We road tripped out there, going a day early and Dave booked us into a hotel that overlooked the Kansas City Royals baseball field. When we were driving past the ball field, a bunch of fireworks went off! The hotel Dave booked had a great view of the ballpark and also a really nice waterpark. We totally surprised the boys with that! Dave bought the tickets cheap with the hotel booking, but we didn't tell the boys about it. When we got there, we asked the boys if they wanted check out the pool and they said a resounding YES, so we all got our suits on and took the elevator down. We got to the water park area and you should've seen their faces! We stayed and played at the water park for nearly 4 hours!
After that, we got dressed and went to a place we saw on one our favorite shows, Diner's Drive-In's and Dives. It's a little pizza joint called Grinder's that's also (by the look of the patrons) a hipster hang-out/art gallery. The food was excellent!
Then we went back to the hotel and fell into beds and slept deliciously until the morning. The next morning we had an excellent breakfast buffet at the hotel and then we checked out, we picked up the $10 zoo tickets we purchased with the booking.
The wedding didn't start until 4p that afternoon so those zoo tix were one of Dave's best ideas yet! The KS zoo was really nice! We had a great time walking around and seeing all the beasties.
The polar bear encasement's main part was about a story up from the water encased part and there was a huge plexiglass to watch the bear play in the water. It would swim around a little rock island, swoop (under water) RightNext to the plexiglass, plant his giant back feet against the plexi and give a mighty shove so he'd cruise halfway across the watery part on his back. It was SO cool to be that close! We'd put our hands up to his paws when he'd shove off and it was amazing how large those paws are!
We also had a couple of interesting encounters with monkeys. We saw the baboons and they were right up against the plexiglass hanging out, a big female and a baby female (not a tiny baby but about a year old). The big female looked at me and smacked her hand on a rock. I smacked my hand on my leg and that female freakin' LAUNCHED herself at the plexiglass! Snarling and screeching - it was nuts!! Then the little one followed suit and they kept baring fangs and slamming into the plexi. It was really scary! I thought, "Good thing that plastic is so strong or she'd rip my throat out!"
In the rain forest exhibit, I had my other monkey connection. There was a black and white gibbon high up in his enclosure. He was looking right at me, tilting his head back and forth like a bird. I started mimicking and it gradually made it's way closer and closer to me. It would tilt it's head and I would tilt. It would make poochy lips and so would I. Slowly and surely, it made it's way to the glass right next to me and then it put its hand on the glass and I put my hand against his hand on my side. Then he turned his back on me, rubbed his back on the glass and looked up at me. I patted the glass and he patted the glass, then patted his back. Poor lonely thing wanted me to scratch his back!
After our zoo adventures we went to the new hotel where the reception was to be held. The wedding was at 4p at a church. We dropped the boys at the hotel, dashed to the nearest Target to get the wedding gift we picked off her registry, dashed back to the hotel, got everyone ready for the wedding and off to the church we went.
The boys were just shy of 8 and 10 and this is the first time they'd ever been in a church. We explained that it was going to be very quiet and they were likely to be bored but they needed to stay quiet and still as they could manage. They did beautifully! We sat in the last pew and there were hymnals and little pencils and pieces of paper. T and Dave played hangman, D2 worked on a note for D'Lynn ("Congratulations on your marryiage") and I perused the hymnal.
The ceremony was very sweet. The bride and groom wrote a letter to each other w/o showing them until the female minister (priestess? hah!) read them aloud. Her's was sweet and romantic, his very funny. He wrote, "After our first few dates, I knew that I wanted to spend all my time with.... Sky. I knew I didn't want to live without her so I'd better ask D'Lynn to marry me." [Sky is D'Lynn's dog.]
After the wedding, everyone headed back to the hotel. D'Lynn and her man are brilliant! The reception wasn't until 7p. The hotel was a short distance from the airport so people flying in for the wedding didn't need to rent a car AND the hotel has a FREE happy hour from 5-7p. I'm not just talking well drinks here. It was all drinks! I discovered White Russians and promptly had about 5. It's like drinking toffee!
The reception was lovely! A DJ, a slide show of the couple, all kinds of great food! And an open bar but with the hotel's happy hour, people were pretty well already set for drinking!
The boys had their first fancy shirts with ties (clip-on)....
Here they are with D'Lynn, our lovely bride...
When the reception started, we found a table and D'Lynn was making the rounds saying hello to everyone. T tapped her on the shoulder and shocked us all by saying, "May I have this dance?" He led her to the dance floor and he got the first dance with the bride. None of us had the heart to tell him she's supposed to have the first dance with her new husband.
T and D2 were dancin' fools once the real dance started! After we all ate and they had the bride/groom dance, the bride/father-of-the-bride dance, cutting the cake, etc., the boys were on the dance floor for almost 2 hours! T even asked the flower girls for a dance but they both turned him down. Too young and boys are still icky. I'm so proud of him for asking, though!
It was a wonderful wedding, a much-needed mini-vacation and a fabulous trip!
D'Lynn - Best of luck in your new life, Ruth!