Saturday morning we hit the road at 8:45, only 45 minutes later than we had planned, but the thing is, I almost couldn't make myself do another day of getting myself ready PLUS 3 other little people. The pull of a lazy Saturday was very, very strong. Maybe we would eat a big breakfast of waffles and peanut butter and then lounge on the porch swing while the kids played in the yard with water and dirt. . .
Buuu-uut, I'm glad we went. The butterfly pavilion is just north of Denver and has been on my list for awhile now. I checked out the website after beginning my 365 days pledge, and lucky me! It was 5 dollar day on Saturday, so why not?
Our kids are the perfect age for this activity. They were excited by the bugs, and the tarantula was fascinating. They loved seeing the small sea creatures and touching the starfish and the horseshoe crab. The small exhibits were grouped in threes with a little platform between them, so even Blake could climb a few stairs to peer in at eye level. All of that was almost enough on its on, but then the butterflies!
Butterflies are magical. It can be exciting just to spot one on a clear spring day, but to meander through a small jungle filled with them was like a dream for these little ones.
After we had followed the misty path once through, we found a butterfly chart and identified a few that we had already seen, but the search was on for a peacock butterfly. I'm not sure when it happened, but Claire pretty much loves peacocks. We traced our way back through the paths. We found a turtle sunbathing on a rock by a pond. We found numerous owl butterflies that were infinitely more interesting now that we knew their name. We found a zebra butterfly, but we couldn't see a peacock butterfly anywhere.
I felt a little annoyed that we couldn't see ALL the butterflies that they had on the chart because I knew Claire would be so disappointed if we couldn't find that peacock butterfly. It's what she would remember from the day, you know?
Do you see those two butterflies in the forefront? They were spinning around and around each other, so we said they were two sisters playing, but Avery decided they were fighting. It might just be the way she views the world right now. She can be confrontational. :) The kids were following them for awhile, but here they are noticing the turtle on the rock.
We rounded the bend to the most crowded butterfly cluster, searching, searching . . . Then, BAM, Claire pointed while talking in a very high-voice, "Mom! Mom! There's a peacock butterfly!!!"
And there it is!!
I love that she was the one who found it.
I don't think I would take every single guest who visited us here to the Butterfly Pavilion, but at the very end of the day, Claire reached out for my hand and looked up at me with a grin on her face, "Thanks for taking me to the Butterfly Mavilion, Mom." So, it was worth it for us.
And the runner-ups:
#10 - We have a Cafe Rio in Denver. I like that. It's pretty delicious. I like to order the shredded pork burrito, enchilada-style, and then I pull out the pork only and eat it on chips for awhile before I eat the burrito. I don't know. It's just something I do.
#11 - Ikea is also in Denver. It's less than an hour drive from our doorstep to Ikea. Claire and Avery are old enough to go to the kid place, whatever it's called, and I love to browse the showroom. A couple of kid chairs were on the list, but of course, we bought hand towels, straws, and train tracks as well because it's too easy to buy stuff there. This time we also sampled some Swedish Fish, but only Claire liked them.
#12 - Castle Rock Outlets. We hit the outlets almost every time we go to or from Denver. Just to see if we need anything. Haha.