Friday, October 6, 2017

Arizona Museum of Natural History

Karin is such a fun mom, she knows of every museum, aquarium, farm, etc. in her area. If there is anything fun for kids to do, Karin knows about it! One of those fun things is the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa which we made sure to visit during our stay in AZ.

This museum is well known for it's fun dinosaur exhibits.

Pretending to be in old fashion movies.

Panning for gold!

There is a flash flood every hour in one of the dino exhibits, we made sure not to miss it!

V found a cute little friend from the gift store to take home

After the museum, the Burtons took us to one of their favorite Mexican food restaurants, Mangos, which is just a 5 minute walk from the museum.  Our party of 13 took up most of the restaurant, it's a small, family owned place and their food is phenomenal! Mexican food isn't my favorite, I don't hate it, but I am rarely in the mood for it, so I am a pretty tough critic and this was by far the best Mexican food I have ever had! It is so fresh and flavorful.

Family Time in Gilbert

Today began with lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe, Ben had earned his special day and chose to eat here as part of his celebration. The kids were all so excited!

We had a fun time waiting in the gift shop while they got our table ready. All the boys loved finding things they thought Vienne would like and bring them to her. V gave out lots of hugs to all sorts of stuffed animals.

The three youngest cousins have such a good time together

After lunch, we had a kid's dream day at the mall. We did all the fun activities that we normally don't have time to do when we do a rushed visit to the mall. We rode the coin operated rides, the boys had fun on a giant trampoline, we explored a fascinating rock shop, we got drinks and treats from the stalls scattered throughout at the stores and V had a blast in the red, race car strollers

After we got home from the mall, most of our group wanted to take a relaxing, afternoon nap. I have been trying to reach 10,000 steps a day and that usually means taking a long walk to reach my goal, so I opted to go for a walk while people slept. Karin said she would like to go with me, as did Thomas, James, Ben and V.

Thomas and Ben rode their bikes while James and V rode in the double stroller

V had a wonderful time spotting all the animals we came across, we saw kitties, dogs and a couple of horses.

We got to enjoy amazing views of the sunset as we walked. Karin is always commenting on how wonderful the sunsets are in Gilbert, it was amazing to get to experience one so fully.

When we got home from our walk, we gathered up the rest of the family and headed out to try a new treat place, Fluff It Marshmallows (which has since changed it's name to Toasted Mallow.) This unique little store makes dozens of flavors of handmade, giant, gourmet marshmallows, which guests can then turn into all sorts of ooey gooey treats.

We were excited to try out their s'more bowls!  We got to choose the flavor of marshmallow, toppings and sauces. They pile it all in a cute, little graham cracker bowl and toast your mallows right in front of you!

We got V the pretty unicorn s'more, which was a special, limited edition s'more the store had curated.

I made a chocolate peanut butter s'more with peanut butter marshmallows, mini reeces peanut butter cups and chocolate and peanut butter sauces. It was decadent.

My Dad made one with brownies on top and Beth decided to try one of their marshmallow cookie sandwiches.

They also serve a variety of drinks topped with marshmallow fluff!

James tried one of their chocolate dipped, marshmallow cones

We all loved our treats so much! However, as you can probably imagine, they are insanely sweet. I would suggest sharing something to save yourself from a sugar high ;)