Friday, July 25, 2014

My 6th Visit to DeSoto Caverns!

Last weekend, Daniel and I got to spend the weekend with our sweet niece, Vanna. She spent the night on Saturday night which was the first time since Emery was born. We got to practice life with two kids! :)

We decided that we'd take her to DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg. This was the big field trip for my third graders, so I had already made the trip five other times! I was pretty sure she would love it, and let me tell you, it was much less stressful to be there without counting and recounting 22 third graders who won't stand still no matter how many times I told them to freeze! Do you know how hard it is to count that many kids who are super excited about touring a cave instead of being in school for the day? Teachers everywhere are nodding their heads.

Anyway, the first thing Vanna wanted to do was run around in the splash pad. We always steered clear of this on our field trips!

Emery had it made in the shade in her stroller. Love that little face so much.

Panning for gemstones was probably my favorite part of this trip and all the other times I've been there. My students probably would have spent an hour at this station and I think Vanna would have, too. Uncle D got into it, too!

We took breaks to make Emery laugh!

After gemstone panning, it was time for the cave tour! I wasn't sure if Vanna would be up for have to walk down a very dark tunnel into a gigantic cave, but she didn't hesitate! I was more than happy to let Uncle D do the tour with her. ;)

I do wish I could have heard her answer some of the tour guide's questions, though. From what I heard, she was pretty entertaining!

Emery took a little nap while we waited for them to come back from the cave tour. I mean, seriously...isn't this the life?

Next up was cannon wars! I seriously can barely stand how cute she looks in these safety glasses. She didn't wear them for long, though. She decided Nerf balls weren't that dangerous and those glasses just got in her way! ;)

We did a little excavating, too. It was so funny to see her so into this!

Then the maze! She actually did the maze twice, once with Uncle D and then we all went through it again...stroller and all. I would never go in that thing by myself because I would never, ever make it out.

We also went into the butterfly house. It's definitely not butterfly season {Is there a butterfly season? Spring? I should probably know the answer to this question.}, because we saw about three butterflies.

"Sorry, but I can't look at the camera. I'm too busy trying to spot a butterfly!"

Our last stop was to dig for gems. Let me tell you, panning for them was way more fun, and DeSoto Caverns is taking a big risk with this "attraction" if you ask me. A more appropriate name would be Try to Make it Out Without Getting a Shard of Glass Stuck in Your Foot. Goodness. We managed to find a few pretty ones, though.

Daddy did a mini photo shoot with Emery while Vanna and I were risking sliced up feet for the sake of a gem collection.

I love how she's getting so expressive.

Of course, we had to stop for a picture in the stocks on our way out.

And here's where we explained what malcontents and lollygaggers were since there's a big sign above the stocks saying that's where those sort of folks belong.

In case you need this like I did:

I prefer "rabble-rouser" myself.


We headed to dinner and then it was time to go home. We had two girls to get ready for bedtime!

Be still my heart...

Once everyone was tucked into bed {and after a "security sweep" and water break ;)}, Daniel and I got things ready for Sunday morning. We were determined we'd make it to church on time!

When I woke Vanna up on Sunday, the first thing she said was, "Aunt Gigi! Where's Emery?" She just loves her so much and it's just about the sweetest thing ever.

Sweet girls on Sunday morning waiting for Uncle D's chocolate chip pancakes...well, one of them was waiting for pancakes. Two if you count me. He makes the best pancakes.

Vanna was so, so excited to pick out Emery's church outfit and hair bow. It was so funny because the outfit she picked ended up being one that she wore as a baby!

Sweet girls ready for church!

And we made it on time!!

I'm so thankful that Emery has a cousin that loves her so much and that these two will grow up together! I hope they're best friends like their mommies!

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