Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Field Trip to the Arboretum & Madison Park

Ok. Funny story.

The other day, my friend Tina calls and says she's getting a group of friends together to go to the Seattle Arboretum, and asked if we'd like to come along.

I replied in the affirmative, but then asked (like a total dweeb), "Uh...what exactly is an arboretum?"

(Yeah. And I'm homeschooling my kids. Figure that one out.)

Now that I've got my slice of idiot pie out of the way, I shall now share the pics from that day, along with the story behind those photos. ;o)

Tina rented an "Explorers Pack" which contained a variety of fun activities for our group to do. Here we're waiting for the others in our group to arrive. Pictured are my 3 nerds and Tina's oldest, Jordan.

Abby and Atira, walking along the hot, dusty trails in search of "green" discoveries.

Ahh. The highlight of the first leg of the excursion. A near fully decomposed bird. Gross. Sierra of course, had to get right up there and take a picture with her cell phone. (Gag-tastic)

And here's where things got REALLY interesting, really fast! The field was quite lovely, with lush trees and especially tall grass. However, when you stick a group of allergic folks in such a field, there's bound to be trouble. As in "Gimme the Benedryl quick!" trouble.
Nearly all the Moms started sneezing, as well as the children. Sierra and Jordan had an especially hard time as they have the worst allergies known to mankind. Pretty much everything that grows is a threat.
Therefore, this area is now affectionately known as "The Field of Doom". (And before you ask, YES both Sierra and Jordan took their medication that morning. Didn't help, though.)
But before we left the field, we completed the "ID a Tree" activity. With this, the kids linked up in groups and blindfolded each other. The object was to identify a tree by using your sense of touch and smell. (Yeah. Smell. Did I mention Sierra and Jordan are allergic to trees?)
Taking a breather before heading onto the next activity. (I think they're the only ones who weren't sneezing like mad...Well, Ethan's nose was running, but he wasn't altogether miserable like his big sister.)
Trekking through the trees.
Check out the cool leaf Atira found! It was so delicate and "lacy" looking!
By this time, Sierra and Jordan were pretty much "done", but weren't even half-way through our excursion yet! The two of them were an itchy, scratchy-throated, watery-eyed, sneezing, hive developing mess. Poor things. :o(
We decided to do just 2 more quick activities--examine tree rounds and act out a part of a tree. (The latter was videotaped and, because I'm far too impatient to wait for it to load, I'm not posting it. Sorry.)

The next activity was looking at Tree Rounds. Here you examine your particular "round", and draw a picture of it, making note of any interesting features.

Ethan kept complaining that he was hungry. Too hungry to draw a tree round, apparently.
But not too hungry to throw rocks with Abby and a new friend across the street. Imagine that.

Once the tree skits were finished and the tree rounds returned to the Explorer Pack, we made our way back to the Vistor's Center. From there, we decided to head to Lake Washington to eat our lunches, as the fresh air would be highly beneficial to our pollenated brood.

After circling around (and around...and around), we were all able to successfully park the fleet of mini vans and eat our lunch at Madison Park, just across the street from the lake.

I must tell you that we never did make it to the lake due to the um...ahem!...extreme lack of clothing, shall we say, by the other lake visitors. Being that we had several tween-to-teenage boys with us, it  just wasn't the best idea. But Madison Park proved to be MORE than fine with the kids!

Thank you, Tina for the fun day! It was great hanging out with ya'll and making new friends.
Next time we'll double-up on the kids' allergy meds! (Ha ha ha!) Thanks again for the outing. We appreciate it!!!


Rachel said...

That looks so fun! (well, except for the not being able to breathe part. I can relate.)

HomeGrownMommy said...

What a great excursion! (Minus the allergies! I've got 'em too!) Love all the pics - your kids are just beautiful! My kids are already complaining that its way to hot to go outside, so I can't wait for cooler weather so we can get outdoors again. Glad to know we aren't the only "weirdos" that avoid areas with significant "lack of clothing" issues! :)


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