(And yes, I do think the actual City of Detroit has its down sides as well. I was reminded of it today as I walked past a street sign for Eight Mile that a group of people were posing in front of. They stopped me to ask if I could take their picture and I asked them why. They told me they wanted to have their picture taken where the movie Eight Mile was set. I tried to gently explain that the intersection of Eight Mile and Middlebelt was definitely NOT the site of the movie, though I didn't suggest they head any further east into the city for the actual experience...)
Anyway, today we decided to soak up some sun and culture by heading into the city to Campus Maritus Park. We'd heard of it a couple of times (it is also the site of the huge Christmas Market around Thanksgiving time that we have tried unsuccessfully two years in a row to make it to) but had yet to make it. It is a beautiful park set right in the heart of downtown on Woodward. It seems they have all kinds of events going on all the time, from daily live music for the lunch crowd in the city, to Movie Night, to a Kid themed series of events every Saturday.
We got to watch Ballet Folklorico Moyocayni-Izel - a dance troupe that performed traditional dances from all the eight regions of Mexico. My little dancing princess was of course entranced. All the bright colors, fast footwork and noise. We all enjoyed it and the kids also took Grant to explore a bit more of the park area which has a HUGE fountain in the middle of it that shoots off quite high every 15 minutes or so.
After the Mexican Dancers, two guys from Wild Life Safari brought out a whole bunch of animals from South America. Not only did we get to see them, we got to touch them! While one guy explained all about the animals (did you know a lobster is actually a 10 leg bug? Or that there are 40 types of toucans?) the other brought the animal around to all of the kids (and adults!) to touch and see up close. I got to pet an alligator! And Kayla got to help feed the toucan. We also saw a giant scorpion, a chinchilla, an ardvark and a coati.
After a couple of hours in the sun it was nice to get home to dinner and celebrate Beans and Franks Day and French Fry Day. I decided to try using an actual recipe for Beans and Franks (because let's be honest, I open a can of baked beans, cut up some hot dogs and then add in whatever suits my mood at the moment it whatever ratio tickles my fancy. Everything from ketchup to garlic to molasses to brown sugar has graced my usual beans and weenies) and this one had a bit of a twist - it called for applesauce! Noah loved it (he claimed it ranked right up there with tortellini, which is his hands down favorite) while Grant and Kayla said they'd rather I just stick with doing my own thing next time.
And we couldn't break out the bag of chips, Aunt Sarah, because we had to have french fries instead. I love making oven fries and again decided to try out a new recipe. This actually called for you to slice the fries, sprinkle them with sugar and put them in a collander for 30 minutes so they could release most of their moisture. Then you patted them dry and tossed them in oil and whatever spices you'd like. These were a hit with everyone. Who knew??
And because it's National Ice Cream month, and because I had a buy one get one free coupon that expired after today and because we decided they hadn't had enough jammed packed into their day already, after dinner we took the kiddos to the Silver Dairy for an ice cream sundae. I'm honestly not sure who ended up with the most ice cream on/in them - the kids or Charlie the Wagon... Oh well, a good time was had by all.
Bummed that I just had to watch the Tigers lose. Hoping they can pick up the series tomorrow afternoon before heading into the All Star break. Not sure what we're going to be up to other than celebrating Macaroni, Blueberries (at least the picking of them) and Grand Marnier. What a combo. Until then...
Ballet Folklorico Moyocayni-Izel
My and my favorite little girl in the whole wide world
We were all kind of taken with the fountain
We decided to move a little closer for the last set of dances and before they brought out the wild life
Chilling and waiting to see some animals
Kayla getting ready to feed the toucan
She did awesome
Beans and Franks
Oven Baked French Fries
1 large Marshmallow ice cream sundae + two children under the age of 6 + 1 very well loved and used red wagon named Charlie = HUGE MESS :-p
(Notice that Kristi failed to take any pictures of said mess. This is because even the camera was covered by the time we made it home....)