My plan this summer is to do as much as possible, while spending as little as possible. Aristana is such a blast at this age, and this is the last summer we have together, baby-free. I look forward to the new Hinz, but will definitely miss the "just-the-two-of-us quality time" together.
So far this month, we've gotten to play at Bay Beach, the N.E.W. zoo, numerous parks, Grandma & Grandpa's farm, Grandma Gobble's beach...not to mention the fun we have just in our own backyard. I thank God EVERY DAY that I am able to stay home with her. She is such a sponge right now, and I'm so glad that we can utilize that ability to learn, instead of letting it pass.
It's 4pm, and I just put Aristana down for her nap, after a long, fun day in Manitowoc. Our Auntie Mitzi was in the hospital, so that's where we started. Praise God, just as we got to her room, they discharged her...early! We visited with her for about 15 minutes, until RJ got there to pick her up. After helping them pack her up, we all walked her to the car. After our goodbyes, we headed back to the van, and on to the next stop. Thank you God for watching over her, and healing her. She is such a special woman!
Stop #2: The Lincoln Park Zoo
In comparison, the Lincoln park zoo has nothing on the NEW Zoo. With that being said, it is a nice little spot for the kiddos to go. I imagine there is nowhere near the same financial support that the Green Bay Zoo has. We started off by visiting the wolves. Aristana is in a new "Awwwwww" phase when she sees furry animals. How girly! So she "awwww"-ed, and said "Hey big guy big guy," and we moved on. We saw the prairie dogs, which are always so fun to watch. I seriously could sit at a zoo, and watch prairie dogs, lions, giraffes, and otters for hours at at time...no kidding.
From there, we saw some deer, bison, black bears, and ducks. One thing that was awesome though, was a male peacock that was angry. It was BEAUTIFUL! At the NEW Zoo, the peacocks walk freely, which is nice, but they never have their plumes in full effect.
Stop #3: Lake Michigan (A.K.A. The Big Water)
Aristana is blessed to have grandparents who all have something different to offer her. GPa & GMa Hinz have the farm. GMa Gobble Gobble has the Bay of Green Bay. Jimmy & Boppa have Kelly Lake. Aristana loves the water, big or little. We took a walk down the pier, to see the waves and the boats. It' was pretty windy, so we didn't go out too far.
We had perfect timing though, because we got to watch the Lake Michigan Car Ferry leave the shore and head back out towards MI.
Stop #4: Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory & Parlor
What kid wouldn't love to eat Blue Moon ice cream next to a HUGE cow? This is the second time Aristana has been here in a month. Needless to say, she's a fan. She likes to look at the cow, but doesn't like to get too close.
Stop #5: The Old Kiel's Drive-In
Back in the day, my mother and father owned a little drive in on the corner of Viebahn and 10th, called Kiel's Drive In. I love hearing stories about it, since I was too young to remember them personally. When I was born, it was the first place I went, when we left the hospital. Stories of pizza burgers and car-hops gave me an idea of what this place was like. It sounded like lots of fun. We moved to Green Bay in 1980, when my father accepted a position with the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department, saying good by to the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department. From there, Kiel's drive in changed hands and names many times. Sometimes a drive in, sometimes chinese food, sometimes empty. We went to take a pic of the building, and found that a BP gas station took over the lot.
Stop #6: Gass Lake
When I did live in Manty, I lived on Gass Lake Road, on the outskirts of town. We took some time to see the old neighborhood, again, not that I remember it personally. My dad built a kick-butt tree fort for Brady. See pic.
Well, the trees grew and grew, because we could barely see the old house. My grandparents lived in the house next to us, and the design my mom painted on their garage doors back in the day is still there.
After staring at peoples' houses, we went down the hill to Gass Lake. It was so peaceful. Just us, throwing little pebbles in the lake, listening to the frogs, and the wind in the trees.
So there we go... What a great day! Thank you Aristana, for being such a great Buddy! You are always such a trooper.