Monday, January 10, 2005

The one in which I take my circus on the road 

We spent a couple days on the other side of the state, visiting family over there. We left DeLand Thursday morning and headed for Tampa, where we spent the afternoon visiting with my grandfather and my great-aunt Madeline. Naturally, we go nowhere these days without a trunk full of unicycles, and Grandpa and Madeline enjoyed the impromptu circus the kids put on. Here's a shot of Grandpa with Mike and Annabelle; if you click on the picture, you can see a short video clip of Annabelle demonstrating her talent on the uni:

From Grandpa's house, we drove over to Temple Terrace to visit my brother-in-law James, my sister-in-law Meredith, and my nephew Sanders. That night Mike's allergies were really bothering him, but the only nosespray I had with me was mentholated. Mike's reaction to the searing pain was so extreme that I did what any good mother would do and grabbed my camera:

Friday morning, Meredith and Sanders took us to the Lowry Park Zoo. Mike and Annabelle were thrilled to get to ride in the jumpseat in the way-back of Mere's station wagon:

We had a great time at the zoo, watching the animals and trying to keep up with Sanders. He paused long enough to sit on this ersatz komodo dragon, so Mike and Annabelle hopped on as well for a quick photo op:

Annabelle was disappointed to find that there were no anteaters at the zoo (anteaters being her new favorite animal). Our biggest thrill was watching an elephant splashing about in the water (click on the picture for a video clip):

At one point, I'm sure Meredith thought we were all nuts. We had just bought some kettle corn (yum!) and were strolling past the bald eagle exhibit, when the kids noticed a squirrel sitting on the boardwalk, eating popcorn crumbs. As Meredith tried to direct our attention to this amazing eagle that was sitting not even 10 feet away from us, the kids and I were beside ourselves with glee as we tried to coax the squirrel to come closer.

After lunch we hurried back to the house so that Sanders could take his nap and so that we could all have a little rest. That evening, we drove out to Tampa to have supper with one of my friends from law school and his family.

Our big treat on Saturday was a trip downtown to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. When we first got into the arena, Mike and Annabelle declined to go down to the ringside for the pre-show festivities. They changed their minds pretty quickly though when the acrobats came out with unicycles and actually let a couple of kids from the audience try to get on them.

We jumped out of our seats and ran down, and I insisted to one of the acrobats that "This kid can ride," pointing furiously all the while at Mike. They handed him a uni, and he hopped on easy as pie. He rode forward. He rode backward. He idled, and he did a few hops. The crowd loved it, and he got lots of applause. Saturday will go down in history for Mike as the day he made his circus debut:

Meanwhile back in the stands, Meredith bought some popcorn from one of the refreshment vendors, and it came with a nifty circus hat. Sanders looked mighty sporty in it:

So did James:

And Mike:

And Annabelle:

After the circus, we drove to Orlando. We met up with Jenny and Jeff and went out for Indian food before bringing Jenny back to DeLand with us for the rest of the weekend.

Hmmm . . . Do you think Jenny has had collagen injections in her lips?

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?