One-Yard Wonders projects

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just Because -- Riding the Carousel

I am a big believer in "just because" moments.

Spontaneous, last-minute, unplanned fun. No rhyme or reason. You do it just because you want to and just because you can. Tonight was a great "just because" evening. 

At 6 o'clock I announced that I was going to make supper fast so we could go to Union Park and ride the Heritage Carousel for the first time this season.

It was a beautiful night with a great breeze. We could hear the carousel's organ music from our backyard. The boys were so excited to be going to the park. And little Violet was awake and happy.

The Heritage Carousel is not only a beautiful carousel, but it's incredibly affordable for local families. Our entire family can ride for $1.50 (adults ride free if you're standing beside a child). Volunteers maintain and staff the carousel. Each year, they ask people to "adopt an animal" which helps pay for maintenance and upkeep. Adopting the animal gives you naming rights for the year, which I think is a really cool idea.

Luck was on our side tonight. Mazy was able to ride his beloved Pirate Cat, this year it has been named "Kaptain Kat." Bo picked a festive patriotic horse named "Firecracker." And Shawn chose the elegant and beautiful stork named "Happy B-Day" for sweet Violet to ride. I was in charge of photos:

I had paid for each child to ride twice. But Bo only wanted one ride, and Violet -- while willing to do it once -- seemed more interested in her bottle. So Mazy rode again by himself while we watched. As Bo waved to Mazy each time he passed, I took photos of Vy and Shawn, and then asked him to take some of me with her. They also turned out well:

Next up, the Rocket Slide -- an infamous and awe-inspiring play area at Union Park known for its huge rocket-shaped slide. The Rocket Slide was refurbished last year -- they painted it, repaired some damaged areas and put down a colorful squishy mat beneath it. It is truly a sight to behold. If you haven't been on the rocket slide, you should definitely put it on your Des Moines Bucket List.

It was such a great night. I loved every minute of it. As I watched the boys race up the slide, and looked down at Violet in my arms, and across the slide at Shawn who was taking photos, I thought, "I have the best life ever."

On the way home, we stopped at QuikTrip for bomb pops for the boys. Just because.

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