Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Sunday, May 31

West Edmonton Mall (picture intensive)

We certainly couldn't make a trip all the way up to Edmonton and not visit the West Edmonton Mall (WEM) which is the largest mall in North America and the fifth largest in the world. So we spent most of the day Friday exploring the WEM. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a photo intensive record of our great mall adventure.

Just to give you an idea of the largeness of the WEM this is the mall directory. No, not two of the same map, but one big map and one looooong list of stores and attractions.

Wonkavators?

A giant picnic basket. It seemed so random. But now I know what it's all about.

The indoor ice rink. It wasn't very busy, as it was midday on a weekday. I bet it's a ton of fun to skate when it's that empty.

This is a replica of the Santa Maria.

It's available for parties and stuff. I think it'd make a great place for a pirate themed birthday party.

Giant frogs hanging around the "Santa Maria."

I wasn't aware that pirates had ever boarded the Santa Maria. But, you know, it's cool.

The submarines used to be a ride. But they're being replaced with bumper boats. I think that's sad. I'd totally want to ride one of those yellow submarines. Heck, maybe even live in one.

The little whale-obsessed, eight-year old me inside was SO excited to see this sculpture.

I want to eat my lunch on the tale of a whale!

It's either a right whale, or a bow head. But I'm not sure.

And you can go in it's belly. So, even more awesome.

Here's a shot of the water park. If we ever have more time to spend at the WEM I'll definitely want to spend time there. They've got a big wave pool. And I love wave pools. Plus, once she's older, I think Lucy will like the kid areas.

There's also an indoor amusement park with lots of different rides and games.

I think I counted three roller coasters total (not counting the kiddie versions).

Like the waterpark, we didn't really do the amusement park. But it was still fun to see. Look at all those twists and turns!

I loved this carousel horse. Don't think I've ever seen armored ones before.

Then there were more hanging from the ceiling.

There's a haunted house. We didn't go in but we did stop for pictures.

A lot of the amusement park area struck me as very Dr. Seuss-ish.

Here's the section they call "Europa."

It was pretty...but definitely no where near as exciting as the real Europe.

And this is "Bourbon Street." I can't speak to comparisons with the real thing.

Some of the sculptures were kind of creepy.

I tried so hard to not get the Hooters in the background. But I failed.

This isn't where we ate lunch. But I thought it looked kind of cool. And I liked the red phone booth.

This is where we ate lunch (Tony Roma's). We don't usually eat out but we couldn't exactly go home and make a sandwich. So we took advantage of the $8 meal deal.

Adam's meal

mine {very yummy}

In addition to the European themed section, and the New Orleans themed section there was a "Chinatown."

As we approached this I thought to myself "Gee, wouldn't it be cool if there were koi in there?" And you know what? There were.

This was either made of real ivory, or...it was made of plastic or resin and made to look like ivory. Either way it was really intricate and neat.

And if it weren't cool enough that the amusement park area was like something out of a Dr. Suess book the putt-putt area was also very "Red Fish, Blue Fish."

Hmm...maybe that's Ted Geisel himself?

Adam thought it had a sort of "Flinstones" feel to it.

Dr. Seuss, Flinstones...who knows. But very fun to look at.

Yup, that's right. The WEM sells high end sea lions. Like most mall merchandise, they're over priced. But they're oh so cute!

I'm not sure if Lucy was more interested in the sea lion, or her fists.

The one thing we made sure to do was the "Sea Life Caverns" attraction. To get inside you got "eaten" by a fish.

So, eaten by a whale and a fish, all in one day. Impressive.

It was a small aquarium, but still fun. We got to pet starfish (bumpy), anenomes (sticky), and sting rays (soft and slimy-ish). Lucy did not pet any critters. But she did watch them. She loved watching the fish (including sharks), sea turtles, and penguins swim by.



You can see more video from our trip here.

And there you have it. That's the West Edmonton Mall. It took almost all day to explore the whole thing. And it took almost all day to write this post! So many pictures take a while to upload. Check back tomorrow for another post about our trip, as well as my Monday update on the Body After Baby Challenge.

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Mini Vacation

I really enjoyed our first family vacation, even if it was a mini-vacation. I've got a lot to write about. In fact, I imagine I'll still be talking about the trip at the end of the week. I'm going to break everything into smaller parts and post, more or less, daily. I've already written a summary of the exmo mini-conference parts of the weekend. And I'll be trying to get as much writing done today as I can so expect a "real" post later today.

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Saturday, May 30

Ice Cream "Healthified"

{Here's a post I wrote before we left for Edmonton. I planned ahead. Aren't I clever? So, while you're waiting to hear about our trip you can read this.}

You know what? Frozen yogurt actually CAN be as good as ice cream. I really like this stuff. In fact, it's got a better texture than the last few brands of real ice cream I've tried. And, well...dark chocolate. I mean, hello! Yummy!! And this, being frozen yogurt instead of frozen cream, is healthier than the regular stuff. It even has active probiotic cultures! I'm a fan!

one scoop with pecans on the side

Next time I might have to try the strawberry rhubarb flavor!

What are some "healthy hacks" you've found for some of your favorite foods?

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Ughhhhhhhhhhh...

Just got back. Brain is broken from long drive. Check back tomorrow for the first of many posts about our mini vacation.

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Wednesday, May 27

Early Weekend

We're headed up to Edmonton tomorrow. I'm not expecting an opportunity to post. So you'll hear from me again on Saturday. This will be the farthest north I've ever been (Paris currently holds the record). It will also be the farthest and longest trip Lucy has ever taken. I'm looking forward to getting to see the city we might be living in for several years. And I'm excited to have a mini-vacation.

Have a great weekend! And, just for fun, here are some pictures!

This is the whale shirt I bought before Lucy was even conceived. I have a "thing" about whales. And you almost NEVER see whale themed baby clothes for girls. So I bought, um...5? Yeah, I think I got about 5 all in different sizes. She'll have this shirt until 5T.

Did you ever see a child look so sweet and adorable while sticking out her tongue.

This is probably Adam's favorite picture of her right now. It is very cute!

Still not a lot of hair, and still not sure what color it is.

So, what are your plans for the weekend?

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