I read about
this particular park ages and ages ago. It was under construction when we left for Iceland, but promised to be an amazing play place. It's a large, open, airy space where kids of all abilities can play. It looked to be an absolute wonderland from the photos, and as we actually had nothing else to do today (that I can write about...Kelsey & I did have to run a secret errand tonight), and we were up uncharacteristically early today for Cait's doctor appointment (just a check-up), we actually had time to go without having to worry about traffic (the bane of my existence).
It was a bit further off the beaten track than I originally thought, but had plenty of parking and surrounded by woods. Given that the day was a *bit* warm, we had our water bottles, hats, super sunscreen and the like. We arrived to a nearly empty parking lot ("First ones here!") and cheered the wide open expanse.
A mere 15 minutes later we realized why it was so empty, save a 20-30 children from a local daycare. No shade and the sun was pounding (at 3 p.m.). It was a beautiful, colorful play area...a school bus, a fire engine, a maze, and tons of open space for running or wheeling around. However, after a few more minutes of being out in the broiling sun, with no shade in sight (except from the slender poles of the equipment), we simply had to call it a day. Call us wimps, but we had already exhausted our water supply and little guy's sunscreen (mostly zinc) was sliding off his face. Even more telling? His little nose was as red as a cherry and beaded with sweat...yep, quitting time.
We'll go back, but save it for later in the afternoon on a low traffic day or early in the morning on a fall day. I had forgotten how even the early morning sunshine can be brutal here in late summer.
Amazingly, despite being exhausted by the heat, Nicholas was once again up for making dinner. I have had a badge for this site on my blog for ages now, and have been meaning to try one of the healthy and seemingly scrumptious recipes. The recipes that have popped up on my Facebook page daily have been simple combinations of unprocessed foods and look as though they must be quite tasty, especially for the toddler set.
We had procured the ingredients a few days ago and gave a go tonight at the Pasta Con Zucchini. It was very easy to make, requiring only the zucchini grating, lemon zesting, and basil/garlic chopping. Unlike the recipe, we used basil left over from our trip to the farmers market and chopped up garlic. I am all for the ease of frozen ingredients, but when kids are involved, think it's extremely helpful for them to see the whole process.
A few minutes later and the zucchini was sauteeing nicely and simply waiting on the addition of the pasta. Despite the fact that I used the correct amount of pasta, it seemed at first that the zucchini did not blend as well as I expected. I later referred to the website and it didn't seem to be as mixed as I originally thought though I do think a different (or thicker) pasta may have been a better option.
We were super simple with sides tonight and added nothing more than sliced peppers and carrot sticks. The verdict? All three kids loved it and had seconds, if not thirds. Cait was so excited about the zucchini that she wondered aloud if we couldn't try something along the lines of zucchini fritters...which just happened to be the previous recipe on the blog. We love our Pretend Soup cookbook, but I think this blog will also be a fabulous addition to my kids recipe choices in the kitchen.