From March 24th….
I set my alarm and snuck out early to hit the hotel gym, which was really a couple of treadmills stuffed in a closet, that really only half worked. But, I made the most of it and did a little time on the treadmill and some weights before meeting up for breakfast. I’ve discovered my mood is WAY better if I get up and get my exercise in before the day gets started, even on vacation. Maybe even ESPECIALLY on vacation.
We cleaned up and headed out for the day. Our room overlooked a Starbucks and the girls had a blast watching that long line while we were getting ready.
First stop – the Birmingham Zoo. First stop in the zoo – buying tickets to feed the very hungry giraffes! So cool!!!
You better believe we bought 4 tickets so we could all feed the giraffes!
Highlight of the trip! Possibly the year. Maybe even the decade!
It was a nice zoo, probably pretty comparable to our Nashville zoo. Lots of good exhibits, a lot of animals, and several hands on things. Brent and Abbi went in to feed the birds. I skipped that.
Things like this are exactly why I skipped it. I’m not sure why Lilli didn’t want to feed them nectar that day.
Abbi was doing pretty good and mostly holding her own. She didn’t really want to eat lunch, but mostly seemed to feel fine, but she was wearing down as the day went on. She ended up getting carried a lot. Good thing I’ve been hitting those weights all winter!
The animals were really very friendly and the girls loved how close they got sometimes.
Sweet sisters. When they want to be.
Too close for my taste!
Afterwards we went to their nearby (free) Botanical Gardens. They’re very large but the girls were both getting so tired we didn’t explore them much. Plus nothing was really blooming yet.
There were lots and lots of nice trails but they were both so tired from walking around the zoo all day that we didn’t stay too long.
And once we got in the car – this happened pretty quickly. Our next stop was Oak Mtn State Park, a little south of town. Traffic was terrible getting out of there around rush hour on Friday, so it took us about three times as long as we expected to get there, but these guys needed some rest.
We’d heard great things about this park from a lot of people and reviews and it didn’t disappoint. We didn’t have too long to explore it, but if we ever head back to Birmingham we’ll plan a full day there. It made us really want to spend more time in the TN state parks. It was kinda cloudy and chilly, and the water was still a bit chilly but they didn’t mind. I had packed buckets so they dug and splashed.
We mostly had the place to ourselves and it was nice to sit back and relax.
We eventually changed them into their swimsuits so they could get a little dirtier while we were there. We stayed an hour or two, and around the time we were leaving our friends were arriving at the hotel.
We also had a Chic Fil A next to our hotel so we decided to swing through their drive thru and eat in our hotel before meeting up with the Wrays. We were just pulling out of the line with our food when Abbi started telling us she felt sick. She’d said that any time we had food all day but had never gotten sick, so we told her she was fine and we’d be back at the room soon. And then she proved us wrong in the car. Ugh. She felt fine afterwards, but still wasn’t really herself. We just didn’t know what to do. We weren’t sure if she just overdid it all day, or was having a relapse.
She wanted to see her friends but she and I didn’t stay at the pool long before I took her back to the room. Lilli and Ella had a great time swimming and playing.
And Lilli had brought some games so they played Life in the lobby while the adults gabbed. Eventually I took Abbi back to sleep and Julia took Molly back, too. We had even gotten neighboring rooms since you can pick your rooms online now at Hampton.
Poor Abbi. We were just hoping she’d feel good again on Saturday!