashville Airport, so we we decided to go a little early and do some fun things with the kids. I had to work before we left, so we got kind of a late start, but we finally made it to the zoo around lunchtime. After waiting out a quick thunderstorm under a cute little grass hut, we roamed the zoo for hours. We've been to the Nashville Zoo several times, but have never made it all the way through. We always walk through the main part and then Drew sees the gigantic play area and we end up spending the rest of our time there, but this time, we made the long hike to the back of the property and walked through the African safari area. It is now by far our favorite! It's like you're walking through the grasslands and then you stop under these huge tents with over sized benches to sit and watch the animals roaming around in huge fields. Awesome. After our safari, we toured the home of the family that donated their land to the zoo. The home was 199 years old and had 95% of its original furnishings. It was fun to explain things to Drew like why the kitchen wasn't attached to the home, what the well was for, and why there were no toilets, bathtubs, air conditioning, light switches, or refrigerators in the home. He just couldn't believe that people used lived that way. I was so humbled to walk through that 'mansion' and realize how truly blessed I am. I can't imagine having to go outside to get water one bucket at a time for my family to bathe, cook, and clean with. I can't imagine using an outhouse or having to use cloth diapers and clean them without a washing machine and detergent! It just made me realize how lucky I am to have all of the things that I so readily take for granted, and how easily they could all lost... one horrific natural disaster and I'd be reading by candle light and running to the Flint River trying to scrub dirty diapers clean. We are so blessed! I am so blessed. After the tour, we hit the 'jungle gym' on the way out. We took turns playing with Drew and watching Maddi because she fell asleep in he stroller after puking on the 200 year old hardwood floors right in the middle of the tour of the old homestead. Ugh!
So, when it was my turn to play, Drew took me up and down and in and out of all of the holes and tunnels and passageways. Our favorite part was the huge nets that hung out over the river. You had to climb through them to get to the other side, and I really felt like a monkey swinging around on the ropes. Each area made you feel like a different animal wiggling your way through. It was really fun.
When we left the zoo, we went to downtown Nashville. We were looking for a place to eat and thought we'd walk around downtown for a while 'til it was time to get Kevin, but let's just say that downtown Nashville isn't exactly family friendly. We couldn't find a place to eat that wasn't a 'saloon' and there wasn't a single stroller or child out on the sidewalks. There were, however, lots of scantily clad ladies, men in their finest cowboy hats and boots, and even a man puking all over the road. Yum. So, we decided to head to Opry Mills instead. We found an awesome place to eat called the Rainforest Cafe. The food wasn't great, but the atmosphere was AMAZING. It felt like we were sitting in the middle a rainforest with huge trees, waterfalls, fish tanks, animated jungle animals all around, and rain showers created by lighting and sound effects. The kids really enjoyed it.
So that was our day. A little bit of rain, a whole lot of fun, and a bit of humble pie. A perfect day.