Friday, February 24, 2017

2016 Christmas Carnival

In the midst of one thousand and one things to do around Christmas time, visiting the Carnival just seemed to be one of those that we never miss every year. There might just be ONE visit for the whole year, but there has to be ONE.
The fact that the Carnival occupy a prime location right next to our daily route to Daddy's office must have played a big part. Ha!

Daddy gave it a miss last year, but this Mama still have TWO excited little girls to escort, so off we went, to the carnival, to the carnival!

To start things moving, we started with the Carousel. It was quite a tame ride, and always seemed to be a hit with kids.
Upik was big enough to ride her own horse, next to her Big Sis.
This Mama tagged along, ostensible to take care of them, but seriously, Mama was more interested in getting good pictures.

We found Jessica (whose car we saw at the parking lot) just as the carousel ride was stopping. So she tagged along with us for the rides.

We had to take the 'ski lift', for pictures, if nothing else. Somehow, I think the big Girls got some extra thrill of riding in their own gondola sans an adult.

Next stop, flying through the stars!

4 rides were just about the number that this Mama could handle. In any case, we didn't find any other rides that suited ALL the kids, so we settled on trying our luck with the throwing giant darts (sorry, no pics) and grabbing some unhealthy snacks. We went home early since it was a Sunday rather than a weekend night.

This Mama had fun, and judging by Upik's excited recognition every time we pass the place, she enjoyed herself too. We look forward for the next Carnival. Until then!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Balloons

After the nth outing with the troops, I suppose it's time to pick up the blog again, right after the event of the year: Balloon Festival, our fifth one now?
This Mama is happy to report that the troop has grown indeed, bigger, not only in size, but also in number. Ha! Just look at our troops this year:

Don't mind the Puny one in the polkadots. The crowd spooked her so she had to be carried. Can't blame her, given the huge crowd that day, and when you are just a wee bit....
In any case, we seemed to continue the tradition that we started last year: the sleepover the night before for all participants, followed with ice cones as their first breakfast.

Between the lines at the entrance and the kids' snacks, the balloons were rising behind us, so Daddy took the kids to see the balloons while Mama picked up the snacks. As it was, the crowd was really thick that it was difficult to have a good look at the balloons. The badly designed layout of the grounds did not help. This year's location was nearer to the tollway, with the small runway used by the flight schools as the active air-space, further away from the Clark Airport. The layout was such that most of the grounds were on grass fields, the grass practically non-existent after 4 days of being continuously trampled by the enthusiastic crowds. The result was dust, loads of them. Huh! At least it wasn't so bad in the early morning. 
In addition, the layout unfortunately did not funnel the crowd away from the entrance, which resulted in HUGE crowd right after entrance instead of spreading the crowd all throughout the grounds. I can imagine that 'blockage' would intimidate novice festival goer, but thankfully, we were pretty adventurous, and hence found a bigger grounds for the kids to unleash their (newly bought) kites once the balloons were up.

The Puny one also got some balloons, and a ride on Daddy's shoulder. Such is the life of Daddy's Little Girl.

As usual, beside watching the balloons and (trying to) fly the kite, we took some pics while going around the grounds.

Oh, and also rode a pony, I guess. 
The troops also wanted to feed some birds, unfortunately by the time we were first in line, the birds were already full from all the people feeding them. Ha!
So we moved on to grab some snacks and drinks again, until we found a castle at the back of the grounds:

A bouncy castle! Such a glorious sight to some hyperactive kids! And off they happily scampered.

This Little One of course would not want to be left out of the action. She happily scampered along, even if she made quite a traffic jam at the slide, haha....
The rest of the troops, such a good team that they were, patiently followed her pace, sometimes even helping and encouraging her. Very proud of all of them.

Then came all the (slightly alarming) jumping and sliding antics...

Once they were done with the bouncy castle, it has gotten hotter than was comfortable to stay at the grounds, so Daddy went to pick up the car while we waited at the roadside for him, buying snacks, photobombing and picking up small rocks.

Once Daddy arrived, we took the tollway again (to avoid the traffic jams!) to go to the picnic grounds near the Air Force City where the kids tried again to fly their kites, with better success this time.

Oh, we did find a wondering crocodile at the park. I wonder what was that about *grin.
And some kids stuck at the jet engine:

Strange sights, indeed.

It was lunch time by then, and we had a nice lunch at a boulangerie nearby.
In contrast to the mostly silent morning ride, the trip back home was full of happy noise from the troops, who actually tried to play hide and seek with the Little One in the care. Haha!

We are definitely thankful for our designated driver of the day who brought us safely and comfortably in style to and fro.
I believe the troops had fun. The Big Girl was so tired she couldn't wake up in time for school the following day! We are still not sure about upholding the tradition next year, but we definitely did not regret doing it this year.

Cheers to you, Kiddos! 

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