On Wednesday we woke up to Kyle being called into work, getting the whole 5 day holiday weekend thing started on the right foot. She how enthused Mallory was about that situation...
We tried to make up for it by meeting Kyle for dinner and a zoo trip after work. My friend Molly (my favorite labor and delivery nurse) recommended we try a new place in South Anchorage called South Restaurant & Coffeehouse. The owners of this restaurant also own a couple of other local favorites so we were excited to try it out! Lord have mercy was it gooood! I honestly had a tough time deciding what to order since everything on the menu sounded amazing. We settled on a baked mac n' cheese appetizer (which you absolutely MUST order) and a couple of burgers. The whole decor and vibe of South was incredible and we can't wait to go back!
After dinner, we quickly walked through a little boutique next door, grabbed a coffee and headed down the street to The Alaska Zoo. The zoo here isn't really anything to get all hot and bothered about. It's small and the exhibits aren't really anything extravagant (although the baby bear cubs were pretty freaking adorable) but, because its small and enclosed we are able to let Mallory do her own thing. It is so fun to watch her run around and explore on her own terms! She loves to check out the animals, point and name them, then do her best animal sound imitation. He animal sounds are always good for a laugh or two. After about an hour Mallory was waving her "it's my bedtime and I'm over it" flag high and proud, so we hit the road.
Thursday was my birthday, so naturally Kyle had to work. The kids and I kept it low key by running a few errands and playing outside. Kyle swooped in with sushi take out for dinner and a couple beers. Birthday SAVED!
On Friday we had a couple of home showings scheduled so the dogs, kids and I hung out with our neighbor friends Jenny and her kiddos in the morning, came home for nap time and lunch then drove in to Anchorage and invaded Molly's house. Mal had her first play encounter with a sprinkler, met some chickens then played in a sandbox...in that order. After dinner I drove home with one happy, messy and tired toddler! :)
Kyle was actually off on the 4th!! Alaska has a pretty serious burn ban in effect because of all the fires we are having so all fireworks were cancelled. (Not that they are anything special since "sunset" isn't until about midnight.) So, after a little bit of house work, we decided to drive down to Girdwood to check out the Forest Fair. This is an event that I'd heard about over the past two years, but we weren't ever able to make it. It's a free event that promised great food, why not? It was a cool rainy day here in Alaska, but one of the things we have grown to admire about Alaskans is they get out anyway! Rain or shine, the people up here just enjoy. It's a lesson we hope to take with us when we leave.
Anyway, upon arriving in Girdwood we quickly felt the hippie vibe Forest Fair was putting out into the universe. Peace, love and
weed harmony baby! (Alaska recent voted to legalized marijuana and we saw A LOT of it here...)
Forest Fair is literally a little festival in the woods. There were a couple of stages set up where local musicians played, dozens of booths selling local, handmade goods, and of course food trucks and a bier garden. Kyle and Mal did a quick half lap before getting comfy in the bier garden while Mike and I finished checking things out.
I made the executive decision to grab some more food then make our way to the playground and skip the rest of the vendors. Most of the booths could be completely destroyed by Mallory in about 10 seconds flat! Plus, I'm never quite sure if Kyle can be trusted to keep his opinions to himself when we are amongst the hippie crowd...
We didn't even make it to the playground before Mal found this tiny puddle...she was sold! I think this little girl has the ability to make anything enjoyable (or a total nightmare if we are talking about the grocery store.) She is just such a joy!
On our way out we stopped by The Grind to grab a cup of coffee and wip a boob out for Michael. (PS. You have to stop here if you are ever in Girdwood! Their dirty chai was to die for!!) The best part of Forest Fair was only having to pay $25 for a prime parking spot! Or at least that's what the trooper who wrote our parking ticket said... OOPS!
The weather on Sunday was too beautiful, but after a morning of tantrums and brother biting I decided we better keep things close to home. Brock, Molly and their dog Ranger came over and spent the afternoon with us. Good times were had by mama's, dogs and toddlers alike. The jury is still out on Mike's weekend. ;)
Mallory and Brock are only about a week and a half apart in age! Molly and I have LOVED watching their relationship and interactions grow as they get older. They can really communicate with each other and play together now which is so so fun! Needless to say we both had tired, dirty little ones by the end of the day.
I hope this recap was somewhat coherent, the days kind of blend together in my mind lately. We really did have a great weekend--just sucked Kyle had to work so much.
How was your 4th of July?!